Written by Penelope Farthing
Warning: Please be advised that there are 2 mentions of the N-word used in this article. It is relevant to the context of the article, otherwise I would not have used such a horrible word. I apologize for any offense it might cause.
In the most oversimplified form, a husband and wife and their baby son have decided to quit their family job and split their time between two countries. They will still represent their family, just in a modern way that suits their new family. When you distill it down to the most basic (albeit, very unnuanced parts), it sounds kind of crazy that Harry and Meghan have turned the internet upside down for days now.
But being that 99.999% of any race of woman will not be faced with this very unique circumstance, I wanted to do two things. Firstly, I wanted to comment on black women’s reaction to this big reveal. Secondly, I hope to present this situation to black women in our own day-to-day lives when it comes to picking a life partner and friends.
I have only seen a handful of black women voicing their opinion against the decision made by the Duke and Duchess. Some say Meghan is hustling backwards, and married up only to return to her previous “commoner” status. Except, she is still a part of the history of the Royal Family, her son will be well cared for, titled or not, and she will go down in history as someone, who, with her husband, dared to challenge centuries of archaic tradition, all while dealing with racist abuse being hurled at her from all sides.
Entire groups on social media are dedicated to voicing the many ways they hate the Duchess, and even if she doesn’t read them, the fact that they exist must be distressing. In these groups, black women have been quick to say a remix one of black men’s go-to admonishments – she should have known better. Wendy said something similar not too long ago, and the refrain has shown up again here. It all sounds like “she should have chose better” to me. Meghan should have known that marrying into a family with questionable history while being mixed with black opened her up to every manner of abuse short of physical. She should have known that marrying prince Harry while being an American biracial actress with a black mom and an ex-husband merits the visceral hatred she’s been getting online.
Had she known, does she deserve all this?
And yet, when every day black women enter into situations that they should have known better too (willingly becoming a baby mama, losing edges due to hairline snatchery, thinking you’ll be the one that changes a historic cheater, etc.), sympathy is demanded because they made a poor decision…
People are speaking with such confidence and authority about a family residing in a country they’ve probably never even been to. With news this big it’s expected that speculation will abound, but I’m seeing few “maybes” and “possiblys” and “might” and a lot more “is”, “will” and “going to”. What do I mean? Instead of “maybe Meghan misses her old life and Harry is doing all this to help her”, it’s more like “Meghan is manipulating everybody and they are stupid for not seeing it sooner”.
I have also seen quite a few black women rejoicing at Meghan experiencing this “Nigga Wake Up Call”. I didn’t coin the phrase, but if you don’t know what it means, the Urban Dictionary definition is located here. On one hand, black women are saying she is biracial and has not lived the true black experience, and in the same breath, proclaiming she, despite being practically white-passing, is black enough to get one of these wake-up calls in the first place. Meanwhile, these same women demand compassion for themselves when their situation doesn’t go as planned, on a much less public setting than this whole show.
The final reaction I have seen is black women gleefully predicting this as the beginning of the end of their marriage. Nonblack people are doing this too, and in fact, I’m sure they are even more cruel. But as I speak to black women primarily, I wanted to examine our own reactions. What does someone stand to gain from someone’s divorce? I have friends who are divorced, and friends who are children of divorced parents. If the topic ever comes up, you can tell it is still painful, even years on. If Harry and Meghan do get a divorce, I’m struggling to see how black women will benefit from that to the point where such joy is being shared at the possibility of it happening.
I have written about Harry before, calling him the Prince of the four Ps (protect, provide, produce, and problem-solve). Christelyn has also weighed in, located here. Getting those Ps in order are no easy feat, and here he is, still protecting his wife, them against the world. But like I said, nearly none of us will be marrying princes, but for those who DO want marriage, we can learn a few things from this PR mess and apply it to our own lives, such as:
One thing that is making this meltdown so much more can’t-look-away is that the Queen and the two who will be King, allegedly did not know about this turn of events. How true that is, I don’t know, but I am personally more inclined to believe that surely something may have been hinted at rather than complete blindsiding. But that just goes to show that you can and should move in stealth, because not everyone will understand your desires, or even support them. If protecting your sanity means being selective with how much information you give out to your family here and there, then by all means, keep that skill in your arsenal. This leads to…
Who would give up being a literal princess and go back to so-called “slumming” it in regular life? Well, it’s not easy living in a cage, no matter how gilded it is, especially if you flew free beforehand. People are quick to condemn Meghan for wanting to seemingly give that all up, but even a life of what seems like luxury can quickly devolve into pain and suffering, even with the castles and fancy clothes and private jets.
To put this to a more everyday level, your friends and people in your circle may not understand why you may want to make certain dating choices, or adopt certain habits, or do certain things differently from how the black collective would. But if you have sensibly evaluated your options and drawn the best possible conclusion for you, using sound judgment and calling on wisdom, then proceed with as much caution as the situation needs.
All in all, I imagine this is not the way the Royal Family pictured starting the new decade. But a family does not hold on to such power for so long without being adequately equipped to handle all manner of crises. Not to mention, with all this happening, friend of convicted pedophile Prince Andrew hasn’t really been making headlines, now has he? Coincidence? Who knows. In any case, I’m confident that it’ll all work out in the end, and I wish Meghan, Harry, Archie, and of course, Mama Doria the best. And to those who think Meghan is fumbling her bag, fear not. Her bag, and more importantly, her position, is secured.
What are your thoughts on this situation? Share them in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This blog was written by me, Penelope, and my ideas are not necessarily reflective of Christelyn Karazin or other writers on this platform.