Birmingham City University professor Kehinde Andrews told MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi that he wasn’t sad about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II because she represented “white supremacy” and “colonialism.”
The professor made his comments during Velshi’s Saturday MSNBC special, titled “Remembering Queen Elizabeth II.” Velshi, who seemed quite keen on discussing the British monarchy’s history of “colonialism” during the memorial, prompted Andrews by asking, “How do you express colonialism? What’s the short form of the effect of colonialism today? Was it bad?”
After Velshi quickly added, “I draw the conclusion that yes, it was bad,” Professor Andrews responded, saying, “Of course colonialism’s bad. It was terrible. And if you just look at a map of the world by GDP per capita, the poorest countries today are in so-called sub-Saharan Africa where the black people live, and the richest countries are the west where the white people live.”
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“We literally have a world which is in the image of white supremacy,” he declared.
He then blamed the British monarchy for this, saying this white supremacist world “came from the colonial era, and the Royal Family unfortunately, and the Queen in particular, symbolize that system.” He continued, “That’s one of the reasons she’s so popular, is cause she is a throwback to those colonial times when Britain was great and when Britain dominated the world.”
“And you cannot separate that history from the poverty that we see around the world today.”
Later on in the segment, Velshi asked Andrews to comment on whether you can hold “these two thoughts,” that “You can like the Queen, you can honor the fact that someone has passed,” and that “she didn’t forsake the institution that was responsible for colonialism.”
Andrews revealed he didn’t have to reconcile the two thoughts because he’s not fond of the Queen. “I don’t have any affection for the Queen, and that’s nothing personal against her. I don’t know her, none of us know her, right? And it’s sad that someone’s passed away but that affection doesn’t exist for many of us,” he admitted.
He explained that his grandmother “grew up in colonial Jamaica” and was “taught to revere the Queen. She had a picture of the Queen on her wall until she died,” he mentioned, before explaining how his generation doesn’t share that reverence at all.
“But we grew up very different. We understood what the Queen was,” he claimed, adding, “Royalists and the monarchy represented the racism that my generation faced.”
Re-addressing Velshi’s question, Andrews explained, “There is no conflict. We don’t – we never have seen the Queen as someone who represents us, as someone who should represent us. And she has died and it’s sad, but there is literally no conflict.”
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Andrews noted, “This is somebody who represented white supremacy and colonialism, and as you said, didn’t give reparations, didn’t give up her wealth, didn’t give up her power. She reveled in it.”
“And I’m not sure why I should be sad today, and millions of us in this country have exactly the same feeling as me, I would say,” the professor concluded.