Meghan Markle heartbreak: Duchess reflects on her own experience of racism amid US riots

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The former Sussex Royal appeared in the 2012 broadcast before she joined the Royal family. It has recently resurfaced as protests continue worldwide after the death of George Floyd in police custody, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protests have spread across the US over the last week. Police have been criticised for using batons, tear gas and shields deployed against unarmed civilians.

But eight years ago, USA Network’s ‘Characters Unite: ‘I Won’t Stand For’’ campaign saw Meghan describe what it’s like to experience racism.

She said: “My name is Meghan Markle and I’m here because I think it’s a really important campaign to be a part of.

“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.”

Markle was filmed wearing a T-shirt that reads: “I Won’t Stand For Racism”.

She went on to describe being the subject of offensive jokes and names, recalling a time when her mother Doria Ragland was also called a racial slur.

The former Suits star said: “And so, some of the slurs that I’ve heard, the really offensive jokes or the names, it 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.’

“So, I think for me, beyond being personally affected by racism, just to see the landscape of what our country is like right now—certainly the world—and to want things to be better.”

She continued: “Quite honestly, your race is part of what defines you.

“I think what shifts things is that the world really treats you based on how you look.

“Certain people don’t look at me and see me as a black woman or a biracial woman.

“They treat me differently, I think, than they would if they knew what I was mixed with and I think that 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.”


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When Markle left Los Angeles, she saw how different perceptions of race could be.

She said: “Leaving L.A. was sort of like leaving this bubble where I was used to everything and had been exposed to everything except for a close-mindedness that I experienced when I traveled outside of where I was from.

“And I think that in doing that, it just really opened my eyes to a mentality that still exists that I thought was backdated to the days of when my grandfather moved our family from Cleveland to L.A.

“And they drove across the country and to stop to get food—whatever kind of place they were going to—and they had to go around to the back to get food for the family.

“You know, I thought that that was really isolated to those days that we were passed and, sadly they’re not.”

In a now sorrowful closing statement, Markle said she hoped that the world would be more accepting by the time she became a mother.

She said: “I’m really proud of my heritage on both sides.

“I’m really proud of where I come from and where I’m going.

“But, yeah, I hope that by the time I have children that people are even more openminded 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.”

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