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Young people from the former British colonies talk about the death of the Queen and the monarchy

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ensuing media frenzy set off ricochets around the world, and not just because of the general fanfare generated by the royal family. People from nations around the world that were colonized by the British – whether they live in those countries or are now part of their diaspora – had a more complicated response to the news.

The UK is publicly cracking down on protesters, with arrests of anti-monarchy protesters at mourning events that grabbed headlines last week and drew criticism from free speech and human rights campaigners. ‘man. (Recently passed laws allow police to respond to “unnecessarily loud protests” or those that “seriously disrupt the business of an organization.”) Online, black and brown people commenting on the Queen’s death, as well as journalists covering the news, have noticed a sharp rise in racist harassment, being told to “go home”, as the Independent reports.

Scaachi Koul of BuzzFeed News, who is Canadian-Indian, summed up this tense dynamic. “Some people have argued that you can mourn the individual without mourning the empire,” Koul wrote last week. “This, as far as I, a brown person, is concerned, is impossible, for Queen Elizabeth has not only profited from the plunder and racial evisceration which her lineage has spread since the beginning of British civilization; she was an active participant.

teen vogue asked young people around the world whose families were affected by British colonialism to share how the Queen’s death – and the global obsession with the monarchy – affected them.

Paris, 24, London (Caribbean and Nigerian roots)

The monarchy is a visible manifestation of white supremacy and class structures. It is a painful reminder to black and brown people of the pain of seeing them live their lives in such luxury on a daily basis.

Working in the public sector, the death of the Queen interrupted my work and it is difficult to participate in conversations with colleagues who mourn the loss of the Queen when her death reminds me of the violence of colonial times.

Aina, 16, USA (Pakistani)

British colonial expansion is not a stand-alone event, it is the biggest part of Britain’s history and it is now the legacy of centuries of British imperialism in high-enrichment countries. resources and low economic growth. It saddens me that it took the character’s death for us to realize that colonizing nations and stealing from them was wrong. One thing that British colonialism did but few recognize is that it pitted poor nations against each other. The partition of the subcontinent is a prime example.

As a Pakistani, I will often see the whole “us versus India” idea, when the real fault lies with British imperialism… Nations that have been imperialized for centuries become “third world countries” but we do not recognize that their “third world country and developing status” is a direct effect of the violation of human rights by first world nations.

Britain’s racist history in South Asia is traumatic for many older Pakistanis who have suffered the direct impact of not being white enough, the use of bleaching creams and the humiliation of people who don’t understand the English are all standards that have been passed down for decades. . The worst thing about all of this is that there was never any compensation or even an apology to the countries [like Pakistan] who continue to suffer from their actions.


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