In 2019, London Mayor Sadiq Khan was targeted by Donald Trump in a series of hateful, stupid, fascist tweets. Trump referred to Khan as a “stone-cold loser” and various other dumb sh-t. Khan barely engaged with Trump, merely keeping it to the point that history would not look kindly on the Johnson government or the royal family for hosting Trump’s extravagant state visit. Trump felt comfortable insulting Khan because Khan is a Pakistani-British and a practicing Muslim. I bring all of that up because I think many non-British people probably just consider Khan someone with liberal/progressive politics who embraces inclusion and diversity in a time where there’s a rise in white supremacy across the board. I’m not here to debate his politics – I’m not British and I’m not a Londoner. But I do think what he said recently about the Duchess of Sussex, the Windsor klan, racism and diversity is worth discussing, especially since Khan has likely been targeted with a similar racist, hateful energy.
Sadiq Khan today said the allegations that a member of the royal family raised concerns about Harry and Meghan’s son “beggared belief”. The Mayor of London described the Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as “heartbreaking” and “distressing”.
Asked on LBC if he had ever had conversations about the potential skin colour of a baby with parents from different ethnicities, Mr Khan replied: “Never, no, and I’ve got members of my family who are mixed race so it beggars belief. It is something that I’m sure the royal family are looking into…I’ll make this point, by the way, I’ve been to Grenfell many many times but I particularly remember going to Grenfell community in the days after Meghan had been there and I’ve got to tell you she touched people’s lives in ways nobody had.”
The Mayor of London said it was possible to be a fan of both sides of the royal family, adding: “This black and white stuff is not good in relation to you either like somebody and hate the other person. It is really sad what’s happened.”
Asked what he thought of the interview, he told LBC: “It was heartbreaking actually. You’ve got a family where there is a big rift. Some of the things that Meghan and Harry said were quite distressing. At the end of the day, it is possible to someone who is a fan of Her Majesty the Queen, somebody who thinks highly of Charles and William and to also think highly of Harry and Meghan and be heartbroken that there is a family having real strains and struggles. As many families do.”
He also said Harry and William speaking out about their own mental health gave him the confidence to do so too.
[From The Evening Standard]
I think he threaded that needle in a thoughtful way, and in a way which should have been emulated by the actual Windsor klan – you know, concern for Harry and Meghan, an acknowledgement that what they’ve been through is tough and distressing in a larger sense. Why is the Mayor of London’s response better than the Johnson government’s response or the Windsors’ response? I wonder.
Plus, Khan is making the point that Meghan in particular was able to reach out to people and communities of color in a way the rest of the family would not and cannot. It reminds me of the story, years ago, which was basically like… the Grenfell tragedy was an issue Prince William “wanted” as future future king. He wanted to show up twice a year and put on his Concerned Face with victims of the Grenfell fire and get credit for “helping.” And then Meghan walked in and she stole his thunder. The Grenfell women loved her and saw her as a sister, as someone they could relate to, and Meghan began putting together the cookbook before William even had time to throw a tantrum about it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.
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