The New York Times immediately politicized Queen Elizabeth II’s passing on Thursday with an op-ed advising people to not “romanticize” her reign, citing Britain’s past colonialism.
Written by Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff, the article wastes little time getting to its thesis of demonizing the queen as a relic of a racist era in which she oversaw the dissolution of the British Empire. Jasanoff begins by at least acknowledging the late queen’s impact on Britain and the rest of the world before dedicating over 1,500 words to bashing her legacy and calling for an end to the British Monarchy’s cultural impact.
“She has been a fixture of stability, and her death in already turbulent times will send ripples of sadness around the world,” writes Jasanoff. “But we should not romanticize her era.”
Saying the queen put a “stolid traditionalist front over decades of violent upheaval,” Jasanoff then alleges that the queen’s image essentially helped to “obscure a bloody history of decolonization” that has yet to be acknowledged and apologized for.
After sifting through the queen’s long, complicated history without so much as an attempt to present a rebuttal or at least add a layer of contextualization to the many alleged atrocities attributed to her government, Jasanoff then reflects on the queen’s final decades, during which she saw a rise in British multiculturalism that culminated into Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle.
“Xenophobia and racism have been rising, fueled by the toxic politics of Brexit,” laments Jasanoff.
“She was, of course, a white face on all the coins, notes and stamps circulated in a rapidly diversifying nation: From perhaps one person of color in 200 Britons at her accession, the 2011 census counted one in seven,” she later suggests.
Jasanoff closes with a call to end what she calls the “imperial monarchy” and reduce it to a piece of ceremonial obscurity, as seen in the Scandinavian countries.
“The new king now has an opportunity to make a real historical impact by scaling back royal pomp and updating Britain’s monarchy to be more like those of Scandinavia. That would be an end to celebrate,” she concludes.
Jasanoff is far from the only professor to politicize the queen’s death and is actually far more restrained in her criticism than some of her woke counterparts.
“I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating,” Carnegie Mellon University professor Uju Anya tweeted on Thursday.
In a follow-up tweet, the professor wrote, “That wretched woman and her bloodthirsty throne have fucked generations of my ancestors on both sides of the family, and she supervised a government that sponsored the genocide my parents and siblings survived.”
“May she die in agony,” she added.