British Royal Family

WATCH: Unearthed video of Meghan Markle revealing her own experiences with racism goes viral as #BlackLivesMatter movement sweeps the globe

''Your race is part of what defines you.''

By Rebecca Sullivan
As a biracial woman, Meghan Markle has always fought for racial equality, and for years has been the subject of racist attacks by the tabloid press and royal critics on social media.
Now, as race riots in America reach breaking point, a video of the former Suits actress speaking openly about her own experiences with racism has been unearthed and gone viral.
Back in 2012, Meghan participated in an anti-racism campaign called I Wont Stand For Racism. As part of the initiative, she was filmed in a clip where she talks about growing up as the daughter of a black mother and a white father in Los Angeles.
"My name's Meghan Markle and I'm here because I think it's a really important campaign to be a part of," Meghan began in the video, which has now resurfaced online.
"For me, I think it hits a really personal note. I'm bi-racial, most people can't tell what I'm mixed with and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall. And so some of the slurs that I've heard or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it's just hit me in a really strong way.
"And then, you know, a couple of years ago I heard someone call my mum the N word. So I think for me, beyond being personally affected by racism, just to see the landscape of what our country is like right now, and certainly the world, and to want things to be better."
Meghan went on to explain how she is often treated differently because people aren't able to identify her racial background.
"Quite honestly, your race is part of what defines you. I think what shifts things is that the world really treats you based on how you look.
"Certain people don't look at me and see me as a black woman or a biracial woman. They treat me differently, I think, than they would if they knew what I was mixed with, and I think that that is ... I don't know, it can be struggle as much as it can be a good thing depending on the people that you're dealing with."
Meghan Markle, pictured in 2012, taking part in the I Won't Stand For Racism campaign. Image: Instagram
Meghan was born and raised in Los Angeles, but spent a lot of her pre-royal years in Canada, where she filmed Suits. She explained that experience opened her eyes to the racism prevalent in other cities and countries around the world.
"Leaving LA [to work on Suits in Toronto] was sort of like leaving this bubble where I was used to everything, and had been exposed to everything, except for a closed mindedness that I experienced when I traveled outside of where I was from.
"And I think that in doing that it just really opened my eyes to a mentality that still exists that I thought was backdated to the days of when my grandfather moved our family from Cleveland to LA, and they drove across the country and to stop and get food, whatever kind of place they were going to, and they had to go round the back to get food for the family. You know, I thought that was really isolated to those days that we were past, and sadly they're not."
In a poignant ending remark, Meghan said she hoped by the time she had children herself, race relations would have come a long way.
"I am really proud of my heritage on both sides, I'm really proud of where I've come from and where I'm going.
"But yeah, I hope that by the time I have children, that people are even more open-minded to how things are changing and that having a mixed world is what it's all about. I mean certainly, it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting."
Throughout her entire involvement with the royal family, Meghan has faced racist attacks from the press and on social media. Image: Getty
While Meghan is yet to comment publicly on the latest wave of racial unrest in her home country, one of the official royal organisations she oversees with Prince Harry and his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, tweeted a message of support overnight.
"Young people are vital voices in the fight against injustice and racism around the world," the organisation wrote on Twitter yesterday.
"As a global community of young leaders we stand together in pursuit of fairness and a better way forward. Silence is not an option. #BlackLivesMatter."
It's understood some of the racist treatment Meghan received at the hands of the British press was one of the reasons behind her and Prince Harry's decision to step back as senior members of the royal family in March.
It's a battle the couple have been fighting for years, throughout their entire relationship.
Back in 2016, when the pair first started dating, Harry released an extraordinary statement via a spokesperson, defending Meghan.
"His girlfriend Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment ... the smear on the front page of a national newspaper, the racial undertones of comment pieces' and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments," the statement said.
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her ... This is not a game - it is her life and his."
Race riots continue to sweep the US this week as thousands of protesters turned out across the nation to voice their anger at several African American deaths at the hands of police officers.
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