Campaign to target ‘legacies’ of empire and racism on UK Campuses.
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, is backing a campaign to “decolonize” the British curriculum by getting more women and ethnic minorities to join the faculties instead of “male, pale, and stale” professors, the UK newspapers report.
Getting endorsement from the newly-minted Duchess of Sussex is more than a publicity coup for the leftist campaigners who are calling to purge Britain of its distinct cultural and historic legacy by replacing it with their politically correct worldview. The newest member of the royal family has a great sway over the academic policy making since she is the Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, with over 500 member institutions in the UK and former British colonies.
The campaign backed by Markle “aims to ‘confront the legacies of the empire’ and racism on campuses and promot[e] black and female thinkers instead of ‘male, pale and stale’ ones,” Daily Mail explained.
“Like much of our establishment, our universities are too male, pale and stale and do not represent the communities that they serve or modern Britain,” said Angela Rayner, the Labour politician and a prominent campaigner for the movement. If the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour comes to power, the government will take measures to change the make-up of the university staff across the country, Rayner promised.
The UK-based Daily Express reported Markle’s decision to back the initiative:
Meghan Markle has voiced her support for a campaign aiming to “decolonise the curriculum” by ensuring there are more black professors working in universities in her pioneering political intervention since joining the royal family.
The movement wants to confront the “male, pale and stale” professors and ensure there is more diversity among teachers in higher education. Data from 2018 by Equality and Higher education staff statistical report showed out of 14,205 male professors, more than 12,000 were white and just 90 were black. In 2016, Oxford University students campaigned to have the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the 19th Century colonialist and slave owner, removed from a university college.
One of the campaigners said Rhodes was “responsible for all manner of stealing land, massacring tens of thousands of black Africans, imposing a regime of unspeakable labour exploitation in the diamond mines and devising proto-apartheid policies”.
When the Duchess of Sussex became Patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, she made it clear she was surprised at the low diversity of professors in the UK.
The campaign is part of a larger political push by the left-wing activists to reshape British society. In recent years, these campaigners have been calling for the tearing down of British monuments “glorifying” slavery and imperialism. The agitators took aim at London’s landmark Nelson’s Column, which was built in the memory of the famous nineteenth-century naval commander Admiral Horatio Nelson. They smeared the country’s finest naval hero as a “white supremacist” and an enabler of the transatlantic slave trade.
A group of activists at Oxford University demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes, a Victorian-era industrialist, from the campus. The statute at Oriel college represented Britain’s “imperial blind spot,” they declared. Despite getting support from the mainstream media, such agitations have been met with strong opposition from the British public. The much-feted #RhodesMustFall movement failed after popular backlash forced the college’s governing body to reject the demand.
Last year, the UK teacher union chief urged schools to replace works of “dead white men” with a more “diverse” curriculum. The current curriculum focused too much on classics and neglected “black and women writers,” said Mary Bousted, head of the UK’s National Education Union. Reading ethnically diverse writers was more important for children than works by Shakespeare, whom she called “an intensely conservative writer.”
Markle, a former American actress and a self-described feminist, has never kept her left-wing political views a secret. “Markle has previously used her celebrity to back Hillary Clinton, lament Brexit and attack Donald Trump,” the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian correctly notes.
In the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, she hit out at then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, calling him “misogynistic and divisive.” In a 2016 interview, she endorsed Hillary Clinton “not because she’s a woman, but because Trump has made it easy to see that you don’t really want that kind of world that he’s painting.” Ahead of the June 2016 Brexit vote, she posted a pro-EU meme on her Instagram account, saying, “If EU leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me.”
Needless to say, Markle’s minor celebrity status didn’t help Hillary win the presidential race, or the EU win the UK referendum. While her activism may win her a few brownie point with the liberal media, it will alienate the conservative base, the bedrock of British monarchy.
Meghan Markle on President Trump
[Cover image via YouTube]
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