The death of Queen Elizabeth has sparked waves of grief around the world, but the monarchy’s complex legacy in the context of colonialism and the British Empire has provoked mixed reactions in some former British colonies.
The Queen was not only the head of state of Great Britain, but also of Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, and St. Vincent the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.
While some weep and many are indifferent to their deaths, others are furious at the sympathies shown to a figure in an institution that some see as the oppression of blacks and browns.
Jah Mickey Bowe, vice president of the House of Rastafarians in the Bahamas, said news of the monarch’s death last Thursday at the age of 96 had a mixed reaction.
Mr Bowe said: “We don’t see how celebrating our oppressors can help us; The royal family should apologize for slavery and bring reparations to all Commonwealth countries. King Charles III will have more of these requirements on his desk in the near future.”
In the Bahamas, the leaders of open mourning for the queen, according to Bowe, are migrants from Britain, to whom younger generations are largely indifferent.
Six countries that have the British monarch as head of state have already expressed a desire to remove him
“We in the Bahamas have seen very few examples of the monarchy benefitting our country in any way. The funniest thing for me is that the generation that fought against British rule and fought for independence are the same ones mourning their deaths. But my generation, born after independence in 1973, does not mourn. She is 96; Did you expect her to live forever? ”
Six of the countries that have the British monarch as head of state have already expressed a desire to remove him. Just days ago, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced his intention to call a referendum within three years on making the country a republic.
It is an official policy of the Caribbean countries that were former colonies to pressure Britain for reparations for its involvement in transatlantic slavery.
In Kenya and even in parts of the UK, people have retained their anger at British colonial crimes, for which there has been no apology, reparation or atonement.
The nations of Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada have declared mourning following the announcement of the Queen’s death. Jomo Thomas, Chair of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Reparations Committee, said: “There is no visible response to the Queen’s death here. If there is a reaction, [it] is on social media.”
Jamaica’s government has declared a period of mourning from September 8-19, although it has already begun planning to remove the queen as head of state.
News of the mourning period has drawn widespread criticism from the diaspora. Leading Jamaican entertainer and comedian Oliver Samuels said: “The Queen has passed away and may her soul rest in peace, but listen, after 60 years of independence, do you think any independent nations in the Caribbean should be talking about this, for 10 days to mourn? ?”
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/colonial-histories-make-mourning-queen-elizabeth-a-complex-issue-41987436.html Colonial histories make the mourning of Queen Elizabeth a complex subject