Since stepping down from senior royal duties alongside her husband Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has been able to speak more freely about some of the causes close to her heart, including vocalising her support for racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
This has now extended to a personal phone call to Althea Bernstein, the recent victim of an awful and allegedly racially motivated attack. A report from Channel 3000 says that Althea, an 18-year-old biracial woman, told police that while waiting at a red light, she heard somebody shout a racial slur and that four white men then approached her car.
One sprayed what Althea said she believes is lighter fluid on her face, before proceeding to throw a flaming lighter at her through the open car window. The attack resulted in burns to Bernstein's face and neck.
Upon hearing about the attack, it's said that Meghan reached out to Michael Johnson, the CEO of Boys & Girls Club (who run community and mentoring schemes), who Althea's family have appointed to speak on her behalf, to ask for Althea's number.
It's believed that Meghan then personally called Althea to offer her some words of support. "[Bernstein] and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal," said Johnson. "And she applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, 'Hey Michael, give me her cellphone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin.'"
On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markel the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people voices matter and Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you for caring! pic.twitter.com/FoVs6ewRgo— Michael Johnson (@MJohnsonCEO) June 27, 2020
He also tweeted about the interaction, saying, "On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markel [sic] the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people voices matter and Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you for caring!"
It's thought the two women both spoke about their experiences of being biracial, with The Duchess of Sussex encouraging Althea to steer clear of social media for her peace of mind during her recovery, and that Prince Harry joined in with their the call for a brief period too.
A City of Madison Police report says they're treating the incident as a hate crime, "The MPD is investigating an assault on an 18-year-old bi-racial woman as a hate crime after she was burned with lighter fluid early Wednesday morning."
We wish Althea a speedy recovery during this tough time.
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