Meghan Markle, Black Is The New Royalty

Meghan Markle, Black Is The New Royalty

Will we see a post-Obama effect in England as was seen in the USA?
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Meghan Markle, black is the new royalty!

Will we see a post-Obama effect in England as we are seeing in the USA?

Unless you live under a rock, I am sure you have heard the news that Prince Harry made Meghan Markle, sparkle and they are officially engaged.

Why is this engagement anymore noteworthy than any other?

Well first, we have a Royal wedding. Who doesn't love a Royal wedding? I know I do. Second, Meghan Markle is not Royal, she's not even British like me, or of traditional noble origins, she's American. And third let's just say it: she Black, well bi-racial with African American heritage (Her mother is black). And Lastly, she is a divorcee. A DIVORCEE.

I feel I would be remiss to not say that Black has always been royalty if you ask me, as an African Nubian Queen. However, I mean never has there been an official Royal of color in the British Royal family.

In researching for this article I will say Meghan is quite remarkable. I take nothing away from her. As we all have our cross to bear, she too dealt with many issues while growing up.

Educated at private schools and shaped by Hollywood, Markle can’t help but bring to mind Grace Kelly, another US-born actress and commoner who married into royalty. If you don't know, Kelly wed Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956, and like Markle who will be unable to continue her acting career, Kelly was unable to continue acting. If you ask me, it's not a bad trade.

In the recent 2020 aired Sunday December 4th, we know that Markle was plagued with issues of identity being a biracial kid, growing up in a Caucasian-dominated environment. But those who knew her, all report that she was and continues to be a nice, gentle, sweet and considerate individual, who made an impact on those she encounters and continues to encounter. In most cases even without her knowing the impact she had. Markle became a household name when she was fortunate to get a big break in Hollywood and landed a role in the TV series "Suits."

What makes her exceptional is she is an activist and philanthropist. She began her activism unwittingly, at a tender age of 12 when she challenged the giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) to change a dishwasher liquid's tagline. When she saw the ad, she not only wrote to the first lady at the time, Hillary Clinton, but to civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, journalist Linda Ellerbee, and Procter & Gamble. She not only received a response from all but was featured in the news and P&G made the change from "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" to "People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans."

Now, this engagement signals that the royal family is changing. Honestly since the death of our beloved Diana (she truly was the people's Princess), the Royal family has been changing. In days gone by, Royals could not marry a divorcee. Although in recent times, Charles, now a divorcee, married Camilla also a divorcee (his true love and the person he originally wanted to marry). This paved the way for this marriage.

Additionally, you could not marry anyone not of noble birth. However, Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton also broke boundaries for the Royal family. Grace Kelly's friend, Lee Grant, recounts to the Huffington Post that Kelly was disliked for not being of noble heritage and for being American which made her miserable. But we know from watching Kate blossom as a Royal that the Royal family, in England at least, has made so many changes and have counseled her and set her up for success. A fate not shared with her late mother in law Diana. We can safely assume that the same will be true for Meghan, she will be counseled in making the transition to Royal life.

And now with Harry, we are seeing a new boundary broached with his marriage to Markle. A bi-racial, Royal will join the family.

Now, with all firsts, there are many challenges. Meghan has already experienced some backlash since her relationship with Prince Harry was revealed.

We saw an overwhelming propensity towards hope and unity with the country's (USA) election of its first African American President. However, paradoxically we have seen a deep decline towards despair and division with the election of Trump immediately following the end of Obama's term. This is not groundbreaking. With every change, we often see two steps forward, followed by five steps back. Until one day there really is true progress, even if it's just an overall gain of one step in the right direction.

Events like this really reveal where we are as a global nation.

Whether true acceptance or intolerance exist pervasively globally.

