Exclusive: Prince Harry's 'Racist Remarks' - Is Media Outrage Justified?

by PAM MEISTER January 13, 2009
The British media and some of the world media have gotten themselves into a lather over a video that recently surfaced of Prince Harry voicing “racist” comments. The video diary was made in 2006 as Harry prepared to deploy to Afghanistan. In one segment, while waiting in the airport, the camera focuses on one man whom Harry calls “our Paki friend Ahmed.” (In Britain, though not America, the term “Paki” is considered a slur against anyone who comes from the Pakistan/India region.) Later, we hear him say that one of his fellow soldiers resembles a “raghead.”
An apology from Clarence House (the official residence of Harry’s father, Prince Charles) was issued, and palace PR flacks are desperately doing damage control. Meanwhile, stories from around the world about this brouhaha continue to accumulate, raking Prince Harry across the coals. (As of this writing, there were well over 2,500 articles about it on Google.)
Prince Harry, as you may remember, also displayed questionable taste when he showed up at a costume party dressed as a Nazi back in 2005. This, along with the comments in the video, has led many to wonder whether the young prince is a racist or, slightly less horrendous, a bigot.
Obviously, I don’t know if Prince Harry is a bigot or racist as I have, and never will, meet him. It’s possible to explain away his public faux pas – perhaps the latent anti-Semitism in Europe led him to believe wearing a Nazi costume was acceptable; perhaps the Paki and raghead comments were merely his indulging in the tough talk that soldiers may use when they are amongst themselves. (Or maybe he’s rebelling against his father – who has been rumored to be a closet convert to Islam.)
Then again, Harry may well be a closet racist/bigot. If he is, bad cess to him.
But the bigger question is this: Why is it that Prince Harry’s remarks are met with such horror by the press, while they barely bat an eyelash at pro-Hamas protests like this one in Fort Lauderdale, where participants told Jews to “go back to the oven”? I also wonder where the outrage was when the Danish cartoonists were subjected to death threats over some badly-drawn images of Mohammed in a tiny newspaper most of the world had never heard of before that fateful time. No, many media outlets chose to not only censor the images (well after they had become a legitimate news item in and of themselves), but literally and figuratively cowered before the angry Islamists, lest they find themselves in the spotlight of the demonstrators.
I understand that Prince Harry is a public figure, and as such, anything he says or does is automatically under greater scrutiny than that of the average person. But the outrage is a bit overdone, if you ask me. When he’s criticized – rightly or wrongly – for saying or doing something, what’s he going to do? Go on a murderous rampage? Of course not. He didn’t even defend himself in the possible context I mentioned above. Naturally the whole situation, once public, was likely out of his hands and he had no choice but to formally apologize. But I find it highly disturbing that a young man – privileged though he may be – who literally puts his life on the line for his country is put through the wringer for making a few ill-advised remarks in what he thought was a private context, while Islamists who call for the downfall of the West and the annihilation of Jews are given a pass.
Pam Meister is the editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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