Some have used the passing of Queen Elizabeth II to point out all the things that England should apologize for – its history of colonialism, its role in the slave trade, Camilla Parker Bowles…
Many of these same people have attempted to thread the needle by suggesting they aren’t necessarily throwing shade on the Queen (a woman most acknowledge as having done as much as she probably could have to drag a tradition steeped in moth balls and absurd ceremony out of the Middle Ages).
Rather, they say, it’s important not to forget all the evil perpetrated by the English government (over whom the Queen wields zero power), and not to be distracted by such nonsense as royal weddings, adorable royal babies, royal spats, and, of courts royal fashion – what’s Kate wearing today? Why, look at that hat! That tiara! That brooch!
Which, I suppose is a good point. Except, if that sentiment is coming out of the mouth of a white American, I’m gonna have to say….bullshit. Or, maybe, “Hey, Kettle! What a lovely shade of black you are!”
Because England certainly has some excellent company in the Doing Shitty Things Department.
Slave Trade? We did that – for a lot longer, on a much broader scale, and we even had a Chief Justice (Roger Taney) who wrote in the Dred Scott opinion that black people were chattel – you know, like a teapot. You read that right. For hundreds of years in this country, a black person had no more rights that a f***ing teapot.
Even after Congress said, “Yeah…no,” the Supreme Court was still all Plessy v. Ferguson and was like, “okay, you can go to school, black kids, just not OUR schools,” and you know who had the nicer schools, and it wasn’t the black kids.
Also, the white people who came to this country in the 1500’s and thereafter took away 99% of the land on which the indigenous people already living here inhabited. They killed a lot of those people, either by actually shooting them, or by infecting them with disease, or sending them on death marches from their homes to some remote location that white people hadn’t yet decided they wanted.
And then we kept treating black people and people of color like sh**. We did the same thing to people who are in the LGBTQ community, and to immigrants from countries that don’t have socialized medicine and really good maternity leave programs, and people who are Muslim.
Oh, and we hate women.
So, all you super-woke Americans looking to poke at the English for their history of Things They Shouldn’t Have Done, I don’t know what moral soapbox you think you’ve got a right to stand on.
I love my country, and it has done great things, but it also has a long history of some pretty horrific behavior – which would be understandable and simply part of our country’s growing pains if we had actually learned anything from our worst mistakes (we haven’t).
So, England, this is my message to you, from one American who finds the royal family somewhat dubious but also realizes she isn’t British and didn’t live through a war where her country was bombed every night for years by freaking Nazis and where the presence of the King and his family may have brought comfort to those who did.
I say to a nation who now mourns a woman who seems to have represented a sense of constancy and determination to keep going, with dignity and purpose, despite the turmoil and increasing chaos of this world:
Please accept my most sincere condolences at the loss of your Queen.
Now, was that so hard?