Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. She was 96.
Upon hearing the news of her death, love poured for the Queen from all over the world—leaders, organizations, families all reached out online and on the ground to offer their support to the monarchy. But as the entire world mourned the loss of the only Queen most had ever known, we also witnessed conflicted views on the monarchy.
The reaction was intense, even personal for many, as many anti-monarchists also took to the Internet to try and awaken the world to another grim reality—their reality—that they claimed to have witnessed in the past.
One such reaction came from a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who wished the Queen an “excruciating death” and tweeted that she hoped the Queen would die “in agony”. Dr Uju Anya expressed disdain for the monarch who “supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred” and displaced half her family. She also claimed that the consequences of such actions by the monarch are still being felt by “those alive today”.
Dr Anya faced serious Twitter backlash for her Tweets and her Tweet was taken down for violating Twitter’s policies. The University also reached out and apologized on the professor’s behalf.
Another such reaction came from the South African political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters who wrote in a statement on Twitter that they would not mourn the Queen because “to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history.” During her reign, they added, “she never once acknowledged the atrocities her family inflicted on native people that Britain invaded across the world.”
EFF Statement On The Death Of Queen Elizabeth pic.twitter.com/YlBhG2uXno
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 8, 2022
Here is an incomplete list of imperialists who Elizabeth II bestowed with awards.
Firstly pictured here is the ethnic cleanser of Palestine who orchestrated the massacre in Qana, Shimon Peres receiving his honorary knighthood. pic.twitter.com/gAFL2kzzo9
— Friendly Neighborhood Comrade (@SpiritofLenin) September 8, 2022
Just putting it out there that Queen Elizabeth II never apologized for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre where British General Dyer ordered the shooting of an estimated 1500 people “until their ammunition was exhausted.” This is what she said instead. pic.twitter.com/ZqfrqaB6bq
— Divya Karthikeyan (@divya_krthk) September 8, 2022
The tweets from love and support shifted dramatically over the course of the day as conversation moved more towards widespread colonial diaspora. As people talked about their lack of grief and highlighted not only the bloodiness of the British rule, but the Queen’s role in it.
Here are some of the anti-monarch reactions on Twitter from across the globe:
A lot of black African people paying homage to a foreign monarch who played a role in the subjugation of millions of Black people is just funny...
— Trikytee (@trikytee) September 9, 2022
Sounds a bit like "Forced Mourning" over a ridiculously long period.
WHY should an unelected, hereditary monarch's "wishes" be the important thing, in the 21st century???
— David Francis (@beith123) September 9, 2022
Instead of African Leaders demanding reparations and return of stolen wealth and artefacts from the monarch, they are busy acting saddened, busy sending unsolicited condolences, busy editing history, despicables who can't even for ones stop to interrogate our place in history.
— Lord Abraham Mutai (@ItsMutai) September 9, 2022
Irish Twitter, Black Twitter, Indian and Jamaican Twitter reacting to the passing of the British monarch.
These people have something in common - they were once colonized and oppressed by the British.
Jamaican government announced 12 days of mourning for the Queen.
— Cannon Post (@thecannonposter) September 9, 2022
I personally think now is the perfect time to question whether we need a monarch, you know, *before* we spend silly amounts of money installing the next one.
— Jess O'Thomson ♿️ (@DisabledJess) September 9, 2022
Reminder that Queen Elizabeth is not a remnant of colonial times. She was an active participant in colonialism. She actively tried to stop independence movements & she tried to keep newly independent colonies from leaving the commonwealth. The evil she did was enough https://t.co/SDGi0boCzx
— Nsafoa's Feminist Duck 🏳️🌈 (@YaaAsantewaaBa) September 8, 2022
Incorrect! When Britain could no longer violently contain the number of countries demanding independence, Elizabeth asked the Common Wealth to initiate “Operation Legacy” in which agents across colonies burnt and shredded documents related to Britain’s colonization. https://t.co/e9fgrdutso
— Achmat X (@AchmatX) September 8, 2022