Ngozi Fulani describes the palace incident as ‘abuse’ & ‘like a Windrush thing to me’

Not that Ngozi Fulani needed it, but other women at Buckingham Palace’s Tuesday reception had her back. Mandu Reid, Leader of The British Women’s Equality Party, was standing next to Fulani when Baroness Susan Hussey approached Fulani, touched her hair and began interrogating her and being a racist a–hole towards her. Fulani accepted a number of interview requests on Wednesday, as did Mandu Reid. Here’s a video of Mandu Reid talking about what happened.

In the last part of the interview, Reid is asked about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Oprah interview and their claims of racism within the Windsor clan. Reid says she’s been thinking “a lot” about the Sussexes and how Hussey’s racism “validates Meghan and Harry’s account of their experiences.” Reid points out that what happened to her and Fulani was just an incident at a palace reception which lasted a few hours, and imagine what Meghan had to deal with for days, weeks, months and years. Reid calls the Hussey interrogation a “corroboration” of the Sussexes’ (already credible) claims.

Meanwhile, Fulani also spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Today show and she described the palace incident as an “interrogation” and it felt like “abuse.” Some quotes from her:

Comparing the incident to the Windrush scandal, Fulani told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the encounter felt “like an interrogation” and “abuse”. She also said that despite Buckingham Palace saying that it had “reached out” to her and were inviting her to “discuss all elements of her experience”, she had not heard from royal officials.

When asked to describe the conversation, Fulani said: “Like an interrogation. I guess the only way I can explain it, she’s determined: ‘Where are you from? Where are your people from?’” Fulani said that at first she wondered if Hussey had not been able to hear her answer when she continued to ask the same question. “But it soon dawned on me very quickly that this was nothing to do with her capacity to understand, but this is her trying to make me really denounce my British citizenship. This is like a Windrush thing to me. You can’t make me unwelcome in my own space.”

Fulani said it was ageist to suggest that the comments could be attributed to Hussey’s age. “I’ve heard so many suggestions it’s about her age and stuff like that and I think that’s a kind of a disrespect about ageism. Are we saying that because of your age you can’t be racist or you can’t be inappropriate?”

“If you invite people to an event, as I said, against domestic abuse, and there are people there from different demographics, I don’t see the relevance of whether I’m British or not British. You’re trying to make me unwelcome in my own space.”

Fulani later told ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) programme that no one from the palace had approached her over the incident. “People keep saying the palace has reached out to me. Nobody has reached out to me,” she said. Asked whether the palace had perhaps reached out via her charity, Sistah Space, Fulani said: “No. I don’t know where this has come from, but I’m telling you categorically – we have not heard from the palace.”

Fulani described Hussey’s questions as an abuse. “I have to really question how this can happen in a space that’s supposed to protect women against all kinds of violence,” she said. “And although it’s not physical violence it is an abuse.”

[From The Guardian]

While part of me is gleeful about the Windsors showing their racist asses yet again, let’s take a moment and just recognize how awful this has been for Ngozi Fulani. She was so proud to be invited to Buckingham Palace, to be recognized as a leading British advocate for women who have experienced domestic abuse. She believed she was going to a reception with her peers, somewhere she could make contacts and raise the profile of Sistah Space. Instead, she was reminded within minutes of her arrival that she was unwelcome, that her citizenship was in question because of her race, that she didn’t “belong” there. It’s really disgusting. I’m beyond mad at Camilla and Charles that they would put their GUESTS in this position.

Photos courtesy of Sistah Space’s social media, Cover Images.

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41 Responses to “Ngozi Fulani describes the palace incident as ‘abuse’ & ‘like a Windrush thing to me’”

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  1. Startup Spouse says:

    Imagine how different BP and KP would operate if they had POC working for them in senior positions.

    Imagine how different their response would be.

    But they never learn. They just keep punching themselves in the face and acting surprised every single time.

    • sparrow says:

      I think Charles hired a black woman as press officer or something like that. Please don’t ask me when or precise details. I read this years ago. But he found her too go ahead, apparently. Says it all.

