Martin Luther King III is the 62-year-old son of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. MLK III does a lot of work around his father’s legacy, the MLK Center and social and racial justice causes. MLK III has a new interview with the I Paper, a British publication, where he speaks about the racial justice protests, the murder of George Floyd, and what would have been different if his father had lived decades longer – you can read the full piece here. MLK III was asked about the Duchess of Sussex, because I think British publications just do that all the time now – they just ask everybody “so what’s your take on Meghan??” Here’s what he said in context:
Even Prince Harry has called for Britain to confront the “uncomfortable” history of the Commonwealth, declaring days after I speak with King that “there is no way that we can move forward, unless we acknowledge the past”. The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has faced what many feel was a harsh treatment at the hands of the British media that a white woman would not have endured.
King admits he was “greatly disappointed” watching Britain’s treatment of the American Duchess. “The reports that I saw were very, very, very difficult reports of how she was treated.”
“I’m not surprised, in other words, it’s not like ‘oh, wow, that that’s a surprise’ because these institutions have been here forever. And the institutions have been structured in a certain way. So when you operate as Harry just happening to fall in love with someone who is not in the traditional set of circumstances, then there was going to be pushback.
“I think that’s the process that we have to still continue to work through to rid our society of racism.”
But despite the barriers, and anger, and divisions, King doesn’t accept that his father’s dream is further away. That’s an insult to those who have fought to move forward for decades.
[From I Paper]
Here’s how I saw things – many Americans have always enjoyed reading gossip about royals, especially British royals. We enjoyed the fairytale aspect, and we enjoyed the real sh-t drama of it too, especially with Princess Diana. As Americans, we didn’t really understand the nuances of the British establishment, or the ingrained systemic racism in British class-based society, their media and their institutions. We just didn’t get it, it was literally foreign to us, even though America also has deep, systemic racism across the board. But we genuinely thought that when our pretty biracial American actress crossed the pond and married a British prince, it would just be a new, modern chapter to the fairytale we always enjoyed. What we got was an education in how British society, British media and British institutions simply did the most to reject, smear, humiliate and bully a woman of color until her life became unbearable. It was an education. I think it was an education even for people who have done work on institutional racism for decades, like MLK III.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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