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Racism in the British media may have been a driving force behind Meghan Markle’s ‘step back’ from the royal family

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    • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s “step back” from the royal family means they no longer have to cooperate with the Royal Rota system that allows royal reporters from British newspapers to attend and report on the royal family’s engagements.
  • The couple wrote on their website that they “believe in a free, strong and open media industry, which upholds accuracy and fosters inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance.”
  • It’s common knowledge that Meghan Markle has dealt with racism from the British press, and Prince Harry even publicly acknowledged this in a statement when they started dating in 2016.
  • Although Markle and Prince Harry’s new media regulations mean they’ll get to handpick the reporters that cover their events from now on, it will likely take a while to see a complete change in the way the British press writes about them.
  • Kerry Daynes, a Consultant Forensic Psychologist who often appears in the media, says she has been asked questions that are purposefully designed to achieve a negative and misleading response about Markle.
  • “I have been asked leading questions along the lines of ‘can you confirm that isolating someone from their family is a tactic used by controlling partners?'” she told Insider.
  • Daynes added that she believes this to be a tactic driven by “racist values.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Meghan Markle has dealt with racism in the British press since before she and Prince Harry even confirmed their relationship to the world.

In 2016, Prince Harry highlighted and foreshadowed the treatment that was to follow the Duchess of Sussex throughout her royal career, calling out the press for the “racial undertones” of articles written about the then-actress.

prince harry meghan markle

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in South Africa.
Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

 

“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” said a spokesperson for Prince Harry at the time. “Some of this has been very public — 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.”

Two years later, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that, as part of their “step back” from the royal family, they will no longer be co-operating with the Royal Rota.

This is a system which allows a rotation of royal reporters from British newspapers to attend and report on the royal family’s engagements.

The UK outlets involved in this system include The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Times, and The Sun, as noted on the Sussex Royal website.

Markle is often subjected to double standards by the press

Although the couple did not directly cite racism as a reason for the change, they did write on their website that they “believe in a free, strong and open media industry, which upholds accuracy and fosters inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance.”

And there’s no denying that some of these publications have been accused of double standards when it comes to how the duchess is described in comparison to her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

kate middleton and meghan markle wimbledon

 

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex attended Wimbledon together in 2018.
Clive Mason/Getty Images

 

“Over and over again, the press tears Meghan apart for crossing her legs, saying it’s a breach of protocol,” royal commentator Kristen Meinzer told Insider. “But do a quick Google image search of ‘Queen crossing legs,’ ‘Camilla crossing legs,’ ‘Di crossing legs,’ etc., and you’ll find dozens if not hundreds of photos of royals at official events crossing their legs.”

She added that Markle wouldn’t “be facing any of these double standards if she were white.”

Asked about Markle and Harry’s decision to leave the royal family — and rota system — behind, Meinzer said: “I can see where they would be fed up with how things currently stand.

“I understand their desire to escape the Royal Rota system — which essentially gives equal weight and credence to a handful of legitimate publications and several gossip rags.

“The UK tabloid press has been relentlessly racist and sexist toward Meghan —  a fact that her husband, the women MPs of Parliament, and many legitimate press outlets (including Insider) acknowledge,” she added.

There’s still a long way to go before these issues are solved, but Harry and Markle are taking important steps forward

However, this type of behavior is owed to far more than just headlines.

Ayesha Hazarika, editor at the Evening Standard, says many women have been asked as guests on live TV to debate racism in the British media, only to be told “it’s all in our heads.”

“Shout out to all my sisters of color who have been summoned on national broadcast to be told there’s no racism & it’s all in our heads & then have to deal with the fallout here,” she wrote on Twitter.

Kerry Daynes, a Consultant Forensic Psychologist who often appears in the media, says she has been asked questions that are purposefully designed to achieve a negative and misleading response about Markle.

“I have been asked (by British, more right-wing media) to comment on Harry and Meghan in my capacity as an expert in coercive control,” Daynes told Insider.

“I have been asked leading questions along the lines of ‘can you confirm that isolating someone from their family is a tactic used by controlling partners?'”

Daynes added that she thinks racism could be a factor behind this behavior.