      • lanne says:

        She was called the N word by a key aide to Charles. That aid is still there (I think he’s the Moneybags guy–he’s a resilient cockroach who keeps coming back even when he’s been set aside.

      • sparrow says:

        Thanks, lanne. I was speed writing and couldn’t remember the details. What you’ve said brings it all back in its awful glory. Really bad. And I can’t believe the twat is still there.

    • AnnaKist says:

      That is exactly it, Startup: they just don’t learn. Did they learn anything from Princess Margaret‘s situation? Did they learn anything from the Charles and Diana situation? Did they learn anything after Diana died? Imagine how different things could have been if they had embraced Harry and Meghan as young royals for the 21st-century, bringing in a new and fresh era to an antiquated, stodgy and stuffy old monarchy. Imagine all the hurt of the last 3+ years never having occurred.

      It’s a basic rule of psychology: if you are in a situation which causes you ongoing distress, there are three things you can try.
      1: Change the situation, if possible.
      2: Change your attitude and approach to the situation, if possible.
      3: If 1 and 2 aren’t possible, remove yourself from the situation.
      I’m sure Harry and Meghan tried different strategies to make things better, so they could stay in the UK, or at least be able to live in both continents, without all the drama. People do not just up sticks and relocate to a different continent on a whim, and with this much enmity.
      Have the RF learned anything? Yes. They know better now how to deflect blame from themselves, and use the press two vilify Harry and Meghan. The Queen saw what was going on. As the head of the family, she should have called them all in for a Family conference, and told them to sort it out. Perhaps she tried this. Charles should have taken William by the ear, kicked his arse and told him not to be such a baby. He should also have directed people with their racist comments – TO AND ABOUT HIS OWN SON, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND GRANDCHILDREN – to STFU, or they would be out on the ear. Then he should have apologise to his son and daughter-in-law and assured them of his support . What does he do? And now, it’s all Harry and Meghan‘s fault.

      If they can do that, with such ease and no repercussions, to the future king’s son and family, how much resistance do you think they would have thought a black woman would put up? Well, didn’t they get a massive shock. I am so proud of the way these two ladies have handled this whole debacle. That’s class. The RF could learn about class from these ladies. But, like every other time, they won’t learn a damned thing.

      • JRT says:

        @AnnaKist – BRF f*cked around and found out! Now for the blatant back peddling and blame game…also classic BRF game plays!

    • Emily_C says:

      Any POC they hired would be Tories. They’d be like Suella Braverman and Kwasi Kwarteng. So, no, I don’t really think anything would be better. Abolish the monarchy.

  2. AllBlackEverything says:

    I feel awful for what she went through but I’m proud of her for standing up to that hateful, dusty, nasty, ugly. weirdo.

    • Zazzoo says:

      It’s really astonishing that Hussey wasn’t even aware of the potential to be publicly shamed for her behavior. Imagine living a whole life in a sequestered echo chamber of Colonialist BS and having no idea the world changed without you.

      • JCallas says:

        She probably expected BP to issue another “recollections may vary” response.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’m sure she’s not the least bit bothered by any of this, nor does she feel any shame. And she certainly didn’t need this ‘job’. She’s going to be just fine. Ms. Fulani, on the other hand, was abused and she’ll be dealing with this for quite some time. I am so glad other women at the event have her back, and that she herself is not folding or remaining silent.

  3. Simple Commoner says:

    Donating to Sistah Space (if in a position to do so) is a great way to support how brave Ngozi has been in calling this out and support the amazing and necessary work she’s undertaking.

    Also, I’m so glad this is getting the coverage it is by the BBC. Time for the scales to fall off the eyes of those who swallowed the royal fairytale without giving a thought to reality.

    • ariel says:

      Thank you for posting this and the link to donate.

      Had the same thought and donated this morning.

      Donated in british pounds, so had to look up what that meant in dollars.

      But i do believe a silver lining on this racist abuse cloud could be a bump in donations, perhaps a windfall? Would be nice.

    • SarahCS says:

      Thanks for the link.

