As everyone on this planet already knows Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and some Commonwealth realms passed away early this week. She was once the Queen of the famous British Empire which was mostly made up of African colonies and India. Her death has thefore naturally sparked a raging debate on colonialism and its lasting effects on the colonies. Views on this topic have shaped how the Queen’s reign, death and legacy has been viewed in various parts of the world and colonies as well as commentary by various prominent people.
Some former colonies have been magnanimous. For example,President Kenyatta in Kenya has declared 4 days of mourning. In Rwanda President Kagame has declared 10 days with the flags flying at half mast. In Malawi President Chakwera declared 10 days. Other countries have expressed their condolences but offered no such gesture these include Zimbabwe which has avoided any formal acts of mourning except through condolence messages.
While governmet officials in practically all African countries have been diplomatic about the whole thing by uttering the right words certain promiment members of the opposition such as South Africa’s EFF have been have not held back their criticism of the Queen who was the head of a colonial empire. They have highlited some of the British Empire’s misdeeds such as their casual lack of care for life of those colonised. Their apparent endorsement of apatheird, mistreatment and killing of Africans. Some have even gone as far as to confusingly mention the slave trade which Britain was instrumental in putting and end to way before the departed Queen ever came onto the throne.
By far the most controversial utterance over the passing on of the Queen are the remarks of United States Carnegie Mellon University Professor Uju Anya who attacked Queen Elizabeth II when news of her ill health started filtering on Thursday morning, saying she was the monarch of a “thieving raping genocidal empire” and seemingly celebrating her death.
I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.
If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.What Professor Anya tweeted and later said when the Tweet was criticised and removed
That tweet did not go down well with people like Tucker Carlson a well known American racist who often champions white supermacy on his Fox News channel. Tucker Carlson. He said while the British Empire was not perfect, it was “far more humane than any other ever.It’s gone now, barely even remembered. Queen Elizabeth II was the last living link to a truly Great Britain.” He also seemed to imply that the United States, which he seemed to imply was the successor to the British Empire, was far worse than the British Empire. He also went on a rant criticism regimes that rose after the independence of some Africa countries such as those led by Idi Amin and former president Robert Mugabe. It is not clear what Indians, who blame Britain for lefting them to die during the Indian Famine, feel about his remarks.
The truth is far more nuanced than all these viewpoints can ever cover. For example, even though British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher seemed to love the artchitects of apatheird the Queen was personally opposed to it but had to walk a fine line as she was not an absolute mornachy. Ultimately for the most part she was just a figurehead who had to do what parliament told her. She could have used whatever little power she had to try and stop the atrocities of her empire some of which continue to this day in the form of strife caused by artificial countries forged to suit the empire rather than local geo-politics. Thanks to the British’s refusal to allow majority rule most countries had to make do with communist dictators to get a modicum of freedom that never lasted.