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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Why not everyone mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth

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While millions of people around the world mourn the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, her passing is not mourned by all. Many are in fact critical of the Queen’s role in British colonialism.

In a video that writer Anusha Wijeyakumar shares on Instagram, she says it’s okay to mourn the Queen, but it’s also important to understand the history and legacy of the British monarchy. “The British monarchy was heavily involved in slavery on the African continent and the colonization of South Asia, the Indian subcontinent and many other places in the world. It is crucial in these times that we adopt a decolonial mindset and not continue with the ‘whitewashing’ history.”

CNN correspondent Larry Madowo talks about a “complicated legacy” on the African continent. Madowo cites as an example the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, which took place between 1952 and 1960. The Mau Mau rebels fought against British colonial rule at the time.

“More than a million people were taken to concentration camps by the British, where they were tortured and dehumanized,” said Madowo. “That’s why there are people all over the African continent who say, ‘I will not mourn Queen Elizabeth because my ancestors suffered great atrocities among her people that she never fully recognized.'”

The South African opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters, among others, has said in an official statement that the party will not mourn the queen, because “her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and in the history of Africa”.

The party continued in the statement: “During her 70-year reign as queen, she has never acknowledged the atrocities inflicted upon her family by indigenous peoples. She willingly took advantage of the wealth gained through the exploitation and murder of millions of enslaved people, who were shipped from the continent to serve the interests of racist white capital accumulation, with the British royal family at the center.”

Many people see not mourning Queen Elizabeth as disrespectful. Writer Amina Akthar has criticized this on Twitter. “If you’re upset that people from colonized countries – whose families were directly affected by the British monarchy – aren’t ‘respectful’, read why people hate them. These aren’t things that happened long ago. My parents were born under colonial rule. dominion.”

Wijeyakumar also emphasizes that British colonialism is anything but a ‘distant history. “The queen was already alive during the colonization of South Asia and the Indian subcontinent and that has never been taken into account.”

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