Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, a.k.a. Baby Sussex, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has barely been on the earthside for three days. And yet, the little one is already being exposed to caustic racism and aggression due to his Blackness.
It all started when BBC radio broadcaster Danny Baker thought it was a good idea to tweet a photo about the newest addition to the royal family – featuring an old black and white photo of a woman and a man holding hands with a chimp dressed up in a suit and top hat. The caption? “Royal baby leaves hospital.”
Of course, the image and comparison immediately drew backlash. You’d think by now people would know of the historical reasons why you simply cannot compare Black people to apes and monkeys.
Baker, 61, did delete the tweet and apologize, as CNN notes, calling the meme a “gag.” He then of course fell back on the “I’m not racist” clause, saying that the connotations had not even come up for him because his “mind [is] not diseased.”
He insisted in another message that the tweet was “a joke about Royals vs circus animals in posh clothes but interpreted as being about monkeys & race, so rightly deleted. Royal watching not my forte.”
But the damage was already done, and the BBC was, of course, not having it.
“This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us,” a spokesperson told CNN.
In another tweet, Baker accused the BBC of throwing him under the bus, calling the call to fire him a “masterclass of pompous faux-gravity.”
Speaking to the media outside his house, Baker tried to explain that he was not racist.
“I’m annoyingly ebullient and if you’re accused of the kind of grotesque racism but you’re not, you don’t wring your hands. Ill-advised, ill thought out and stupid, but racist? No, I’m aware how delicate that imagery is,” he said, according to BBC.
But clearly not aware enough, if he thought the image of the chimp was going to fly under the radar.
Archie, is the first biracial child welcomed into the royal family—that we know of. His mother, actress Meghan Markle, is also biracial. His grandmother, Markle’s mother, is African American.
Perhaps it comes to no one’s surprise that even this tiny one would be the target of careless aggressions (in the best case scenario). His mother has been the target of all forms of racist abuse across social media, to the point where, back in March, Kensington Palace staff announced that they would be directing more resources to deleting comments targeting Markle and blocking abusive media accounts.
Still, it is still incredibly sad (and telling), that Archie couldn’t even make it a full week before being subject to this kind of treatment.