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The Boy Who Would (Wouldn’t) Be King

Many of you this past week tuned into the Oprah Winfrey special. I am not much of a television watcher, so I missed it when it aired. However, my son was so upset about some of what was shared, I thought I should listen to it in its entirety.

I typically try not to comment on pop culture; however, I realize that a modern-day monarchy that exist, is in and of itself a system of institutional racism, perpetuated by those who believe in a caste system of power.

While the institution itself may not believe that it is racist, it is by far a discriminatory system that does not allow “outsiders” to enter among its ranks, unless their bloodlines are somehow pure.

I am not sure about anyone else but that is quite a discriminatory system. How have we become so low as humans that we tend to believe one’s heritage, skin color, religion, or anything else can separate us as members of humanity?

The fact that at the center of this controversy is a child…a child who has not been on this planet long enough to begin to have enemies, is unsettling.

The fact that a child, whose innocence has been taken, by those who sit in a seat of judgment regarding whether he has what it might take to be in some arbitrary royal bloodline, is monstrous.

We are becoming a deeply divided and polarized world. Part of the reason why the interview with Oprah resonated so profoundly around the world…is simple.

We did not know how to respond. We know how to respond against racism, ageism, sexism, or most other isms when they are directed at us as adults. We put battle armor on and go to work. We create equal opportunity laws, create public policy forbidding discrimination in our places of work, design systems that create pipelines for advancement, and put our money where our mouth is to make the world we do not understand, better.

But what do we do when a child is born into the world, into one of the most famous families in the world, and that child, who by birthright, is told he is not entitled (like every other member of the family) to security (or a title)?

Regardless of how you try to explain away what seems to be clearly obvious, there is no explaining that away about an innocent child. Are we not as adults suppose to take care of children? Would not providing security at least until his eighteenth birthday assure that security for him?

I am saddened about what has happened to the boy who could be king. Yet, I know that from George Floyd to Archie, we are being called to a reckoning on our consciousness. A reckoning and true look at our humanity and the positionality of our own biases.

As we look around us – we can continue to be complicit in sustaining these institutional systems (people) of racism and systemic oppression – or we can answer the call to change the world around us.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Oprah interview and the direct discrimination against a child is an injustice and is a threat to justice for children everywhere.

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