So, we’ve all seen that Harry Meghan Oprah Interview and their report of Racism from the Royal Institution in Britain. I expected the interview tellings to be explosive for the Royal family, what I didn’t expect was how it would affect me. I stayed up late to watch the live streaming of the interview from USA (it aired at 8pm to 10pm ET on Sunday 7 March) which was 1am here in UK. The buzz around the Harry clip and my vibrant twitter feed kept the adrenaline pumping and my mind wide awake.
By the time 1am came round, the link was distributed amongst my Twitter family – and it was a-go! I tuned in as Oprah was chatting with Meghan. Both of them looked beautiful by the way, Meghan wore this Armani dress and Oprah was in her billionairess smart-casual Queen-of-daytime 1000% pure cashmere (I presume) pink sweater over white collar. Also who does Oprah’s hair? It was truly HAIRING honey! Did you see the highlights?! The Hairline?! FLAWLESS.
Anyway, let’s stay focused on the aim of this blog post: racism. I started off the interview thinking “Yesss give the royals a shock! EXPOSE the colonialists Harry! Break free Meghan!” But unfortunately watching Meghan and hearing of her heart-breaking time in the
prison palace caused more of a trigger to my own traumatic experiences of racism in Britain. Particularly institutional racism. At one point Meghan talked about turning to the institution’s HR for support with her mental health struggles, but instead of offering support, they turned her away and disregarded her cries. She spoke about how she felt that no one came to her defence when all she wanted to do was a good job representing the palace. But when she needed someone to fight for her, they were not there. Whewww. It all felt a tad too familiar, I could feel my emotions being stirred and it became slightly uncomfortable to witness.
Now, I have not had tabloids bullying or harassing me they way I saw them do Meghan, but I sure have been in situations where I felt that the company that was supposed to care for me, was in fact neglectful of me and of their duties to me. Many times I turned to HR for help and instead HR turned on me. So much so that I am now of the firm belief that HR does not represent someone like me, it represents and cares for the company for which it is hired. Unfortunately with claims such these, history has shown that in Britain the accusation of racism gets more outrage than the act of racism itself. This was evident when at the end of the program, ITV did not offer any follow-up support as they have done in the past for issues related to homophobia, drug use, abuse or mental health. It would have been helpful to have a message saying ‘If the contents of this program have upset you then call this number to get help for your racist experience in Britain.’ But as before, help simply did not come.
Whilst there are policies and procedures to investigate accusations of racism, there are not so many to actually deal with racism in the first place. I know that I’m not the only one who was triggered by that broadcast the other day. So if like me, you are feeling triggered by the interview and even helpless at some of your experiences with racism, please know that you are not alone. Your feelings are valid, and they are worth being taken seriously. It is not your responsibility to explain or prove racism to anyone. And ultimately, you matter too.
Let me know if you have experienced similar and let’s connect on social media @MetiyaChique
Love and light x MC