Oprah’s recent interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry captivated American and British viewers, and while the anecdotes of palace operations were noteworthy, many were left shocked at the role race played in the situation. Meghan, an African-American woman, revealed that while she was pregnant there was concern in the palace about her baby’s skin color. Oprah’s reaction, now a viral meme, perfectly captured the surprise felt by many that in 2021 the skin color of an unborn child is still a topic of concern. But, should we be surprised? Racism and discrimination are not uniquely American, after the death of George Floyd protests sprang up around the world, each uniquely connected to the systems of discrimination that exist within their region of the world. In South Korea there were protests focused on the history of Xenophobia in the country, for Australia it centered around the discrimination experienced by the aboriginal population, in Latin America it was the history of colorism and the Afro-Latinx population. Part of cultural responsiveness is learning about the unique histories and cultures around the world, and the understanding that discrimination is a global issue, but it can show up differently depending on where you are in the world.
Adrian Gomez, Cultural Responsiveness Academy (CRA) Learning and Curriculum Coordinator