“I’m not an opinion-for-hire and am certainly not prepared to make wild and unsubstantiated speculations,” she added. “I think I have a professional and personal responsibility not to get involved in what I see as mass media bullying.

“I am sure that this is underpinned by a number of factors, not least anger and resentment towards Meghan Markle — who is seen as an outsider and ‘other’ to us. I’m sure that there are racist values driving this in some quarters,” she said.

Although it’s unlikely Harry and Markle will be able to put an end to stories like these, their new media regulations mean they will get to handpick the organizations they work with from now on.

harry and meghan in cape town with fans

 

On the media section of their website, the duke and duchess write that they plan to “engage with grassroots media organizations and young, up-and-coming journalists.”

They added that they will invite specialist media to specific events, as well as “provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events.”

“This new chapter in their lives will allow them to work more closely with grassroots and legitimate press outlets,” Meinzer told Insider.

“It will allow them to use their talents, ambitions, and hearts in bigger, broader ways. And I hope it also means that they’ll be happier and face less abuse than they have up until now.”

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Pitt Meadows city council uses new social media use guidelines to speak out against divisive online activity – Maple Ridge News

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The City of Pitt Meadows staff put forward a new report to council during their online meeting Tuesday (June 2) outlining a new social media use policy.

Director of corporate services, Stephanie St. Jean, who presented the report, said staff made a revision to the policy to make it more concise and provide it with a ‘more positive tone.’

“What remains is a straightforward framework intended to guide council’s use of social media,” she said.

Council used the discussion of the report to point out how difficult it can be to sit as an elected official in the age of digital harassment, and pointed out how important it was to rise above the fray with their own use of the various platforms in order to set an example.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows council’s social media policy blasted

Councillor Anena Simpson pointed out the majority of her interactions with the public online have been perfectly pleasant.

“Ninety-nine per cent of our community plays fair and they fight fair, even when there’s challenges,” she said.

“There’s of course always a very small number who don’t,” she added. “Who are aggressive and intentionally want to harm others and this is a real shame and the costs are very, very high for this as it affects those who want to be involved in our civic engagement.”

Coun. Bob Meachen agreed with his colleague and pointed out some of the hurdles he has had to face as a first time councillor.

“I took on the role of councillor to help my community… and I expected to become recipient of some criticism and that’s all fair.

“I welcome the feedback of this community and even criticism that perhaps goes against something I’ve agreed to…but what I don’t appreciate are some of the inflammatory and misleading statements that are aimed at – frankly – hurting me personally.”

Meachen said he tries to comport himself online as he does in person and expressed hope the new policy would encourage his colleagues and their critics to take the higher road.

“We’re only here to manage what we can manage on a personal level and I think that this new policy certainly helps us get there, and makes it clear as to what the policy of this council is.”

READ MORE: Spouses not in Pitt Meadows social media policy

Coun. Nicole MacDonald went into the dual nature of social media.

“It really is a double-edged sword,” she said.

“So much good is done through social media these days… it’s such an effective means of communication for us to inform the community what’s going on.”

“However it can also be a tool of toxicity, negativity, bullying, misinformation, lies and defamation.

She shared some of the negative experiences she has had to deal with since running for election in 2018.

Her character, integrity, and business and family have all been attacked, she said.

“I’ve received anonymous and threatening emails, I’ve had lies spread by a handful of people on public social media sites, and [I’ve had] my character maligned with lies and name-calling on an anonymous website.

“But I have not once engaged back and I believe this is important to share with the public.

“I signed up for this, and like I have in previous roles in my life, I have a thick skin.”

MacDonald said she is more worried about future prospective councillors being turned off the role.

“I don’t want it to deter others to from running and being a part of local government and standing up.”

To close the discussion, Mayor Dingwall weighed in on the matter.

“It is OK to provide critical and fair comments and to voice complete disagreement to a decision or a position, but in the age of social media it is easy to cross way over the line from critical and fair comment to bullying, harassment and defamation.

“Unfortunately a very small handful continue to be mean-spirited and spiteful with a relentless onslaught of negative or inaccurate misinformation that appears intent on hurting myself or my reputation, my colleagues or the good work this council is doing.”