      I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the BBC after years of growing frustration and disappointment with how they approach a number of topics.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    This whole incident reminds me of the time a few years ago when Prince Charles said to a woman of South Asian descent that she didn’t look like she came from Manchester. Why? Because she wasn’t white, so therefore she couldn’t possibly have been born there. I remember royal reporters trying to brush that off as he was just trying to be funny.

    • Zazzoo says:

      I’d forgotten about that. So many wasted opportunities for the RF to decide they’ll stop showing their racist assess.

  5. Brassy Rebel says:

    Yeah, I have seen so many gleeful comments that at last Meghan’s account to Oprah has been validated, but that ignores the racist abuse Ms. Fulani was subjected to. She was an invited guest to Buckingham Palace and was treated like she did not belong there. It’s abusive gaslighting and that should be the focus.

    • Becks1 says:

      It’s really awful. Her comments about how she just sort of stood there for a few minutes afterwards, almost in shock, are just so sad to me.

      • Sunny says:

        Totally relatable. When you experience racism like that, it physical impacts your body. They have done studies(at least in America) on the physical effects of racism/anti blackness on Black peoples long term health/cells. The phenomena is called weathering.

        It really is such a terrible feeling. I can’t imagine having that happen at an event where you are a guest. It is horrible enough when it happens on a regular work day.

      • Byzant says:

        Absolutely and her reflecting on having to consider her response knowing she would be judged and labelled !

  6. Eurydice says:

    Camilla needs to go to Sistah Space and apologize in person.

    • CooCoo Catchoo says:

      Camille needs to apologize in person and make a big, fat donation to Sistah Space.

      • Eurydice says:

        Yes, absolutely. If Camilla wants to show that things are different, she will have to do differently. No head in the sand, recollections may vary, you’re welcome to visit if you feel like it, I can’t give you more than a smile. Step forward, reach out, apologize sincerely, give tangible help.

      • Harper says:

        The window for this personal apology is closing pretty quick. End of today or it’s too little too late, IMO. There is no reason Camilla can’t get into her royal Range Rover and make a private visit to the Sistah Space offices or wherever Ms. Fulani feels most comfortable admitting a royal into her personal space. The fact there has been no personal contact yet just proves that the quick action of removing The Hussey from her position was only done to protect the Super Bowl moments of William in America, and nothing to do with concern for the abuse Ms. Fulani endured as a guest in their care.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Camilla needs to go and drag Susan Hussey with her for her to apologize personally. Instead, they will ride this out and quietly bring Hussey back before the coronation. Awful people.

    • New.Here says:

      The whole BP response, “ We’re here if Ngozi wants to talk allllll about it”, is so weird. Why would she want to talk to BP about it? That’s like when people use their apology as another opportunity to rationalize their behavior. BP is behaving so badly over this, they cannot get it together.

  7. Jais says:

    The only slightly good thing (and it’s not really good that this happened at all) is that Ngozi was not alone when SH interrogated her. That she had Mandu Reid and another friend by her side makes such a difference. Unfortunately, the fact that there are eyewitnesses to her account makes a difference with the BM. Both women have spoken so powerfully and they are not allowing any excuses. They’ve spoken so logically against the one bad apple narrative and the old age narrative that people are trying to use to lessen the racism. So much respect for these women. Heartbreaking that she was treated like this in what was supposed to be a welcoming and safe space.

  8. Serena says:

    The RF showing their racist asses again and this time they can’t bully (I hope) Fulani like they did to Meghan.

    And I loved Reid’s answer to ‘what has to be done’, although we know they’re not gonna hear any of it.

  9. Jaded says:

    I’m glad Ms. Reid tied the abuse of Meghan into Ngozi’s experience. The BRF is rotten with racism. Cue photos of Khate cuddling black kids in Boston. But we see you, your actions are merely performative and THAT is why Willnot and Khate were such a massive failure on their Caribbean tour — you can’t disguise innate racism, Khate’s body language was atrocious. And now the lack of response from BP and the outright lie that some lackey reached out to Ngozi to apologize just adds fuel to the fire.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I don’t understand why the Palace lied about reaching out to Ngozi. It is so easily disproved and it makes them look even worse.

