Thomas Markle says he blocked doctor from identifying Meghan as Black on her birth certificate

‘I had no problem with Black or white, but in my mind, it should have been mixed’

Oliver O'Connell
Wednesday 16 March 2022 22:23
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Meghan Markle's father says he did not let doctor write black on her birth certificate
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Thomas Markle, the estranged father of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, says he stopped a doctor from identifying her as Black on her birth certificate.

His objection was that he wanted his daughter identified as mixed race.

Mr Markle appeared in a YouTube video with celebrity photographer Karl Larsen and relayed the story about how he argued with the doctor to have mixed-race put on the certificate.

“I even had to argue with the doctor, and have him write that she was mixed on the birth certificate because he wanted to mark down ‘Black,’” Mr Markle said.

“I had no problem with Black or white, but in my mind, it should have been mixed.”

Ms Markle was born on 4 August 1981 in Los Angeles to Mr Markle, who is white, and her mother Doria Ragland, who is Black.

A CDC document explains that when Ms Markle was born, the rule was that if one parent was white, the child would be assigned the race of the other parent.

It wasn’t until after 1999 that more than one box could be ticked when identifying the race of a newborn in an attempt to clear up the confusion caused by forcing parents to make an inaccurate choice.

The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated its rules in time for the 2000 US census, allowing for multiple boxes to be ticked when answering questions about race. Race is defined by self-identification and not by genetics.

Mr Markle also recalled his daughter being challenged by a school project in which she was asked to identify her race, but only allowed to tick one box.

In 2015 Ms Markle wrote an essay for Elle about growing up mixed-race in which she described the same incident.

She wrote: “There was a mandatory census I had to complete in my English class – you had to check one of the boxes to indicate your ethnicity: white, black, Hispanic or Asian. There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess up, but not knowing what to do.

“You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other – and one half of myself over the other,” she continued. “My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian. ‘Because that’s how you look, Meghan,’ she said. I put down my pen. Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion.

“I couldn’t bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out. So, I didn’t tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt,” Ms Markle wrote.

Mr Markle also said he is hoping to face Meghan and her “ginger husband” in court as part of the defamation case being brought by the duchess’s half-sister.

He has sided with his older daughter Samantha Markle and said he would be “thrilled” to be able to defend her.

She is alleging in court documents that Meghan made “false and malicious lies” about her during the Sussexes’ Oprah Winfrey interview and in the Finding Freedom biography.

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