Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed in an Oprah interview on Sunday that part of the reason they left their official royal duties and moved to the United States was to escape the racism that they faced in the United Kingdom, some of it from the royal family itself. At least one member of the family voiced concerns that their child’s skin would be too dark and others stated that they didn’t wish for the child to hold the title of prince or princess. The stress and scrutiny grew so bad that Markle considered suicide for a time.
Rather than offering sympathy for the couple, American conservatives have been lining up to attack them in some bizarre, instinctive need to defend the bigotries of a hereditary monarchy — the same unjust institution that they claim to adore America for unshackling itself from in 1776.
This detestable inclination, which seems to boil down to them claiming without evidence that Prince Harry and Markle are lying about their experiences, seems to stem from a desire to deny that racism exists at all. According to Republicans, the British monarchy, historically a force for empire and the bigotries it breeds, simply cannot have racist members because racists don’t actually exist.
Yesterday, former Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller weighed in in predictably terrible fashion and now today Donald Trump Jr. has added his voice to the rising cacophony. Out of power and with nothing to offer the American people beyond grievances and more tax cuts for the super-rich, conservatives are relying more and more on culture war battles to remain relevant.
The son of the disgraced former president shared a video of himself in which he alleged that Meghan Markle courted fame and so deserves the backlash she’s receiving right now. The argument was about as compelling and coherent of one as a knuckle-dragging primate like Donald Trump Jr. can muster, and showcased his truly weird descent into aggressively mimicking his father’s voice, speaking style, and rhetorical mannerisms. Every new video he releases shows him embracing this new identity more and more, perhaps because he thinks it will help him launch a political career as his father’s heir apparent.
In the clip, Don Jr. insisted he “couldn’t possibly care less” about this story, before then proceeding to go on a lengthy rant about it. The attention span-challenged Don admitted that he didn’t watch the interview and is getting most of his perception of it from Twitter, an immediate sign that his opinions on the topic can be dismissed out of hand. He soon devolved into a circuitous recounting of the time he met the royal family, which consisted alternatingly of him saying how starstruck he was by the royals and how he usually prefers normal people.
Substantively, Donald Trump Jr. has nothing to offer us on the Prince Harry/Meghan Markle front. Stylistically, the video is fascinating as documentation of his disturbing transformation into a twisted little homunculus of his father.
My take on the Meghan Markle/Prince Harry hostage video. You’re gonna wanna watch this. https://t.co/DAyTMphnd0
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 9, 2021
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.