The shock and utter disgust I felt as I tapped through Instagram and WhatsApp stories and saw so many Africans posting pictures of the Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by a broken heart and sad face emoticons, left me broken. I know we’ve all been patiently waiting for Jordan Peele to make Get Out: Part Two, but it seems as though I’m one of the main characters in the imagined sequel.
I can’t understand why any African person, or a person of African descent, would mourn the Queen in the same way one would a close maternal relative. Simply put, the Queen is the symbolic embodiment of colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy.
“What in the Stockholm Syndrome?” is a message reply I received in a group chat, where an ongoing discussion was taking place surrounding the reactions to the Queen’s passing. And honestly, I think Stockholm Syndrome is the only viable explanation one can give for the horrifying response.
For me, the response to the Queen’s death is about the devastating psychological impact of colonialism in Africa and slavery in America. I ask us, why are we holding the memory of the Queen in the same manner Stephen held Calvin in the movie Django Unchained?
The main rebuttal in response to the critiques of mourners and sympathizers is “the Queen is a human” and the mourning is out of respect. While she is in fact a human being, our ancestors suffered the most inhumane atrocities at the hands of the British monarchy. I ask us, was the British monarchy being respectful when they held our ancestors in slave castles on the West African coast? Did the British monarchy show reverence to our ancestors as they boarded slave ships and endured the treacherous journey to America, with chains wrapped around their wrists and ankles? Has the British Monarchy mourned the lives of our ancestors who did not survive the journey across the Atlantic?
While the U.S. economy was being built by the hands of stolen Africans, the African economy was being destabilized at the hands of colonial masters. The Queen herself worked tirelessly to avert independence movements across Africa. As if shamelessly adorning herself in stolen African jewels throughout her reign isn’t enough to make you regurgitate, the ease in which she pranced around the continent, visiting her former colonies as if absolved from African exploitation, should be enough to call for the permanent removal of your eye sockets.
To mourn the Queen is to mourn a monarch who has committed the most extreme acts of terrorism that have reached far beyond the physical to impact our psyche.
Alexa, play “The Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and The Wailers.
Our ancestors did not fight for justice and freedom in order for us to one day mourn a member of a monarchy whose only gift to Africa and her children was a legacy of pain. There is no place for the idolization of our oppressor in the healing of Black America from the legacy of slavery or in the rebuilding of Post-colonial Africa.
If you’re an African on the continent, an African immigrant or an American of African descent and are mourning the Queen’s death, I am sincerely praying for your liberation.