Over the weekend, Britain’s Independent Press Standards Organization received over 12,000 complaints about Jeremy’s Clarkson’s column in The Sun, in which he detailed that he hates Meghan Markle “on a cellular level,” so much so that he loses sleep. Having caught up on his racist, misogynistic drivel, I’d like to raise that number to 12,001. But don’t fret! That silly bloke Clarkson is proper gobsmacked by how poorly his hatred of Markle was received and said his “clumsy” rancor was a rather bit of bother, promising on Monday to “be more careful in the future.”
Oh dear, indeed! Who would have thunk that writing, “At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her” wouldn’t go over well with the general public? Well, anyone who understands the history of tarring and feathering might be hesitant to draw such an analogy—especially about a Black woman who says she considered suicide after marrying Prince Harry because the British tabloids were so racist and brutal towards her.
Clarkson’s own daughter, Emily Clarkson, understood the line her father crossed and was quick to denounce it on Instagram. The Sun has also removed the column and replaced it with Clarkson’s non-apology tweet.
While the overall impression I’m getting from Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary series is that it’s a bit redundant, one undeniable truth the couple has rightly emphasized is just how racist the British tabloids are. Clarkson’s column so perfectly exemplifies that prejudice that it’s almost as if it was integrated marketing for the series.
His feigned Twitter horror isn’t that he’s hurt people, but rather that he’s being reprimanded for what he’s written. “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way,” he wrote about his hate for Markle. Yeah, we know. Everyone knows. He can golly gee whiz all he wants, but Clarkson is just doing a slightly more overt version of what many of his colleagues have done before.
It would be gracious of me to assume Clarkson—whose name you may remember back in his days as presenter of the BBC’s Top Gear—didn’t think too hard about this insanely inappropriate reference to share just how much he hates the first Black woman to marry into the British royal family. Rather, instead of not thinking too hard, I’m more inclined to guess that Clarkson, like a lot of casual racists, just thought everyone sort of agreed with him. How daft!