By Kerri Romeo
Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.Alice In Wonderland, Chapter VIII
Whether it is Alice’s croquet game with the royals (as representative of England in the 1800’s), Meghan Markle’s experience with the royal empire today (and her mother-in-law before her) or the average citizen’s life in the imperialistic United States, a pattern is becoming as difficult to deny as the absurdity of flamingo’s as mallets and live hedgehogs as balls. A pattern of power. Let the games begin.
Despite marrying into royalty and captivating crowds on an Australian tour, Meghan (and her and Harry’s baby) would never be fully accepted because of the color of her skin. Their safety was not even secured. Being born into nobility and then marrying into royalty, the alluring Princess Diana also was not accepted (and in retrospect demonstrably not safe) because she rebelled against the royal rules. Why is well-being overruled by protocol? Why is our response as a society to blame the victim and not the system?
America was supposed to do it better. Our founding fathers introduced freedom, justice and equality as they broke free from the suffocating rules of the British Empire. They were supposed to be radical. They declared independence. Their progressive idea was a government for the people. They outlined the rights of the people. But which “people” were included? Whose voices were left out? A democracy limited.
Later in history, which prominent figures were not safe and secure for their own rebellion? For speaking up for the voiceless? Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton, John Lennon. You can have the freedom of speech, as long as you don’t say too much. Assassinated. Smeared. Cancelled. Censored. Whatever it takes to maintain illusion.
Racism exists despite class and classism exists despite race. These issues are very real and cannot be disregarded. But are they also by design to distract from the root of the struggle? We may have reached the American garden, but there is more digging to do in this rabbit hole. Who benefits from our continuous debate on race and class? Is the root issue race and class? Or is it about POWER? Who is in power? Does power create class and racial issues? Is it all a game we never wanted to play? Were we never meant to know the rules? While we argue amongst ourselves, those in power remain untouchable. While we perpetually chase dangling carrots toward money and success (that American dream that was instilled into us), we serve to build the strength of the powerful. Why are we resistant to seeing it?
`Don’t be impertinent,’ said the King, `
At the risk of being misinterpreted (which of course he was by the media and the public disgust followed suit), Prince Harry admitted he would not have been aware enough to leave the kingdom had he not experienced the hypocrisy firsthand through Meghan. Family shrugged off the hypocrisy as the way it has always been and always will be. It just comes with the territory. It is what it is. But why is it?
Our resistance to the truth and the royal resistance to change is a product of our heritage: “The values, traditions, culture, and artifacts handed down by previous generations.”
Continue to the next post where we dig deeper into tradition and heritage and how we can change the rules of the game.
Editor’s Note: The Wonderland Campaign Discussion Group will begin meeting next month to discuss the first installment, Into The Rabbit Hole. You can sign up for the email list on the Wonderland Campaign landing page for more information.
Kerri is an advocate for the introverted activist. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.