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Saturday 15 June, 2024
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Who is Ebony Elizabeth Thomas? Calls Queen Elizabeth ‘colonizer’

BY Anas Shah Sep 11, 2022. 10:40 am UPDATED: Sep 18, 2022. 08:28 pm

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Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled for a record-breaking 70 years before passing away on Thursday, has received an outpouring of condolences and kind words upon her departure at the age of 96.

Since it was revealed that the king had passed away at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle, social media has been flooded with condolences from international leaders and regular people.

Black Twitter users, however, have seized the chance to treat the Queen’s passing as a cause for celebration, with a variety of memes and explanatory threads populating the timeline.

“Black Twitter is on fire today,” read one viral tweet, which showed an image of a man posing seemingly victoriously beside a grave that had been mocked up as the queen’s.

Another tweeted : “We are sad to announce that the queen has died,” alongside a picture of the late Princess Diana laughing, styled to represent Black Twitter’s feelings on the news.

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The British Empire was changing at the time of the Queen’s accession, and the Commonwealth of Nations had just been created. She is viewed as a symbol of the violence that colonial peoples endured at the hands of the British.

In 1913, when the British Empire was at its most powerful, it controlled 23% of the world’s population and was known as “the empire on which the sun never set.” It ruled over nations on every continent, and 14 overseas territories still fall under British rule today.

“Black Twitter is absolutely Black Twittering right now,” said The Atlantic contributing writer Jemele Hill, who defended people questioning the queen’s legacy.

“Journalists are tasked with putting legacies into full context, so it is entirely appropriate to examine the queen and her role in the devastating impact of continued colonialism,” wrote Hill.

In 1913, when the British Empire was at its most powerful, it controlled 23% of the world’s population and was known as “the empire on which the sun never set.” It ruled over nations on every continent, and 14 overseas territories still fall under British rule today.

Read More: How to watch the Queen’s funeral in Pakistan, UK, US and around the World, Times and TV channels

Hill provided a link to an opinion piece by Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff for The New York Times to support her argument: “Her time period shouldn’t be romanticized. The queen contributed to the concealment of a terrible history of decolonization, whose dimensions and repercussions have not yet been sufficiently acknowledged.”

“This is what I mean by considering the full history of the Queen,” said Hill in a quote tweet. “It’s ok to pose questions and think about the fullness of legacies.”

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Associate professor of education at the University of Michigan, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, spoke out against a backlash against people who questioned Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy.

“Telling the colonized how they should feel about their colonizer’s health and wellness is like telling my people that we ought to worship the Confederacy,” she tweeted. “‘Respect the dead’ when we’re all writing these Tweets *in English.* How’d that happen, hm? We just chose this language?”

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The Washington Post national political reporter Eugene Scott decided to respond to those who bemoaned the timing of those speaking out.

“Real question for the ‘now is not the appropriate time to talk about the negative impact of colonialism’ crowd: When is the appropriate time to talk about the negative impact of colonialism?” Scott asked.

At the commencement of the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Rwanda in June, Prince Charles, now King Charles III, urged member nations to “acknowledge the wrongs that have defined our past” and declared that the “time has come” for discussions concerning historical slavery.

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