  10. Thelma says:

    So glad that Mandu Reid was there to corroborate wha happened. My heart goes out to Ms Fulani for what sounds like a pretty traumatizing and humiliating episode. Not feeling welcome in your own country and at a royal palace. #Meghanwasright

  11. Ewissa says:

    I will borrow this quote as I agree with it 100%
    :The employee wouldn’t have been so comfortable to be racist in the palace If racism wasnt a norm at the palace.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      The racism is structural there – remember how the royal households are exempt from discrimination laws and that was originally done in order to keep people of colour out of non-domestic positions within the Palace.

  12. Byzant says:

    It’s properly awful and the daily mail had a vile article about how sh had never put a foot wrong and was sacked without investigation – and how awful for her !!! She involuntary touched someone and verbally abused them in public !

    I could scream it was so tone deaf and then the comments saying she was only curious. I’m so impressed by ms fulani’s response because she exactly identifies how racist is was – about it being an attempt to invalidate her Britishness because she is black – though I hate that she had to do that work on education despite being the victim of the racist old hag . It reflects something I’ve been reading a lot about about th labour expected of victims of racism -to educate and inform others while putting no effort on the others responsibility to educate them selves. It resonates for me as a white Scottish woman the importance of my responsibility to not put that work on others

  13. jsc says:

    I know it won’t happen but I’d be so happy if Meghan reached out to her. Like who gets it better than she does?

    • ariel says:

      OMG if Archwell of the Sussex’s personally gave a donation to Sistah Space- that would be AMAZING. I mean- the charity hopefully will get donations as a result of this gross, racist incident, and that is a great thing out of a crappy thing.

      But a Sussex donation- *chef’s kiss*- would be a delight.
      We can dream.

  14. Amy Bee says:

    I’ve seen royalists question why she attended because she’s criticized the Royal Family’s treatment of Meghan in the past but Kaiser outlines why she went and deserved to be there.

  15. Ceej says:

    I feel so much for her. That conversation should have been one of many of the day, banal and small talk and where she got the opportunity to raise the profile of her company – leaving with feelings of being recognised for her contributions to creating a safe space for women…

    Not for being othered and made to feel lesser than everyone there. That woman has in one brief encounter RUINED the memory and experience of the entire day and event. And that sourness will be something carried forward in the weeks to come, a cloud that could shadow any moment or even any event that sparks similarities to the palace and could tarnish other positive experiences.

    Firing SH and washing it all under the rug with her is too good for BP. They should be held to account. All Britons are their “subjects” (not to mention they want to flipping claim the commonwealth as theirs as well) – do be better and make EVERYONE feel welcome.

  16. ML says:

    It felt like abuse, because it was as a form of abuse. Imagine this took place when n a classroom with children: how would it look if the teacher had that conversation with one of their students? Classrooms generally have anti-bullying programs—here in Holland all of my children worked on anti-bullying/ stereotyping/ othering etc on Wednesdays as part of a district-wide program when they were in grade school. This must be part of British culture as well. So one of the things that’s been bothering me today is that there were very many people in that room. Most of them look to be white: why aren’t they using their voices to support Ngozi Fulani? It’s basic stuff that kids are learning and most companies do this as well. At an event where abused women are being brought together, where is everyone else??

  17. Truthiness says:

    💯 this was abuse. A-B-U-S-E. And it was at an event to support battered spouses FFS. Ms Fulani is 100% British, very qualified to attend this gathering, and a complete class act. Very glad to see a serious media follow up with an eyewitness and very correct to link it to Meghan’s abuse. Will could mouth the words to rejecting racism in Boston yesterday but he is f-king ground zero at Meghan’s abuse.

  18. Emily_C says:

    People trying to excuse it as her age are full of it. My grandparents would all be in their 100s now if they were alive, and they would never. My paternal grandmother sometimes slipped up and used words that had been considered the most polite and respectful in her youth that no longer were, but that’s very different. What Hussey did was purposeful bullying and harassment, and I’m glad people see that.