Uju Anya on her tweet about Queen Elizabeth II

By | September 10, 2022

The Cut reports:

The news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death has been met with public outpourings of grief commemorating her service as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. But not everyone is in mourning. For many impacted by the lasting legacy of the British Empire — one marked by genocide, racism, and exploitation — her death has been met with indifference, rage, and even celebration. “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” Uju Anya, an applied-linguistics professor at Carnegie Mellon, tweeted on Thursday. “May her pain be excruciating.”

Anya was born in Nigeria in the aftermath of its civil war, which included a genocide aided and abetted by the U.K. over oil interests. Anya is far from alone in criticizing the queen’s role in obscuring the realities of colonialism, which, over the course of her 70-year reign, she at times acknowledged but never explicitly apologized for. Yet Anya’s words were met with harsh backlash, including from Jeff Bezos, who responded, “This is someone supposedly making the world better? I don’t think so. Wow.”

Anya replied to Bezos, writing, “May everyone you and your merciless greed have harmed in this world remember you as fondly as I remember my colonizers.” Twitter responded by removing Anya’s initial tweet, claiming it violated the site’s policy, while Carnegie Mellon released a public statement saying it did not “condone the offensive and objectionable messages” Anya posted. “Free expression is core to the mission of higher education; however, the views [Anya] shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster,” the university explained. Last year, Carnegie Mellon received a $2 million donation from Amazon for its Computer Science Academy. [Continue reading…]

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