Weeks after their interview with Oprah Winfrey, we’re still seeing Meghan Markle and Prince Harry garner loads of media attention and sparking heated debates around the proverbial water-cooler. In that interview, the couple not only showed the world how the royal family had effectively shunned them but also how the royal family hid this poor behavior from the public.
While additional scandals and palace intrigue were suggested by this televised exchange, what the interview really detailed was a buildup of microaggressions and intentional discrimination that pushed Meghan and Harry to a breaking point, forcing them to protect their own family and abandon the royal lifestyle. Cloaking their actions in a dress of formal tradition, the royal family blurred the line to the public between what was intentional and what was actually just an effect of “the firm’s” inability to adapt to social change.
With a royal institution that goes so far back in time, it was no surprise that racist sentiments were still embedded in the culture of the royal family. This is a lineage that oversaw British colonialism and came up with the concept of “white man’s burden” after all.
From their questioning of baby Archie’s possible skin color to denying Meghan’s requests for help with her mental health, the family adhered to strict traditions and archaic thinking that demonstrated a distinct inability to change with the times. Ironically, the press created a narrative that initially blamed Meghan for the disaffection and generated false stories about her because she was different from all the other members of the royal family.
The royals used microaggressions, pretending to protect Meghan and having her best interest at heart, yet forcing her to stay inside for months on end to keep the press from painting her in a negative light. This, of course, ended up doing more damage than good – to both her mental health and her public image. The royal family could have taken her as she was and used her to demonstrate to the public that they are able to accept and embrace everyone, no matter their skin color or lifestyle. However, they decided to diminish her, and everything she stood for, perhaps doing more damage to Meghan and Harry’s family than realized.
This incident, and the extreme response it elicited from the public, sets an example for other companies that they need to combat any microaggressions instituted in their business.
Many businesses, especially those that have been around for a while, are unable to completely change their ways to keep up with the times. For many, the recent Black Lives Matter movement was an eye-opener. Many realize that they had allowed too many unintentional discriminatory acts to slide by, without realizing its offense to their audiences.
To combat this issue, there are many people and brands that work specifically to help businesses eliminate microaggressions in the workplace. This includes a brand called Fierce Microaggressions, which works with and trains companies on creating a safe environment where no one has to worry about unintentional microaggressions. Using expert resources such as Fierce Microaggressions allows businesses to stay on a good track of not only protecting their image with the public by staying proactive in combatting discrimination, but also protecting the employees within the business by protecting their wellbeing.