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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bezos, Others Reacts To Queen Elizabeth II Demise

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The death of 96 year old British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has sparked several rumours and debates both on and off the media. While the Queen who was head of United Kingdom for 70 years and 214 days received adulation during her reign for being generous and benevolent, emerging stories suggests she was anything but kind.

Elizabeth II, the eldest daughter to King George VI who died in his sleep became successor to the King. She was thousands of miles away on a holiday trip in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip when she got news of his death. Upon her return, she took over rulership after her coronation at Westminster Abbey in central London on June 2, 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II coronation
Queen Elizabeth II poses for a portrait at home in Buckingham Palace in December 1958 in London, England. (Photo by Donald McKague/Michael Ochs)

Many tech industry leaders have taken to social media to express their condolences at the Queen’s passing. Among the business leaders who shared their sentiments includes Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Bob Iger, Sundar Pichai, etc.

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates tweeted “I feel honored to have met HM Queen Elizabeth, and I am very sad to hear of her passing.”  

There is nothing more noble than to devote your life to the service of others,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook tweeted

“The world has lost an extraordinary person, Queen Elizabeth,” Disney CEO Bob Iger also tweeted.

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The founder and executive chairman of Amazon, Jeff Bezos equally shared his condolences “I can think of no one who better personified duty,” Bezos said. “My deepest condolences to all the Brits mourning her passing today.”

Jeff Bezos And Professor Uju Anya Spar Over Queen Elizabeth II

On September 8, 2022, it was a battle of wills on Twitter space when a tweet by Uju Anya sparked an uproar. Nigerian-born professor of Applied Linguistics, anti-racist and feminist, Uju Anya poured gasoline over the Queen’s grave and ignited it.

Uju Anya, igerian professor who reacted to Queen Elizabeth II death
Uju Anya Credit: Daily Post

In a now deleted tweet which claimed to have “violated the Twitter rules,” Uju Anya expressed antipathy towards the Queen. The self-acclaimed, anti-racist Nigerian professor said “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.”

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This controversial tweet has provoked an outrage across Twitter and other social media platforms. It was a savagely cruel thing to say to a dead person, especially one beloved by all. Regardless, Anya maintained her stance with a follow up tweet amid cheers and verbal onslaughts.

“If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star,” Uju Anya tweeted.

Reacting to the initial tweet, Bezos tweeted “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow,”

The institution where Uju Anya works expressed displeasure toward the offensive message following the stir Uju’s tweet caused. “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account,”

Carnegie University opposed the tweet but sang that, freedom of expression is one of their unswerving beliefs. “Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”

Why Did Uju Anya Make That Tweet About The Queen?

The alleged role of the British empire in supplying the Nigerian government with arms and ammunition during the Nigerian Civil War between 1967 and 1970. Over a million people, mostly from the southeast region were killed during the war.

Following Uju’s tweet, several Nigerians have made similar tweets on the negative effects of British colonialism in Nigeria and Africa. The British takeover, slavery, stolen artifacts, rape, hunger, the Igbo landing, etc.

Quuen Elizabeth II demise spark controversy among igbos
How the Igbo people showed strength and unity in the face of persecution in ancient times Source: BBC Igbo

Yet another subject of resentment towards the Queen is her crown, adorned with the jewels stolen from Britain’s many colonies. Neither Queen Elizabeth II nor any member of the Royal Family ever apologised for the British imperial crimes committed in the past.

Africans still mourn the loss of what the British colonial masters took from them. Among them is Muthoni Mathenge, a Kenyan woman in her 90s who was tortured with an ax by British soldiers in 1952 for protecting her husband and resisting the British control. Muthoni recounted how she and several others were forced to bury their fellow comrades who were killed by the British.

Muthoni Mathenege asks Queen Elizabeth II to compensate her.
Muthoni Mathenge with a photo of her husband credit: The Star

It might be hard to dispel these rumours, as so many Africans are reminiscing the subjugation of the British government. It is however important to note that Queen Elizabeth II cannot be held solely accountable for all the barbarousness of Britain over the years.

In many cases, the decisions made by the British government did not come directly from her. However, as the Monarch, everyone’s resentment, rage and hatred was targeted towards her.

The Queen never found it politically beneficial to apologise for the wrongs of the British government, hence, she never did.

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