Ngozi Fulani would love to oversee diversity training at Buckingham Palace

On Tuesday, Ngozi Fulani was the victim of a racist senior aide in Buckingham Palace. Fulani was attending Queen Camilla’s event for activists and advocates working in the field of gender-based violence, and Fulani is the CEO of Sistah Space, a domestic abuse charity focused on providing resources for Black women. Apparently, Fulani wasn’t even in the event for ten full minutes when Lady Susan Hussey approached her, touched her hair and began making a series of demeaning and offensive racist remarks, questioning Fulani’s citizenship and ethnicity. One of the more remarkable parts of the story is that when Fulani posted a transcript of her exchange with Hussey, Fulani was overwhelmingly believed. There were no “recollections may vary” arguments or gaslighting campaigns. Fulani described what happened and people were justifiably horrified, full stop.

Within hours of Fulani’s social media post, Susan Hussey had resigned and Buckingham Palace released a statement claiming that they contacted Fulani and invited her to come back and speak to them. That was a lie – they didn’t contact her, nor did they directly invite her back, nor did she receive a direct apology from Hussey or anyone else in the palace. Then Queen Camilla’s people had to eat sh-t and revise their statement to make it more vague about whether they had been in contact with Fulani (they still hadn’t been at that point). Meanwhile, Fulani was being contacted by multiple media outlets eager to give her a platform to tell her story. She spoke to the Independent about what went down and how she wishes Hussey hadn’t resigned.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent about her encounter, Ms Fulani said: “This is bigger than one individual. It’s institutional racism. What’s the lesson here? When I drove into the palace, the car was searched and we were searched as you would expect because they have to protect the household. But what protects us, Black people, from that treatment? This incident is unfortunate and shows that nothing has changed.”

Ms Fulani said Lady Hussey moved her dreadlocked hair out of the way of her name badge after arriving at the event, before asking questions about where she and “her people” were from. Posting what she said was a transcript of the conversation online, the prominent campaigner for survivors of domestic abuse described how Lady Hussey had subjected her to “relentless” questioning about her heritage.

“I was in shock after it happened and anybody who knows me, knows I don’t take this kind of nonsense,” wrote the Sistah Space founder. “But I had to consider so many things. As a Black person, I found myself in this place where I wanted to say something but what happened would automatically be seen as my fault, it would bring Sistah Space down. It would be ‘oh, she has a chip on their shoulder’. There are so many things to consider before you can even react to the pain of racism. Can you imagine? I’m just processing the incident.”

Ms Fulani added: “This woman was relentless and determined I am not British. I was thinking ‘what can I do here now?’ Nothing. ‘Who can I tell?’ No one.”

However, the charity boss did not welcome the news of Lady Hussey’s resignation – which she learnt about online – and said it was a missed opportunity for real lessons to be learnt within the palace.

“My nature is not that somebody of senior years should be vilified even though she did it to herself. I don’t want to be part of that. I’m old school. This is an elder and that’s not an excuse, but I’m thinking why don’t we just do something different such as pull her up, re-educate, demote her, keep her from public-facing roles? Having been in this position for decades, it’s horrible that she goes out like this because of ignorance and racism.”

Ms Fulani is calling for the royal household to implement anti-racism training of the kind that earned her an invitation to the palace in the first place. Ms Fulani said her organisation would be willing to oversee training at Buckingham Palace.

“It is that very training that got us the invitation in the first place. It is ironic, therefore, that the thing that we’re fighting to end was targeted at me. I was not the only one standing there, and certainly not the only one affected. And I’ll go as far as to [suggest that] even those who were not there must be affected by this.”

[From The Independent]

Wow, Ngozi Fulani fully gathered that crusty old racist bitch. “This is an elder and that’s not an excuse, but I’m thinking why don’t we just do something different such as pull her up, re-educate, demote her, keep her from public-facing roles?” That is one of the coldest suggestions ever and I love every word. Exactly, why does Lady Susan Hussey need to resign? She’s old, racist and evil, so what Fulani wants to do is single out her racist ass, make her sit through an in-depth inclusion training course, then demote her and say that she can’t ever participate in a public event again? LMAO!!!! Anyway, I love Ngozi Fulani and I hope Sistah Space gets tons of donations and funding out of this and I hope she nails the royal balls to the wall. It will be sooooo much worse for the Windsors if Fulani keeps coming at them with this energy: “y’all need diversity training, let me come in and do it for you, I’ll teach the class!”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Sister Space’s social media.

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49 Responses to “Ngozi Fulani would love to oversee diversity training at Buckingham Palace”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    They need to take her up on her offer since that old diversity czar proposal somehow fell by the wayside. I imagine counting bags of cash and measuring the diameters of dildos got in the way.

