relationships

Meghan Markle and Serena Williams’ Husband Alexis Ohanian Talk About the Hate They’ve Both Received For Being In Interracial Relationships

Photos: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Meghan Markle continues to shine a spotlight on the difficult issues that she experiences from being a woman of color in the public eye.

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex sat down for a “Time 100” talk with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian about diversity in the tech industry. Ohanian, it should be noted, is also the husband of one of Markle’s closest friends, tennis superstar Serena Williams.

While the talk was supposed to be about “Building a Better Tech Industry”–a discussion about the importance of the “role that social media and technology companies play in society”–the conservation soon took a personal detour. Ohanian and Markle bonded over the vitriol they’ve both received online from being in interracial relationships.

The conversation started with Ohanian discussing his decision to step down from Reddit’s board of directors in June–a decision he called an act of “protest”. He asked, instead, for his place to be filled by a Black candidate. Ohanian made the decision in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement that was sweeping the nation at the time.

Ohanian explained to Markle that the vitriolic criticism he received from certain corners of the internet simply assured him that he was doing the right thing. “I just remarked recently on Twitter that given that I am still getting hate mail about [my resignation,] I knew I made the right choice.”

Markle praised Ohanian for “leading by example” before adding her own experience. “I’m sorry to hear that you’re still receiving hate mail. I know we have shared experiences in being in interracial marriages and you know raising small children who are of mixed race and how that plays into that.”

Recently, Markle has been vocal about how she’s been on the receiving end of both racist media attacks and incessant internet “trolling” over her relationship with Prince Harry. In an interview with the “Teenage Therapy” podcast, she opened up about the effect that the constant attacks have on her mental health.

“I’m told that in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female…it’s almost unsurvivable,” she said. She then added, “I don’t care if you’re 15 or you’re 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.”

Both Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, are actively trying to fight against online bullying and harassments through philanthropic efforts. Recently, Prince Harry called hatred in the online world a “global crisis”.

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Meghan Markle Reveals She Had a Miscarriage Earlier This Year

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Meghan Markle Reveals She Had a Miscarriage Earlier This Year

Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In a heartbreaking essay titled “The Losses We Share” written for The New York Times, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, revealed that she had a miscarriage earlier this year. It was not public knowledge that she was pregnant.

The essay describes where she was and what she was doing the moment it happened.

“It was a July morning that began as ordinarily as any other day: Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins. Find that missing sock. Pick up the rogue crayon that rolled under the table. Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib,” she wrote.

“After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

Markle went on to describe the “almost unbearable grief” that she and her husband, Prince Harry, experienced in the aftermath of her miscarriage.

“Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”

The essay goes on to talk about the trauma of loss that so many have experienced in 2020–first through the coronavirus pandemic, then through witnessing on onslaught of racial violence in a tumultuous summer, then through an acrimonious, divisive election cycle.

“This year has brought so many of us to our breaking points,” she wrote. “Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating.”

She ended the piece on a hopeful note, describing the bittersweet unity that humankind is experiencing in the face of such shared hardships.

“We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes–sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another. Are we OK? We will be.”

Meghan Markle’s is now part of the growing movement of female public figures destigmatizing pregnancy loss.

In September, Chrissy Teigen revealed on social media that she was going to the hospital due to pregnancy complications. Hours later, she shared with the world: “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real?”

Teigen went on to write an essay on Medium about why she took pictures of her pregnancy loss experience and chose to share them with the world: “I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like,” she said. “These photos are only for the people who need them.”

Teigen went on to ask women who have had similar experiences to hers to not be afraid of sharing their stories with the world: “The worst part is knowing there are so many women that won’t get these quiet moments of joy from strangers. I beg you to please share your stories and to please be kind to those pouring their hearts out. Be kind in general, as some won’t pour them out at all.”

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Prince Harry Says Being Married to Meghan Markle Taught Him About Unconscious Bias: ‘I Had No Idea it Existed’

Things That Matter

Prince Harry Says Being Married to Meghan Markle Taught Him About Unconscious Bias: ‘I Had No Idea it Existed’

Photo by Rosa Woods – Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry continues to shed his upper crust image by tackling important social issues head-on. On Monday, the Duke of Sussex sat down with UK Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson for a conversation with GQ. In the conversation, Prince Harry admitted that he “had no idea” unconscious bias existed before he experienced it firsthand through the treatment of his wife, Meghan Markle.

The GQ conversation focused on hot-button topics like structural racism, unconscious bias, and the responsibility of white people to educate themselves on the aforementioned topics.

Prince Harry started the conversation of by commending Hutchinson for his activist worth and adding that there’s still “lots of work to do” when it comes to dismantling racism worldwide. The conversation turned personal when the two began to discuss unconscious bias, with Hutchinson broaching the subject.

“There are a lot of people who either don’t think that [racism] exists or they don’t want change and they’re fighting against it. And I don’t know what these people are afraid of,” said Hutchinson.

Prince Harry became personal, revealing that his background as the literal Prince of England had made him ignorant to the widespread nature of racism before.

“Unconscious bias… having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed.” He then admitted: “Sad as it is to say, it took me many, many years to realize it [existed], especially then living a day or a week in my wife [Meghan]’s shoes.”

Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating in 2016, Markle has been on the receiving end of vicious media attacks–many of them fueled by racism.

At the time, Prince Harry condemned the British press for their treatment of Markle. He released a statement decrying the “racial undertones of comment pieces” and the “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls” that Markle has to deal with. Recently, Meghan spoke about the hate her and Harry receive for being in an interracial marriage.

Prince Harry described unconscious bias to Hutchinson as largely beyond people’s control, but worth addressing once you’re aware of it. “No one’s blaming anybody,” Prince Harry said.

“You can’t really point fingers, especially when it comes to unconscious bias. But once you realize or you feel a little bit uncomfortable, then the onus is on you to go out and educate yourself, because ignorance is no longer an excuse.”

Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been on the receiving end of criticism for their vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their video campaigns urging people to vote in the upcoming election.

About dismantling structural racism, Prince Harry said, “It’s going to take every single one of us to really change things and anyone that’s pushing against it really needs to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.”

He continued: “This isn’t black versus white…This is a global movement. The train has left the station. If you’re not on it now, then get on it because there’s so much that we can do.”

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