Former U.K. Anti-Terror Official Confirms the Very Real Danger of Racist Extremists’ Obsession With Meghan Markle
In an interview with Channel 4 News, Neil Basu, a former counter-terror head, shared that while living in Britain, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, was subjected to multiple believable “very serious” and “disgusting” threats to her life.
Basu is speaking out partly due to the racism he saw in the force. Basu is a mixed-race man of Indian heritage and has been outspoken about these issues, most notably during the George Floyd protests. He went as far as to call the British policing system “institutionally racist.” He speaks in the interview about how the rhetoric from conservative members of the government feels like a return to old prejudices. Basu brings up the “Rivers of Blood” speech by Enoch Powell, a leading member of the Conservative Party in the British parliament, that carried racist and xenophobic rhetoric.
As he was in charge of royal protection, Basu was asked about the threats that Meghan and Harry faced and called them “disgusting and very real.” Many of the threats come from far-right extremists who have only grown in numbers. He says that when he started working in U.K. counterterrorism in 2015, far-right threats made up about 6% of his department’s workload. When he left it had risen to over 20%.
“If you’d seen the stuff that was written and you were receiving it,” he said. “The kind of rhetoric that’s online, if you don’t know what I know, you would feel under threat all of the time.”
To me, this is not surprising, but it is chilling. We have so often seen Meghan and Harry’s concerns dismissed by some who think they are doing it for attention. People who can’t understand or choose not to understand the racial politics surrounding Meghan Markle are never going to understand how terrifying anti-Blackness can become.
This news comes out at the same time a former best friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II, Lady Susan Hussey, is being racist against activist Ngozi Fulani, who visited Buckingham Palace. She was badgered about “where she came from,” and the woman retired “with immediate effect” and added that she “would like to express her profound apologies for the hurt caused.” Lady Hussey made an appearance on this season of The Crown as the lady-in-waiting married to the head of the BBC, Marmaduke Hussey.
The entire situation is just depressing. While some have tried to make Meghan Markle come across as some diva, the reality is that her spotlight on racial issues within the Palace has only proven her point. Whatever you might think about whether her politics are “genuine” enough for you (I think it has always been clear she is almost a Pollyanna-like sentimentalist), the reality is that she was put on a massive public stage where anti-Blackness made her a target, and the Firm did nothing to help. It is a shame that they deserve to carry for making her look irrational.
(via CBS News, featured image: Dominic Lipinski – Pool/Getty Images)
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