So, Queen Elizabeth II is dead, and Black Twitter is tossing weeds on her grave instead of flowers.
And of course, a lot of white people are stunned, bewildered, flabbergasted and greatly aggrieved by the fact that Black people don’t respect colonizers and figureheads of white supremacist regimes—even in death.
I mean, we all saw what happened when Uju Anya, a Nigeria-born professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s college of humanities and social sciences, tweeted that she wished an “excruciating” death on the queen and Jeff Bezos couldn’t mind his rich white American business and accept the fact that an educator from the continent knew more about the effect of British rule on other nations than he did.
And see, that’s always the disconnect between people who see the Western world for what it is and white people who walk around wondering what everyone else is so angry about—until white people are angry about things, in which case it’s justified because attempts to combat their privilege looks like full-fledged oppression in their eyes.
But the truth is, it’s not that hard to understand why Elizabeth’s grave is being electric slid across by people who only recognize queens named Latifah, Aretha, Lil’ Kim and Beyoncé.
The Queen ascended to the throne at a time of change for the British Empire and the subsequent forming of the Commonwealth of Nations. Many people from former colonies consider her a figurehead for the brutality their people suffered under British imperialism.
The British Empire at the height of its power was described as “the empire on which the sun never set” and commanded 23 percent of the world’s population in 1913. It controlled countries across every continent and today 14 overseas territories remain under British sovereignty.
In America, Black people know all too well the lengths white people—particularly white conservatives—go to in order to protect their version of the nation’s image and legacy, even if it means banning unfiltered Black history into colonizer oblivion and justifying it by blindly labeling everything that makes them uncomfortable as critical race theory, which they’ve thoroughly demonized without demonstrating that they have a clue what it actually is. So, they get to try their damnedest to keep their rose-colored glasses pinched to their noses and we get to disrupt their ignorant bliss by filling their social media and news feeds with our protests, pro-Blackness and social media posts about systemic racism and white nationalism.
That’s basically what’s going on with the non-colonizer-friendly response to the queen’s death, only it’s on a global level.
And, of course, we got jokes.
Besides, it isn’t just Black Twitter. Have y’all even seen Irish Twitter?
Some people might argue that folks could at least let the ink dry on the queen’s death certificate before we start flooding the woke-ernet with mini-dissertations about European colonization and the way it has gotten good and fat by feeding on the world around it. But if not now, then when? It’s not like we don’t talk about these things at times when a monarch hasn’t died. But the queen’s death made it a trending topic and thus impossible for the white world at large to ignore.