Meghan Markle Donated Food to Support Uvalde Volunteers, Yet Still Faced Backlash
Following the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, celebrities all over have been speaking out on the issue of gun violence. Meghan Markle has taken an extra step by visiting the Herby Ham Activity Center. Buzzfeed reported that the royal delivered food to the volunteers, who were working on an emergency blood drive to support the local hospital.
Some have accused Markle of using the tragedy as a PR stunt to raise her profile, with Prince Harry biographer Angela Levin taking to British television to call the appearance “the most appalling thing I’ve ever seen actually. That someone could use dead children to show what a compassionate person she is.”
It is absolutely vile to assume that Meghan Markle is doing this just for publicity. She has been involved in activism literally since childhood. This shooting happened in a Latino neighborhood and impacted a Brown community. Meghan is a woman of color. She is also a mother raising her children in a country that is overrun with gun violence. Much like how Kate Middleton’s attendance at the Sarah Everard vigil was a human gesture, so is this.
The British Royal Family has literally one useful function: using their public image and funds to bring attention to important work. Diana did it, and not only is Meghan doing it here, but she actually was being actively useful by donating money and helping volunteers. The people at the event noted that they didn’t know who she was. Back in 2019, both Meghan and Prince Harry paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand and left flowers outside New Zealand House in London along with a note. This is not out of character.
“She was just really sweet,” Georjean Burnell, one of the volunteers told BuzzFeed News. “She just kind of walked in with her [security] crew and started putting ice waters in the bucket with us and laying out chips for the people who were needing snacks before and after donating. […] It’s funny, we didn’t even know it was her until after she left and now we’re so sad. I mean, to be honest, we thought she was our neighbor.”
Still, the conspiracy theories have been floated, saying that she brought a Netflix film crew with her. “Meghan did NOT bring any cameras, Netflix or otherwise, to the community center when she dropped off her donation,” Ellie Hall a senior reporter at Buzzfeed clarified on Twitter. “She AVOIDED the news cameras and reporters that were already at the community center. Volunteers told @kadiagoba she snuck into the kitchen through a back door.”
It was not a photo-op, it was just humanity. What strikes me is the wanton assumption of bad faith—that she brought a camera crew when right now the tragedy happening is a huge new moment and reporters are already there. Why shouldn’t someone with a huge amount of money and privilege uses it to do something meaningful? But I guess hating women is easier than using critical thinking skills. Seems to be a reoccurring theme.
(via Buzzfeed, featured image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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