By Monica Showalter
Going for the wokester cred, Meghan Markle’s husband, Prince Harry, would like you to apologize, or rather, ‘reflect’ on the colonial sins of his ancestors.
Here’s how bad it was:
Prince Harry today faced criticism after he appeared to take a swipe at the British Empire by saying the history of the Commonwealth ‘must be acknowledged’, even if it’s ‘uncomfortable’.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, made the comment as he joined wife Meghan Markle, 38, for a video call with young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust last week that was made public today.
As part of the discussion on ‘justice and equal rights’, Harry said the Commonwealth needs to follow others who have ‘acknowledged the past’ and are ‘trying to right their wrongs’, and also admitted to having his own ‘unconscious bias.’
Meghan joined in on the fun:
Meanwhile Meghan said it is also a time of ‘reckoning’ when individuals should be putting their hands up to ‘own’ their past wrongdoings.
Speaking from his Los Angeles home, Harry, whose grandmother the Queen is head of the Commonwealth, said: ‘When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.’
The statement appears to be a swipe at the British Empire, which was ruled over by his ancestors and led to the creation of the Commonwealth, and goes against protocol of royals not wading into politics.
There was also this, from Meghan:
“We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this,” Harry’s biracial American wife told the group.
Who is this ‘we’ you speak of, Kemosabe?
As Americans, we don’t have a dog in this fight, as we took care of business with Britain back in 1776.
But obviously, it’s pretty unseemly to see Prince Harry, seventh in line to the British throne, go on an apology tour for his own ancestors – while he’s still living off dad’s money, at least for his pricey security. Does he really mean that? Because if he really means that, then it’s time to cut ties to dad’s cash and get a job as a dishwasher somewhere in Los Angeles like anyone. If it was all bad and now in need of an apology, what exactly was he doing risking his life for his country as a military man? Who’d want to die for a wicked empire that needs to apologize for its projection?
Once upon a time, Britain had a second empire, it spanned the globe, the sun never set on it, it served as a projection of Great Britain’s power on the world stage, drawing in capital, resources, immigrants, and cultural power. And oh, yes, all this pith-helmet projection was done in the service of the queen, Harry’s own great great grandmother, Queen Victoria. The only reason anyone still pays attention to Britain today instead of dismiss it as another Belgium, or Romania, or Denmark, or some other pea in the E.U. pod, is that powerful colonial heritage, for good and bad.
Intelligent people can discuss its pluses and minuses, what it brought compared to what it took, whether it was a ‘racket’ as George Orwell concluded, or a point of great pride as Rudyard Kipling saw it.
It can even be argued, as British propaganda, at least until recently, held that the states colonized by Britain, with its tradition of rule of law, and its useful lingua franca, the English language, are better off now than the places that never saw a colonizer from the West. (Just ask Afghanistan). While not a perfect thing for everyone, it certainly could be put forward as a certain amount of comparative perspective.
Here’s one study, there have been many.
The authors also compare the experiences of separate Pacific islands with eight different colonizers: the United States, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan, Germany, and France. * Their verdict is that the islands that are best off, in terms of income growth, are the ones that were colonized by the United States—as in Guam and Puerto Rico. Next best is time spent as a Dutch, British, or French colony. At the bottom are the countries colonized by the Spanish and especially the Portuguese.
And here’s another thing: No Gandhi could do what Gandhi did in India, with his non-violent resistance movement for independence, if the colonial backdrop was, say, Russia, or China. (Just ask the Dalai Lama). The Brits could be appealed to for their better nature. Oh, and Gandhi, by the way, was an Anglophile, as was Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, also known as “Harry.”
So now we have the sorry specter of Prince Harry wanting to go on an apology tour for his own ancestors, except that you’re the one who’s going to apologize, while still living off the fat of the British royal family. Somehow, we’ve got the makings of a hypocrite, no doubt driven by the wokester impulses of his hideous wife Meghan.
Not surprisingly, the Daily Mail reported that Harry looked ‘trapped’ and ‘awkward’ and ‘like a hostage’ in all that wokester self-made abasement, which isn’t a good look for him. Socializing the apologies while privatizing the life-of-luxury goodies is no way to get anyone’s respect, wokester or otherwise. Maybe he can grow up now and be a man. Stiff upper lip and all that, the pith-helmet thing he doesn’t seem to know about.