Meghan Markle powerfully stands up against racism in 2012 video
Meghan Markle eloquently spoke out about her own experiences being biracial and experiencing racism in a resurfaced video from 2012. The video was part of an anti-racism campaign called "I Won't Stand For ... " for the charity Erase the Hate, and in it, Markle wears a white T-shirt reading, "I won't stand for racism." The former Suits star's mom, Doria Ragland, is black, and her father, Thomas Markle, is white.
Meghan says in the video of participating in the campaign, "For me, I think it hits a really personal note. I'm biracial, most people can't tell what I'm mixed with, and so, much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall. And so, some of the slurs I've heard or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it's just hit me in a really strong way, and then you know, a couple of years ago, I heard someone call my mom the N-word."
Meghan spoke candidly about people's perceptions of her.
"Certain people don't look at me and see me as a black woman or a biracial woman," she says. "They treat me differently I think than they would if they knew what I was mixed with, and I think that is -- I don’t know, it can be a struggle as much as it can be a good thing depending on the people that you’re dealing with."
She shared that she first started encountering "close-mindedness" firsthand when she began traveling and left her hometown of Los Angeles.
"It just really opened up my eyes to a mentality that still exists that I thought was backdated to when my grandfather moved our family from Cleveland to L.A. and they drove across the country and to stop and get food, whatever kind of place they were going to, and they had to go round the back to get food for the family," she says. "You know, I thought that was really isolated to those days that we were past, and sadly they're not."
"I am really proud of my heritage on both sides," she adds. "I'm really proud of where I've come from and where I'm going. But yeah, I hope that by the time I have children that people are even more open-minded to how things are changing and that having a mixed world is what it's all about. I mean, certainly, it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting."
Meghan is, of course, now a mom to her 1-year-old son, Archie, with her husband, Prince Harry. Back in November 2016, when news broke that Harry and Meghan were dating, Harry publicly called out the sexism and racism she was facing with an official statement from Kensington Palace.
"His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment," the statement read, in part. "Some of this has been very public -- the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."
Meanwhile, in an essay she wrote for Elle UK in 2015 about her experiences being biracial, Meghan specifically wrote about the painful experience of her mother being called the N-word.
"We were leaving a concert and she wasn't pulling out of a parking space quickly enough for another driver," she recalled. "My skin rushed with heat as I looked to my mom. Her eyes welling with hateful tears, I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible: 'It's OK, Mommy.' I was trying to temper the rage-filled air permeating our small silver Volvo. Los Angeles had been plagued with the racially charged Rodney King and Reginald Denny cases just years before, when riots had flooded our streets, filling the sky with ash that flaked down like apocalyptic snow; I shared my mom's heartache, but I wanted us to be safe. We drove home in deafening silence, her chocolate knuckles pale from gripping the wheel so tightly."
Meghan also previously wrote about her and her family experiencing discrimination in an essay to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day for her former website, TheTig.com. She shared that her grandfather telling her the experience he had of moving their family to L.A. from Ohio still "haunts" her, that she's had "countless black jokes" told in front of her.
"It makes me wonder what my parents experienced as a mixed race couple," she wrote at the time. " ... To Martin Luther King Jr., to Harvey Milk, to Gloria Steinem and Cesar Chavez, to my mom and dad for choosing each other not for the 'color of their skin, but the content of their character,' to all of you champions of change: Thank you."
Meanwhile, protests against police brutality have been going on nationwide following the death of 46-year-old Minneapolis man George Floyd after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
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