RIP Queen Elizabeth II. Condolences to your family. That said, the coverage is unwarranted and undeserved. The monarchy was not a benevolent system. In fact, given its reign over an era of conquest, savage murder, and colonization, empathetic broadcasters should know that memories are long, and there is no redemption without reparations.
RIP Queen Elizabeth II, but …
I am completely tired of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death. I do not mean to be mean or inhumane. I want her to rest in peace and send her family condolences. But the end-to-end coverage she is getting on American TV is entirely unwarranted and undeserved.
The reality is that I am more than tired of the coverage. I am offended. People from all over the world populate America, from Asia to Africa to Ireland to the Americas. At some point in recent history, the Queen’s lineage robbed, slaughtered, murdered, or colonized them. If the media gave the appropriate context to the monarchy, illustrating what it did to others and acknowledging that while the Queen had a positive demeanor, atonement remains a fleeting expectation.
This morning a definite must-read article every must-read appeared in my mailbox. Allison Gaines’ piece titled “Why Most Black People Are Refusing to Mourn Queen Elizabeth II” was the piece I wanted to write but did not have the time to research to provide the proper justice to the subject. Please read the entire article, but her first two paragraphs are on point.
One thing has become painfully clear in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth II’s death — her legacy is complex. While some will spend the next few weeks praising the longest-serving British monarch’s reign, Black people and other marginalized groups are having a different conversation about the harm of British colonialism. For instance, Irish Twitter reflected on the monarch’s role in the Great Irish Famine. While Americans often hear about the famine as a natural phenomenon, Britain actually deprived Ireland of resources and “systematically stripped the Irish of even the least semblance of basic human freedom,” some referred to their efforts as genocide. As Irish people expressed their discontent, they found a new friend in solidarity — Black Twitter.
We often hear that Britain is known for a type of “polite racism,” but that’s misleading. The British empire’s role overshadowed the “participation of all other Northern European powers in the transatlantic slave trade.” And like America, Britain has never paid reparations to formerly enslaved people or their descendants. As a result, the legacy of the slave trade has helped to codify a racial hierarchy in the country. So, what does this have to do with the Queen? Well, for starters, the “royal family has made its fortune from [the] slave trade.” It started when Queen Elizabeth I “allowed John Hopkins to kidnap slaves from Africa and sell them to the Caribbean,” making tremendous profits. Then, the death of Queen Elizabeth II sparked renewed calls for reparations as King Charles became the new monarch.
If we had a media that more reflected America, they would know that a sizeable number of Americans are upset with the cleaned-up narrative of the QEII death coverage. The mainstream media lives in its own world.