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Leave Meghan alone

HOLLYWOOD PIZZAZZ: Meghan has a been a royal saviour

WHAT ARE we going to do about the continuing attacks on Meghan Markle? We all know what they are about. It doesn’t take a genius. All you have to do is take a look at her and you’ll get a good idea why she is the target of abuse and criticism.

Her only crime seems to be that she has the audacity to have married into the Royal Family.

The “audacity of hope” is the way Barack Obama would have put it. That seems to be the reason why the tabloid press are stoking up a contrived animosity between Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex. And they’ll happily give the air of publicity to any rent-a-gob desperate to bite off the Meghan magic so that their own diminutive statues can get a look-in.

The latest to claim his 30 column inches in silver is Nigel Farage. You know, Mister “Breaking Point” anti-immigration poster.

Mister “The EU has failed us so we must take back control of our borders” as he stands in front of a poster showing long lines of migrants/refugees.

Or Mister “I’m just pointing out that if we do not leave the European Union by October 31 I will be forming the next government.''

POPULARITY

The truth is, though, with Boris at Number 10, he is unlikely to. Just as Mrs Thatcher (for all her sins) took the wind right out of the National Front’s sails in the 1979 general election, so has Boris Johnson stole the thunder of UKIP and the Brexit Party which, together, sum up Nigel Farage’s political career. For what it’s worth.

And, like the captain of a sinking ship, Farage has turned to attacking Meghan Markle in a desperate attempt to be relevant.

“Prince Harry’s popularity,” he says, “has gone over a cliff edge” since marrying Meghan.

Where, I ask, is the evidence for this? Or is Farage, like his mate Donald Trump, loose with the truth? I swear down, not even anecdotally have I come across anyone on the streets from London to Manchester (and you know how I mix with the people on my commute).

I swear down, I have not come across anyone who says, “Oh, I don’t like that Prince Harry anymore.”

Not one. Not one blinking soul. Neither, I am sure, have you.
And yet, Farage has the temerity to suggest that Prince Harry’s popularity has gone over a cliff.

I don’t think so, Mister Brexit, I don’t think so. If anything, Harry’s popularity has soared. He’s on more front pages and headlines than Nigel Farage, for one thing, and he’s not even a politician.

Meghan Markle has been a saviour for the Royal Family. She has brought some of that Hollywood pizzazz into it that even Her Majesty knows is a winner.

Just like the late Prince Rainier, when he wanted to make Monaco glamorous and attract all the superstars to Monte Carlo, went and married the Hollywood star Grace Kelly.

That’s the equivalent of what Prince Harry has done for the institution of the monarchy here and, indeed, for the whole family, including the heir to the throne and the next heirs after him.

Really and truly, I am not interested in what Nigel Farage has got to do with it. I’m just letting you know wha’ ah gwaning. I’m more interested in finding out what we are going to do about it.

I know some of you are still not convinced that Meghan is a sista. More fool you. What does a woman of colour have to do nowadays to convince you that she is woke and conscious to boot? Oprah Winfrey is in no doubt that Meghan is a sista. Neither is Serena Williams and a host of other African-American women who know her.

The late Toni Morrison, for example, who I had the pleasure and privilege to interview back in 2003, would have dismissed your complaint with withering scorn.

She would have done it so tactfully that you wouldn’t even realise she was dissing you. That’s the kind of soulful black woman that we have lost in the author of Beloved, who died last week.

I am mourning her, for sure. At the same time, she is blessed with the ancestors now.

The ancestors of whom she wrote so eloquently in her greatest work of fiction and who opened up our souls by giving us the language of remembrance. We can never forget the way that black people have been treated. Because it is in our DNA.

Generations hence may not have that same remembrance if things improve, but my guess is that for some time to come we are still going to be suffering the consequences that we have suffered since the days of enslavement.

That is why we have to stand up for each other. That is why a slight on the integrity of Meghan Markle is a slight on us all. Because we are judged communally.
When the press, or any individual, says that Meghan’s husband’s popularity has gone off a cliff edge, they are dog-whistling.

And, whatever their intention, is it not the case that those comments will be interpreted as “That’s what you get when you marry a black woman”?

I cannot imagine how Meghan must be feeling. No doubt, at some point, she will ask herself, has this all been worth it? Even for love.

Has this amount of abuse been worth it? I will totally understand her if she says ‘no’.

I will understand if she packs her back and goes back to Hollywood where she is judged on her considerable talents, a bubble though it be.

Meanwhile Harry, clearly loves her more than he could have ever imagined possible, is holding it down as best he can. He knows by now what it’s all about.

EXCLUSION

My question to you is: why should we allow this couple to suffer these barbed slings and arrows on their own?

A committee of 48 celebrated African-American writers, headed by Maya Angelou, signed a letter of protest in 1988, at the exclusion of Toni Morrison from US book prizes, and sent it to the newspapers.

They were listened to. Within months Morrison was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and then within a couple of years the Nobel Prize for literature – the first female black winner.

You see, all our voices put together are louder than Farage’s. But it will only take a handful of prominent black folks put together to sign a petition to get the press to stop hounding Meghan Markle.

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