My Dear Plato,
Do I discern a note of biographical reflection in your recent reference to “a sassy woman?” Indeed we are all beneficiaries of those whom Aristotle described as a unique and different creation from that of man, and though in our egalitarian society on this side of the great aquatic divide many would dispute the sage’s insight, I personally think that there just might be a rather large germ of truth in what the old man said.
Being Greek of course, you are much more versed in such reflections than am I, a modern-day Roman in a Republic which was founded on the notion of equality, a concept enshrined by Thomas Jefferson in the 1776
Declaration of Independence from your great nation ruled by George the Third.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, (the first being) “that all men are created equal.”
So wrote this slave owner of the South who was surely not referring to African-Americans, women, Native Americans, Hispanics, or anyone else not of White Anglo-Saxon descent. It goes without saying that the subsequent history of this land has been defined by a continuing struggle over just what these words mean, and how that meaning ought to be applied in the varying circumstances of national life which have transpired over the rather limited years of our existence. Racism has always been, and may well always be, the Achilles heal of America’s positive influence in the world; a cancer which has metastasized into every aspect of the body-politic as well as the social and economic fabric of everyday life.
We are not alone in this illness as can be clearly seen by recent events around the world, but our long history of slavery has rendered our struggle with racism to be far more intense and destructive.
Equality in the penal system, equality in the economic sphere, equality in educational opportunity, equality in health care; indeed, equality in the perception of common humanity: such equality is still illusive in our White-dominated society. In a word, while egalitarianism has severe limits in reality, we like to think of ourselves as a community of equals with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.
Which brings me to the royal couple, Meghan and Harry. You realize, my dear Plato, that Meghan is a California gal, raised in L.A., and an attendee of Northwestern University which is not known to be a bastion of conservative thought. Yes, she is bi-racial, and thus in this country as well as yours, defined as Black. And yes, as Black, she has surely experienced the racial discrimination which inevitably falls upon those of color. But I would presume that such experiences have only deepened her intense desire for the full equality enshrined in Jefferson’s immortal words, a desire which can be discerned from her earliest years directing her into the Feminist Movement.
In a word, dear Plato, Meghan is an American, and as such, one who assumes independence of thought and action. Clearly this does not fit in well with the Royal Firm where obedience and loyalty to duty are the hallmarks. I do recall that the last time that a Royal married an American, there was something of a similar step away from the imposed obligations of Royal rule. We are quite unmanageable you see, especially when others seek to direct our lives. Oh yes, we love Royalty (especially since we don’t have to pay for them), but we love them primarily as just another group of celebrities whom we, along with our own version of tabloid press, will hound and abuse to our heart’s content. I fear that Meghan and Harry will therefore never fully realize the good which they seek by their latest action. But I wish them well as I know you do also.
In response to your desire for further exposure to our humble literary offerings, I will send this site on to a few of my friends who I hope will find it to be of some interest. Unfortunately, letters are not much in vogue these days, but let us press on against the “windmill” of popular neglect. Cato