    • windyriver says:

      They shelved the tsar idea after 3 months. It was the same time the Firm’s low employment diversity figures came out via the Sovereign Grant report – numbers which KP refused to provide (surprise surprise) – and news surfaced about TQ having been exempt from hiring requirements and thus the palaces not permitting minorities to be hired for anything but domestic roles, at least in previous decades. Thought I read somewhere in lieu of the tsar they promoted someone in house to be a liaison with community groups but of course, if true, that’s a typical ruse of trying to deal with the perception rather than the actual problem.

    • taris says:

      not a black woman falling on a sword to clean up somebody else’s racist mess.
      i’m sorry, nothing would come out of ‘diversity training’ the royal household – i think we all know that. doesn’t matter whether this lady does it or another, these people simply don’t want to change and become better people.

      let’s not give them a cosmetic/PR win when they’re not actually willing to do the work.

      • halo says:

        100% agree. A few days of diversity training is not going to make one iota of difference in an institution that has been steeped in racism for centuries. It would do nothing more than let the royal family pretend that they’re dealing with the issue, covering over the fact that racism is part of the very foundation they prop themselves up on to claim they’re better than everyone else.

  2. M says:

    I love this woman. Could Chucky boy’s reign have started any worse? The Crown, this, Earth’s*t, and now the Sussex doc. It’s not even December! The beginning of the end?

    • whatever says:

      Ya’ll this made the US national evening news. Chucky et al. can talk all they want about how they’re not gonna let the Sussexes ‘allegations’ 😒 of racism derail them but here they are doing it to themselves.

    • Isi says:

      I love love love her!!! I’m a white German and actually it doesn’t really matter, I just want you to know that so many people are behind you! Bring down this patriarchal, racist and sexist system!

  3. ML says:

    If Ngozi Fulani gets her wish, I hope that she’s respected and protected. That entire family and institution is built on racism (with a huge dollop of misogyny), and no one there is actively willing to change. I would hate to see Ngozi encounter more vileness from these people.
    As to SH being demoted as opposed to fired? I respectfully disagree. Being fired for racism is better than being demoted for it. She should still have to undergo training/ therapy in dealing with people of different races, backgrounds and social class. And there should be a megawatt spotlight on her daughter, Katherine, who happens to be a Camzilla companion.

    • Sarah says:

      I think the problem with firing people is that you can pretend that one individual was the problem and now, problem solved! Demoting and educating staff would acknowledge that it’s more of a system problem.

      • ML says:

        That’s a good point. I wasn’t considering that (of course!!) they will probably say, “Look she’s gone, so the problem is solved.” From a résumé perspective, getting fired is worse than demoted. From a group perspective, the fired person can be a scapegoat for the group-wide issues.

      • Deedlebug says:

        I think education is necessary, but so are consequences that fit the behavior. It wasn’t just a one off comment. Hussey invaded Fulani’s personal space and then basically proceeded with a racist interrogation. Fulani also said that other people had issues with her too. I say train the entire staff and use her as an example of what happens if you don’t follow the training. She’s far too comfortable with her racism to change in any meaningful way.

      • Christine says:

        They can’t pretend it was just this one woman when she has been working for the monarch since the 1960s. Are we supposed to assume that she’s always been perfectly polite, and had one off day in 60 effing years? No, she’s always been exactly this person, and they have happily let her, because they all feel this way.

    • Tacky says:

      You have to fire someone who is openly racist in the workplace. It’s inappropriate to expect employees to interact with that person going forward.

  4. Noki says:

    You know now unhinged people will say she made it up to get a training gig.

  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is an excellent opportunity for all the palaces to start to redeem themselves – let’s see if they take her up on the offer.

  6. Janey says:

    she’s got more class than the entire RF. It’s a beautiful thing to see and long may Ms Fulani continue to speak out.

  7. Becks1 says:

    I just wonder how many POC have been in her position and didn’t share the story on social media afterwards (or didn’t have social media, considering how long Hussey has been there, and yeah she’s definitely NOT the only one, they have all probably made similar comments.) Hussey clearly felt so comfortable with her line of questioning, its obvious she’s asked those same questions to so many other POC that have come through those doors for various receptions etc.

    I applaud Ngozi Fulani for speaking up, and I love how she didn’t want Hussey to resign (she knows that’s not a real resignation anyway), but wants to come lead the training, LOL. I just feel that’s the perfect response.

    It does break my heart though thinking of her standing there, in Buckingham Palace, at an event that she was probably looking forward to (not just bc it was at BP, but because it was meant to honor her work and the work of so many others) and then having to experience that and still stand there for a bit longer processing what just happened.