Which finally brings me to the title of the article. Growing up in England is a little different from being in the southern state of Georgia. While racism exists it's more of a sporadic occurrence (at least in London anyway) and it rarely, (extremely rarely) leads to the death of a person simply because of the color of their skin. The culture is a lot more integrated that many parts of the USA. It is a social culture where many are influenced by so many different cultures and countries.

You have even some of this eclectic influences and flavors being displayed by the Royals, both young and old) in very rare instances when in playful settings. That's why for me, it is no surprise that Harry would fall for and marry someone as remarkable as Meghan. As Meghan will hopefully be part of the Royal family for a very long time, hopefully as a beloved wife of a Prince, the divisive backlash seen in the post-Obama error, with a worsening of the state of affairs will hopefully not be observed with these nuptials. However, as stated before she has already been targeted. So my hope is that it will not get worst before it's gets better. And I am super proud of the way the Royal family specifically Harry has issued several cease and decease to ensure they do not continue to target his new belle.

For me, as a mother of a young black beautiful girl and of someone who has what in some circles would be considered quite a noble background, I am elated by this news. Why? Because I believe every girl is and can be a princess. And for the first time, the world even reflects that.

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Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Everybody Has Room To Grow In Being Loving And Kind

Is anyone wholly kind? Is anyone wholly loving?
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Everybody loves kindness. Everybody loves love.

But is anyone wholly kind? Is anyone wholly loving?

A deficit I see (and experience myself, seeing that I am an imperfect human) very prominently in our world, as I know it, is of a gaping lack of authentic, non-transactional kindness and love.

I’d like to preface this by once again highlighting that I do not consider myself outside of this deficit. My love and kindness are impoverished, surely not what love and kindness could truly be. I feel that I can speak on this because I am part of it.

Do we fight for social justice? Do we advocate for human rights? Do we believe in universal human dignity and the protection of it?

Do we also treat each human being we encounter with the same ferocious, passionate care we claim for humanity?

Do we insult people behind their backs? Do we fail to be intentional and genuine with everyone? Do we fail to make certain people feel cared for by our disengaged, disenchanted demeanor?

The answer, by the way, is yes. If you’re human, yes. Our love and kindness are not what they proclaim to be. My love and kindness are not what they proclaim to be.

I can admit this without shame because I know my worth. I know that my flaws and weaknesses have no effect on my value as a human being. And yet, I also know it’s important to admit these truths, and to acknowledge what they mean.

There is no such thing as loving “enough.” There is no such thing as being kind “enough.” The world is shattered. We are a broken, imperfect people. There will never be a day where we will be able to claim that we were perfectly kind, or that we loved perfectly.

What shall we say then? Shall we go on hopelessly, or apathetically, since imperfection is inevitable? By no means!

Acknowledging that our love and kindness needs growth creates room for that growth. It’s not self-deprecating to accept imperfection. Imperfection is a fact— but it shouldn’t lead to shame. Shame is a lie. Shame would claim that we need to be perfect to be priceless. Shame is dehumanizing and devaluing. We were not created to feel shame.

But we were indeed created to grow.

Love needs us to be open to growing in it. Love needs space to expand into. Love requires true intentionality. Love requires genuine relationship.

Love requires our acknowledgment that we can work on it.

How are we going to go about doing that? I might try setting my pride aside, so that I never treat anyone in my heart as if they’re a means to an end, or consider someone unworthy of my care. I might try to look people in the eye a little more. I might try being less quick to jump to annoyance or frustration. I might attempt to put away a bit of my judgment.

I might hold my tongue if my thoughts are about to release something dark and negative into the Universe. I might say sorry when I hurt someone, even if I think I’m right, because their perspective matters. I might listen to others’ thoughts and feelings, even if they differ from my own experience. I might have more intentional conversations.

I might be honest, even when it hurts. I might take a deep breath and work through an argument thoughtfully, instead of remaining closed minded. I might take a little more time to make sure others feel cared for.

I might allow room for myself to grow in love, something humanity can never get enough of.

How are you going to grow in your love?

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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