Meghan Markle, Amazon, and The Worlds Most Obvious Thing
Let’s start with The World’s Most Obvious Thing.
America fought to the death to get out of the British Monarchy. We waged a war against the Royal Family.
Let’s add clarity. The British Royal Family oversaw as brutal an expansion of Empire as there as in all of history. An empire built upon racism, torture, slavery, and ethnic based domination.
Let’s make it crystal. The British Royal FAMILY did this. Not a club, not an association, not elected officials, a literal family. One single family. By blood line and by indoctrination into what those family’s values are and ALWAYS have been.
I generally avoid the term “un-American” because it’s cheap and usually inaccurate. Many things can be American, it is a place of free ideas. There are views and political ideologies I find abhorrent, but they are not “un-American” simply because I dislike them. America is the place where someone’s allowed to have them.
But obsequiousness towards, honoring or adoration of, the British Monarchy is, by LITERAL definition, un-American.
They represent everything America stands against.
Equally obvious but far less clear, the American Revolution was a LABOR MOVEMENT. It was an act of unionizing. Again literally, we created a union.
America was founded by colonizers. These colonizers, the people sent by the British empire to do the colonizing, found themselves saying wait a minute, here we are doing all this work of colonizing, and the boss man is taking a big cut without giving us any say over our working conditions.
So, they unionized. I am flat historically outraged that unionizing is portrayed as some political thing, some leftist thing, or even some modern thing.
America was born from labor representatives seeking a greater say in their labor agreement. The rally cry was “No Taxation Without Representation,” not “No Taxes.” The Founders wanted a seat on the board. They wanted a piece of the action; they wanted regulations, fair practices and a more balanced accounting system.
So, they got together and pooled their position to create leverage. They unionized. “Hey King George, you know how you told Virginia to go screw, well now it’s all of us. Pony up or shut up.”
What followed was a failed collective bargaining attempt. Ben Franklin was in London trying to broker a deal. The revolutionaries were down to compromise. They weren’t cowboys; they were businessmen and colonizers. They were arguing for percentage points and power; they were okay with the status quo as long as they got bumped up the corporate ladder. But the Royal Family has no ladder. The King said no deal, I take what I want, and the Founders grabbed their pitchforks and rifles, locked the gates, and took the whole damn factory for themselves.
There is nothing more American than a union. Again, LITERALLY. The American Revolution was a union movement, that is what it was.
And yes, some of those Founders stole the life blood and labor of other human beings, then complained about the King stealing from them. Profound, appalling hypocrisy is also part of our national make-up.
Which is how it’s possible any positive sentiment remains for the one of the most tyrannical, racist, murderous families in the history of the word. And how it’s possible there’s even a hiccup of hesitation, let alone outright resistance, to unionizing our national marketplace (Amazon/King Bezos).
And in the way a picture speaks a thousand words, Meghan Markle symbolizes this contemporary American moment. As we emerge from the crucible of the MeToo movement and the George Floyd movement, she is a woman of color standing up against the blunt power and racism of an entire country’s revered monarchy. She is demanding that her humanity be seen and heard where tradition would silence and slander her. She is standing up to the illusion that the past must be held onto for the sake of the past. She is a symbol honoring the core principle of America: tradition alone doesn’t make it right.
Our own institutions of power, those born from the Monarchy itself who having suckled off the same teat of racism and power, have finally been dragged into modernity. Statues of slavers have come down, men of power face consequences for their treatment of woman.
But America is not yet free from the vestiges of a system where power requires no merit, where wealth is beyond the reach of law. We too must take another step forward, as boldly as Harry and Meghan have taken theirs.
And what does she reference as the model for the new way, what stands as the beacon opposing the cold cruelty of the Monarchy? The union.
The union as a bulwark against the ruthless and Machiavellian dictates of the corrupt. Union as a means by which to counter the power of wealth and entitlement; union as a way to build community standards and foster human decency where the old institutions would mock and bully it.
We are the American Union. We are at our best when we are pulling ourselves further and further from the Monarchical model of entitlement through wealth and tradition.