    • Eating Popcorn says:

      I also love how she didn’t name Hussey to begin with, she wasn’t about ‘Name & Shame’ and while it is not Fulani’s job to teach crusty old white folks diversity – she’s called out racism, and hopefully, some change will come. She is all class.

    • Blithe says:

      Kaiser highlighted a critical point : that, this time, Fulani was “overwhelmingly believed”.

      I, too, am positive that this is not the first time that a POC has had to deal with similar comments and discomfort at a palace function where supposedly their accomplishments were being honored. I’m also sure that this is not the first time that someone in Fulani’s position has shared some details of what likely felt like a painful and humiliating experience. What’s truly astonishing about this, is not just that Fulani has handled the situation with exemplary strength, grace, and poise — but that mainstream media outlets and a wide spectrum of people, including white people with some powers, are openly and actively supporting her.

      Very Yay. I feel honored to share space on the same planet with Ngozi Fulani.

  8. ariel says:

    I made a donation. I had never heard of her charity before this incident, but if her organization can make some extra cash- it doesn’t make up for being demeaned by a rich old white lady, but it could be a silver lining to a disgusting moment.
    I wonder if the palace will donate?

    • Jais says:

      Omid tweeted a link to donate to sistah space here. It’s really specific in how the money can help them build a space for victims of abuse.

      • ariel says:

        Thank you for posting a link on giving.

        I was also thinking- when an old racist aristocrat asks where someone of color is “really” from- as in they are black and therefore can’t be british- a wonderfully petty response would be to ask the aristocrat if they are the product of incest- as royals and moneyed families used to marry cousins as to not dilute the wealth and the “bloodline”. Maybe that is why they all seem so stupid and off.

  9. Amy Bee says:

    They not only need diversity training but they need to end their exemption from equality and discrimination laws. They should have announced this morning that they’re going to include them in their policies. It’s incredible that Meghan joining the family didn’t make them realise that they needed to change how they operated. Another thing, this incident had made me realise that all royalists are racist. The number of excuses they’ve made for the Royal Family and some even blaming Ngozi there is no other conclusion I can come to.

  10. Izzy says:

    I know she means it when she offers, but honestly, I think she would regret it because I don’t think the crusty, dusty racist trash in and around the royals are capable of truly understanding and changing their racism. Any effort by Ngozi Fulani or anyone else would just end with frustration.

  11. OriginalLeigh says:

    “But I had to consider so many things. As a Black person, I found myself in this place where I wanted to say something but what happened would automatically be seen as my fault. It would be ‘oh, she has a chip on their shoulder’. I was thinking ‘what can I do here now?’ Nothing. ‘Who can I tell?’ No one.”

    She perfectly described how it feels to encounter racism in primarily White/elite spaces. This is what we deal with all the time. This is likely how Meaghan felt the entire time she lived in the UK.

  12. Emmi says:

    I did not read yesterday’s post so I’m sure this has been said but MY GOD! The racism. The nerve. The bullshit. I can’t even put into words how crappy this is and at the same time, who’s surprised? “Lady” Susan Hussey is 83 years old and has been a member of the household for most of her life. A quick scan of her Wiki page made me go “Oh yeah, of course she did that.” We all know those “elders”, we’ve all met them, we all have a variation of them in the family probably. And by we I mean white people of course.

    Her response is perfect though. She is absolutely right, there was nothing she could safely do in that situation and isn’t that the real tragedy? Because she’s been in this situation before.

    • Eurydice says:

      That struck me, too – that she couldn’t defend herself. If Lady SH had touched my hair, I would have stepped right in and started picking lint off her outfit. But I’m white – Fulani would probably have been escorted out by security.

    • Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

      Okay, I’ll give a pass to the first question Susan Hussey asked Ngozi Fulani. My issue with the encounter was the continued interrogation of Ngozi by Hussey because she thought the answer given was wrong.

  13. Polo says:

    I feel so bad that she had to go through this terrible experience! I hope she gives herself time esp as some segments of the BM and trolls are trying to gaslight her.
    But from all the segments I’ve seen of her and her friend Mandu…they have been doing an excellent job not only calling out the racism and challenging the palace but linking it to Meghan’s experience in that environment as well.
    I saw M on BBC Newsnight and it was amazing.

    • Moxylady says:

      Wouod a clip of this be on YouTube do you think? Not sure how bbc works with regards to videos and posts.

  14. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    I am really glad she’s speaking out and isn’t satisfied with the firing and the statement. And she is right. Firing Lady Hussey isn’t going to get rid of the racism entrenched into the institution. It’s not just one person.

