London, England - In a letter that many are characterizing as angry and overly defensive, King Charles III wrote Meghan Markle that he'd be fully aware if he were unconsciously racist.
His letter comes in response to Markle's letter stating that the royal family harbored unconscious racism. There were some royals who were concerned about how dark her and Prince Harry's child's skin would be and were quite open about it.
"It's pure poppycock that I am unconsciously biased about anyone or anything," he wrote her. "If I were unaware of being a racist, then I'd put a stop to it right away."
This led some to wonder if the King would put an end to being a racist or simply stop being unaware of being racist.
Social scientists take a keen interest in unconscious bias and racism. The University of San Francisco's Office of Diversity and Outreach states, "Unconcious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness." Such biases can manifest in everyday life. They are more likely to occur when a person is doing many things at once and/or under pressure to complete a task in a small amount of time.
Professor Andrew Canard teaches Sociology at Miskatonic University. He's written quite a bit about consciousness, politics, and the history of racism. It's no surprise to him that King Charles is defensive over the possibility that they may harbor prejudices. "It's a classic ego defense," he said. "The concept that he has these unconscious toxic beliefs is so threatening to him that he lashes out whenever the topic is brought up."
The good news is that there are ways of managing biases. One of them is taking the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The exam measures a person's reactions to various images. Once an individual is aware of their bias, then they can manage them through techniques like meditation to prevent snap decisions and slow down thinking.
Professor Canard reached out to King Charles and others in the royal family to see if they would like to take the IAT. After all, they could do it anonymously online and no one would know how they fared. However, despite Canard's best efforts the royal family seems to have little interest in taking the problem seriously.
The British press is notoriously anti-Meghan Markle. They are having a field day with the crisis. The Daily Sun's recent headlines read Unconscious Bias is a French Trick! Markle is a Spy! The nation's most popular newspaper, Daily Mirror Mail, had an editorial that stated, Ask any conservative and they'll tell you unconscious bias isn't real and that only liberal have it!
Prince Henry is taking all of the drama with a stiff upper lip. He is still supporting his father the King. Henry is traveling back to England to witness his father's coronation ceremony on May 6th. His wife Megan and his children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet will not be joining him.
Though she will not be at the coronation, it's unlikely Meghan will be quiet about the event. She told an anonymous friend, "Charles is more likely than not to say he can't be racist because he has a black grandkid."