Conversational spaces have exploded with social commentary prompted by the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll. Online discussions have been tackling the past, present and future of the United Kingdom in the forms of Twitter threads, memes and story posts.
In opposition to public commentary, many have claimed it’s ‘too soon’ to be starting any talk related to the monarch. The transition of the crown (which holds over two thousand jewels from other countries) is a perfectly appropriate time to talk about the need for purposeful change. Rather than waiting ‘til they’re comfortable and years have gone by.
During her seven-generation reign, Queen Elizabeth did not apologize on behalf of her country’s violent hand in other nations’ histories. This is reminiscent of the many times Britain forcibly censored the afflicted anti-colonialist Black and Brown voices to avoid addressing their atrocities. In attempts to reinforce their power, it was common for Colonial settlers to remove proof of their war crimes from written records.
Britain never publicly acknowledge calls for reparations and formal apologies over the looting, genocide, resource extraction, etc. They never address the things they’ve gone out of their way to blur. They are essentially omitting any possibility for a homogenous historical awareness of their crimes. While simultaneously attempting to dust away the history which laid the groundwork for most modern conflict.
All this chaos is hidden behind the public veil which is this white woman that drinks tea, plays cricket, and never states her opinion to the public. The queen was a clear-cut example of how deeply their royal propaganda is intertwined in their daily lives. It’s easy to be good at maneuvering political atrocities if you never actually talk about them!
Despite breaking off from Britain in 1776, many Americans openly disapproved of the humor being made after her passing. For some it seems they don’t want to acknowledge the British atrocities because America has done similar things in history. Others believed it is immoral for the victims of Britain to make commentaries regarding the death of the main symbol of contemporary imperialism and oppression.
Policing how individuals should compose their feelings or reactions in order to ‘Be Respectful’ is a hypocritical a** notion. To tell the victims of trauma that the who-what-when-where-how-why is what makes it appropriate to comment upon publicly is to manipulate them to believe their experiences aren’t valid emotionally.
Attempting to neutralize the criticisms on literally any aspect of Britain sounds like it’d be a massive feat. However, their late figurehead was celebrated for mastering stoicism in the face of everything. She was a blank slate for projection by intentionally being as palatable as possible. It is not possible to be universally palatable and to try is to intentionally leave out billions.
To create change is to acknowledge others’ discomfort. There’s violence in not acknowledging wrongdoings. Embracing the public with tea and empty words is harmful pageantry which does not protect them from their decades of immorality. Akin to how the Japanese harnessed cuteness to distract from their war crimes, an act of indirect violence.
People will discuss the lasting effects that began under her reign, no matter the situational intensity. Ideally, King Charles lll will take this opportunity to address the requests that the prior monarch ignored. Colonial rhetoric and tears won’t neutralize the resistance to the British legacy. Defending them won’t provide them virtue.