When I first started stand up, multiple female comedians warned me that the circuit is littered with ‘Edge Lords’ – male comedians who preface their jokes by saying things like “I’m just saying what everybody’s thinking”, and then saying something entirely offensive and completely unfunny that absolutely nobody was actually thinking.

My first six months of comedy had been largely Edge Lord free, until one night last month where the MC fancied himself a bit of a Ricky Gervais. The problem was, he had none of the intellect or nuance of Ricky Gervais, so the so-called ‘edge’ in his comedy just manifested in outright bigotry that iced the audience over between each act. 

In his intro to me, he started by saying, “our next act looks a bit like Meghan Markle” which might sound like a (wholly inaccurate) compliment, but when coming from an Edge Lord, I just knew it was less flattery and more of an excuse to segue into a racist joke. I was not wrong.

He continued: “A lot of people thought Meghan Markle joining the royal family would open our eyes to a new future for Britain, and she really did teach the UK a lot. Like how if you’re going to fuck a Black woman then you’d better make sure she’s worth it. Please welcome to the stage, Mel Owen…”

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It is one thing to walk off the stage to an awkward clap after dying a death which is nobody’s fault but your own, but to walk on to sporadic claps because the audience doesn’t want to validate racism is, as a brown comic in particular, a pretty sticky starting point.

I could have ignored the comment and launched into my material on a clean slate. Or I could have spent the first five minutes explaining why that particular MC needn’t worry too much because I cannot think of a single Black woman with low enough standards to sleep with him anyway.

Which path did I choose? Well, let’s just say I don’t think he’ll book me onto another of his nights any time soon.

Meghan Markle is to racists what a red flag is to a bull. And it is glorious. Watching bigots absolutely seethe at the audacity of her daring to feel worthy of a place in the Royal Family was stupendously amusing, and then to see them practically convulse with rage when she refused to condone disrespect was utterly delicious.

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Checking Twitter the morning after that Oprah interview was beautiful…you could nearly smell the steam billowing from the keyboards of the trolls who were still frothing at the mouth with fury.

Turning on ITV to watch Trisha tell Piers Morgan his opinion on racism was irrelevant was nothing short of beautiful, and no less than thirty minutes later to witness him storm off the GMB set in an infantile strop because a brown man told him to get over Meghan was…well, it was like Christmas morning.

Harry and Meghan’s visit last week to see the Queen was a mini taster of that collective racist tantrum. As news broke of their secret trip, you could virtually hear Dan Wootton combusting in a newsroom somewhere on Fleet Street.

A cheeky scroll on Twitter did not let me down either. Whilst the ire of these racists is obviously hurtful, there is something so satisfying about watching their sheer frustration at her very existence.

The Meghan Markle test is one I run routinely, as it is a sure-fire way of filtering out prejudice people. I will ask somebody what they think of Meghan, and if they start bouncing with irritation at the mere mention of her name or their answer is something along the lines of “I cannot stand her”, then they’re out of lives straight away.

Fence sitters I do not mind. I don’t even mind people who just genuinely dislike her. It’s the red-hot rage of resentment towards her that is loaded – loaded with bigotry that I would rather not be around.

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Is she annoying? Yes, inherently. But that is down to her ‘peace and love, let’s all do sunrise yoga and positive affirmations’ Americanisms, rather than her being Black. I do not have a problem with anybody who finds her a bit irritating, but if you have to start the sentence with “I’m not racist, but…” then that’s a red flag dripping in prejudice.

The Meghan Markle test is not only a good way to sort the good eggs from the racists – it also casts a floodlight on the misogynists amongst us too. Those who quip that they ‘just prefer Kate’ don’t just rather the Duchess of Cambridge because she’s the idyllic white English rose - they also like her better because she’s quiet.

A quiet woman is far more palatable to those who lack respect for women, than a woman who is absurd enough to believe she is worthy of an opinion. Not to mention that if you were not a misogynist, you would not limit yourself to liking just the one woman in one space at a time. If you’re still pitting women against each other, then you’re very much a part of the problem.

The satisfaction that comes with witnessing anti-Meghan vitriol, is that these bigots only hate her because she is winning. Their fury tastes so sweet, because it is a mark of her success.

If the blood pressure of every racist in the country rises to vertiginous heights simply because you exist, then you’re doing something right.

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