As tributes poured in after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, some internet users expressed their disagreement, sometimes going so far as to celebrate the death of a sovereign whom they pose as a symbol of Britain’s colonial past.
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“Lizzy’s in a box”, a video announcing the supporters at the stadium in Dublin (Ireland), went viral on YouTube and Twitter within hours.
On Snapchat, some of their pals appear to be dancing in a nightclub with the message “Lizzy is dead” or all smiles and thumbs up before the announcement of the death of the British sovereign on television.
Another scene shows three Irish dancers outside Buckingham Palace to the tune of “Another One Bites the Dust” by the Queen’s Troupe. The scene was filmed in January 2022, but it resurfaced Thursday on Twitter, where it was “liked” by more than 530,000 people in 24 hours.
Behind the hashtags #IrishTwitter, #BlackTwitter and #IndianTwitter, hide since Thursday various videos, photos and messages in English, but also in Spanish or French, often openly mocking and sometimes very political, reminiscent of Elizabeth II, in her time. The 70-year reign was also the sovereignty of a country that had colonized others.
“The Colonial Queen passed away today,” an English surfer announced in a viral video on TikTok. “She committed many abuses”, adds another 25,000 times “liked” in French, inviting her subscribers to learn about the “Mau Mau rebellion” against colonial forces in Kenya in the 1950s. At least 10,000 d of them were killed, according to the lowest estimates.
“Today we mourn all the lives stolen, raped and traumatized, injured and destroyed during the reign of Elizabeth II,” reads a message posted in English on Facebook in several groups dedicated to the Australian Aboriginal community.
Uju Anya, a professor at a prestigious American university and born in the former British colony of Nigeria, criticized Elizabeth II in tweets, drawing widespread criticism.
“If anyone expects me to express anything other than hatred for a ruler who oversaw a government that fostered a genocide that massacred and displaced half my family…they can only dream for forever,” he said after the 1967 civil war (or “Biafra War”), which cost at least a million during regional secession. People died (mostly from starvation). Uni has been accused of contributing to the crisis by supporting the central government.
South Africa’s far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party issued a widely retweeted statement: “We do not mourn the passing of Elizabeth, for us her death is a reminder of a sad time for the country. . And the history of Africa”.
When Elizabeth was born in 1926, the British Empire spanned six continents. During his reign, which began in 1952, most of the 56 countries that make up the Commonwealth gained independence, including several countries on the African continent such as Ghana, Kenya or Gambia.