Dingwall said he has blocked some individuals from his personal social media accounts.

“I’m choosing not to invest precious and positive energy worrying what they think of me or their negativity.

“I’m investing my energy where it needs to be as the mayor of this wonderful city. There is much more for this council to accomplish and I know our focus is on the community and leaving it in a better position for generations to come.”



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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LA Galaxy to meet with Katai after wife's social media posts – TSN

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LOS ANGELES — The LA Galaxy will meet with new Serbian winger Aleksandar Katai on Thursday to discuss a series of alarming social media posts by his wife.

Tea Katai made the since-deleted posts on her Instagram story this week, the Galaxy confirmed Wednesday night in a statement that called the posts “racist and violent.”

The team says its meeting with Katai will “determine next steps.”

Tea Katai’s posts included a profane call, written in Serbian, to “kill” protesters. Another called protesters “disgusting cattle,” also in Serbian.

The 29-year-old Katai joined the Galaxy in December after spending his first two MLS seasons with the Chicago Fire. He has made nine appearances for Serbia’s national team, including three last year in Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

“The LA Galaxy strongly condemned the social posts and requested their immediate removal,” the statement continued. “The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality. The LA Galaxy stand with communities of colour, and especially the Black community, in the protests and fight against systemic racism, social inequality, bigotry and violence.”

Katai signed with the Galaxy as a free agent on Dec. 31. He scored 18 goals in 62 appearances over the previous two seasons for the Fire, who acquired him from Alavés in Spain’s La Liga.

Katai got off to an impressive start to his MLS career with 12 league goals in his debut season for the Fire, but his production slumped last year, leading Chicago to decline its team option for 2020.

He spent the first eight years of his pro career in Europe, including 69 games with Serbian powerhouse Red Star Belgrade.

Katai started the first two games of the current MLS season for the Galaxy, who expected him to become a key part of their attack alongside Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and Cristian Pavón.

MLS play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several Galaxy players returned to the club’s training complex two weeks ago to begin individual workouts and rehabilitation.

MLS and its players’ union agreed to a six-year labour contract on Wednesday. The teams are expected to return to competition with a five-week tournament in Florida this summer.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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LA Galaxy to meet with Katai after wife’s racist social media posts – Sportsnet.ca

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LOS ANGELES — The LA Galaxy will meet with new Serbian winger Aleksandar Katai on Thursday to discuss a series of alarming social media posts by his wife.

Tea Katai made the since-deleted posts on her Instagram story this week, the Galaxy confirmed Wednesday night in a statement that called the posts “racist and violent.”

The team says its meeting with Katai will “determine next steps.”

Tea Katai’s posts included a profane call, written in Serbian, to “kill” protesters. Another called protesters “disgusting cattle,” also in Serbian.

The 29-year-old Katai joined the Galaxy in December after spending his first two MLS seasons with the Chicago Fire. He has made nine appearances for Serbia’s national team, including three last year in Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

“The LA Galaxy strongly condemned the social posts and requested their immediate removal,” the statement continued. “The LA Galaxy stands firmly against racism of any kind, including that which suggests violence or seeks to demean the efforts of those in pursuit of racial equality. The LA Galaxy stand with communities of colour, and especially the Black community, in the protests and fight against systemic racism, social inequality, bigotry and violence.”

Katai signed with the Galaxy as a free agent on Dec. 31. He scored 18 goals in 62 appearances over the previous two seasons for the Fire, who acquired him from Alaves in Spain’s La Liga.

Katai got off to an impressive start to his MLS career with 12 league goals in his debut season for the Fire, but his production slumped last year, leading Chicago to decline its team option for 2020.

He spent the first eight years of his pro career in Europe, including 69 games with Serbian powerhouse Red Star Belgrade.

Katai started the first two games of the current MLS season for the Galaxy, who expected him to become a key part of their attack alongside Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Cristian Pavon.

MLS play was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several Galaxy players returned to the club’s training complex two weeks ago to begin individual workouts and rehabilitation.

MLS and its players’ union agreed to a six-year labour contract on Wednesday. The teams are expected to return to competition with a five-week tournament in Florida this summer.

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