CNN’s Don Lemon chimed in Monday on Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, commenting that he wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised by the racism the couple had encountered from members of the royal family and the U.K. media.
“I don’t think Oprah, I don’t think anyone who watched it ― especially any person of color ― is surprised that there’s racism” in the British royal family, Lemon said. “That is what the monarchy is based on - heredity, hierarchy, a caste system, bloodlines.”
Lemon argued that “the whole institution is built on a racist structure,” and, considering such a systemically prejudiced system, it was no wonder that the royal family had been concerned about the potentially dark skin of Archie, the child of Meghan and Harry.
The couple told Winfrey that this, along with the “bigoted” U.K. press, had contributed to their decision to move to America, adding that Harry’s family had thus far been unwilling to apologize for any role they had played in driving the pair overseas.
“There should not be a ‘Oh, my God, the British family is racist’ ― of course they’re racist,” Lemon sad. “That’s what the entire monarchy is built on ― the racism, the family that is supposed to be in that only by birth. And so far by birth, it’s only been white royals on the British throne.”
The CNN host added he was also unsurprised at Harry’s statement that he had been unaware of the prejudices in his family until forced to confront them with his mixed-race wife.
“That part was not surprising, because as we always say, that is what privilege is always about,” Lemon said, adding, “If you don’t have to deal with it, then it doesn’t exist for you.”
Lemon brought up his own marriage to Tim Malone, a “white man from the east end of Long Island,” pointing out that only through marrying a “Black man from the South” had he truly come to a reckoning regarding racism.
“Of course, I’m not surprised that Harry was introduced to racism through his wife and he felt it in a personal way,” Lemon said. “That’s how it happens.... Harry has a Black child and a Black wife now, so it is personal.”
See Lemon’s comments below.