Just what is it with New Yorkers and London? Normally Steerpike’s ire for the Big Apple is reserved for the city’s ‘flagship’ newspaper, the New York Times, whose view of Merrie England post-Brexit resembles something of a North Korean-style dystopia, without the hope. But now another leading liberal outlet has done a disservice for ‘the city that never sleeps’ with its reporting of a landmark UK event.
Step forward the New Yorker magazine, which yesterday printed a bizarre take on the celebrations of the past week titled ‘Racism outshines Platinum Jubilee’. According to New Jersey ‘performer’ Nina Sharma, ‘racism brought some of its most iconic looks to the Platinum Jubilee, effectively stealing the show’ on the grounds that, er, Harry and Meghan were not invited onto the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday. Given that the pair chose to quit the Royal Family in 2020, such a move would hardly be a shock for anyone even vaguely familiar with palace protocol.
Sharma writes that ‘despite the palace’s best efforts to pretend that it wasn’t there, people couldn’t stop marvelling at Racism’s stunning choices over the course of the weekend, which gave us plenty of style to discuss.’ She claims that ‘Racism wore one designer exclusively: Erasure’ at the Trooping of the Colour, followed by Friday’s Thanksgiving service where it attended ‘with its partner, Colonialism.’ Her grounds for this stab at humour appear to be the alleged boos from the crowd outside St Paul’s which the Sussexes may or may not have received. This development was perhaps unsurprising given the pair’s near-constant criticisms these past two years of the family to which the Queen has spent her life in service.
The piece, which appears to be an attempt at jocular humour, falls somewhat short owing to its author’s painful attempts to demonstrate her right-on credentials. Sharma dubs the Windsor family the ‘House of Anxiety’ and claims that ‘Racism’s presence at the Jubilee gave us a pitch-perfect tutorial on the staying power of inequity.’ Mixing the shrill with the silly, the worthy with the witless, her piece ends on a note of rage, frothing that ‘all in all, Racism’s looks were utterly savage—almost as savage, bloody, and oppressive as British history itself.’ All this, of course, ignores the millions across Britain and overseas cheering the Queen on from around the world. She concludes by sneering:
After such a stunning turn at the Jubilee, we can’t wait to see where Racism will go next. And we won’t have to wait too long: it’s an election year in America, and we’re on the edge of our seats waiting to see if Racism will follow a hot summer with an October surprise.
Prostrating yourself before the shibboleths of progressivism, in service to two millionaires? How achingly daring and modern. Given their deferential forelock-tugging to the Sussexes, Steerpike just wonders whether Sharma and her editors might be more embarrassing than those militant monarchists which they seek to mock.
Let’s hope that the New Yorker’s coverage of its own city is better than its efforts elsewhere…
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