  15. Shawna says:

    Masterclass. That was an amazing statement.

  16. Lucy says:

    HIRE HER. And pay at least triple her rate with a sizable donation to her shelter at the bare minimum.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      As Lucy says, she ought to be very well compensated if they take her up on her offer. And she ought to get a signed contract, because the royals can’t be trusted.
      Her time is valuable. Her insights are incredibly valuable, too. If Ngozi Fulani really wants to lead this training, that’s her choice. But it’s going to exact a toll on her, because no matter how strong she is — and she seems to have the heart of a lion — the palace racism is going to be toxic as hell. So she better get paid.

  17. Lizzie says:

    As Wills godmother, could SH be the person in the family asking about Archie’s skin color?

    • Jennifer says:

      Nobody would have cared if it was this woman years ago. It’s clearly Charles or William at this point since they refused to spell out who.

    • SomeChick says:

      she is not a “senior royal” who would be “damaged” if the info came out. so it is clearly Chuckles, his son the Prince of Fails, or most likely both. but I think William is probably the chief offender. remember, he didn’t want the marriage to happen and that was a big part of the falling out.

  18. Jay says:

    We’ve been hearing for years that the palace is keen about getting “diversity training” and it’s clearly done them not an iota of good. And furthermore, as always, it’s not on Ngozi Fulani or any other person impacted by racism to educate white people on why they deserve to be treated as human beings. She doesn’t have to prove she’s worthy of empathy, and she doesn’t exist just to teach racist white folks a Very Important Lesson.

    Yes, they do need anti-racism training, but they also need to see a need for change. The problem with the resignation of William’s godmother is that they didn’t condemn her or show any understanding of why what she did was wrong. Instead, they spun and lied, and never apologized, and allowed her to exit on her own terms. Imagine behaving this way as a representative of any organization in 2022 – you’d be thrown out of the building, Jazzy Jeff style faster than you can say “Milady”.

    Does anyone think she has really been banished? Does anyone believe she won’t be involved with the Windsors going forward? And does anyone believe that she’s an outlier in that family?

  19. MissMarirose says:

    I think one of the things to note here, that really hasn’t been because it’s such a hot potato, is that this woman was very close to the queen. For decades.
    So you have to assume that someone that racist and rude being kept close to the monarch for half a century (or more) must stay in that position because Queen Elizabeth had no problem with her racism.
    Isn’t it about time that we acknowledge that racism ran rampant in the Royal Family because Lizzy herself was one?

  20. Lizzie says:

    Ngozi Fulani is a class act. She should be offered Diversity Czar position asap. The courtiers could also learn a lot from her about diplomacy.

  21. serena says:

    It’s a pipe dream, those royal fools would never believe they are at fault of anything especially when they already stated that ‘we are very much not a racist family’ lol, sure.

  22. Lissen says:

    Ngozi Fulani, top CEO. She just gave a clinic in class, compassion, and how to make the world a better place. Full respect, ma’am.

  23. ncboudicca says:

    Ms Fulani’s efforts would be wasted on that bunch, I’m afraid. I’m more and more of the opinion that the only way to “fix” that mess is to dissolve the institution itself.

  24. Feebee says:

    We have been treated to two different voices reading out a large section of the transcript on the national news. It was a male voice when it first broke but they switched to a female one for the morning. Really wanting more authenticity? Ha. Being a Commonwealth country, our State broadcaster is pretty royal-friendly so it’s been amusing to see how it’s been reported.

    I admire how Ms Fulani has handled this, and yeah I also hope Sistah Space is getting attention and donations out of it.

  25. JJ says:

    They ABSOLUTELY need diversity training for all working members of the palace! It’s so obtuse of them not to do this when most of the Commonwealth countries are populated by black or brown people. But then again, Meghan tried to let them know and SHE was vilified as a “bully” and called “Dutchess Difficult” by the same staff who did crap like this, and by all accounts, William quickly took THE STAFF’S SIDE. SMH!

  26. tamsin says:

    This occurred while there were a number of foreign royals and high level representation from various countries. Wonder what they all thought?

  27. jferber says:

    It will never happen. They don’t want to change or even acknowledge the problem except when their arm is twisted. They’ll lie and say things happened or didn’t to suit their own agenda.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    I’m appalled by how Ngozi Fulani is being attacked on social media and now by Dan Wooten. They claim that the whole incident was a set-up by the ‘Sussex Squad’ to prove that Meghan and Harry were right. Picking on Ngozi for changing her name from Marlene and wearing African clothes as if she deliberately tried to trick Lady Susan Hussey into being racist. It’s just disgusting the way she’s being treated. They even believe that the recording on TV is authentic and that Fulani was wearing a wire.