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Meghan and Harry: Tear Down 'Structural Racism'

Royal couple pen op-ed for UK's Black History Month
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2020 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – October is Black History Month in the United Kingdom, and even though they don't live across the pond anymore, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are offering input. In an op-ed for the Evening Standard, the couple revealed their list of "BHM Next Gen Trailblazers," individuals "recognized for challenging prejudice and their positive contribution to British society." They note that while "unquestionable progress" has occurred in the 30 or so years since Black History Month officially started in the UK, "in many ways sufficient progress has not been achieved." The two add: "For as long as structural racism exists, there will be generations of young people of color who do not start their lives with the same equality of opportunity as their white peers. And for as long as that continues, untapped potential will never get to be realized."

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A rep for Harry tells the BBC that "the Duke believes structural racism exists in the UK, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees with that." The rep was quick to add that Harry "is not saying that Britain itself is structurally racist or that Britain is racist." In an accompanying interview, held with the couple at their new home in Santa Barbara, Calif., via Zoom, Harry explained how he himself woke up to issues around racism when he met Markle, who's biracial. "You know, when you go in to a shop with your children and you only see white dolls, do you even think: 'That's weird, there is not a black doll there?'" Markle, meanwhile, addressed the Black Lives Matter protests that proliferated after the killing of George Floyd. While noting the rallies may seem "inflammatory" to some, Markle said that "when there is just peaceful protest and when there is the intention of just wanting community and just wanting the recognition of equality, then that is a beautiful thing." (Read more Prince Harry stories.)

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