Jamaican Rastafarian dub poet Mutabaruka was recently interviewed on a US-based TV programme named ‘Democracy Now!’, where he spoke of the British Monarchy’s long-standing reign in Jamaica, their atrocious acts of slavery spanning decades, and the Government’s decision of mandating 12 days for mourning Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
Mutabaruka argued that the Queen ascended the throne in 1952 whilst living in Kenya and during that time, there was the Mau Mau uprising where the monarch was responsible for committing the most “gruesome and cruel” acts against black people. In this period according to history, millions of persons were forced into concentration camps where they were subjected to torture, rape, and other human rights violations.
He also referred to apartheid that occurred in South Africa, a system of racial segregation and oppression on grounds of race. To add, he noted the results of slavery in the Caribbean that caused the death of several persons at the hands of the British.
Meanwhile, Mutabaruka called the decision to mourn the Queen’s death by the Jamaican Government as being “backward” with a case of “Stockholm syndrome”. He stated that the Caribbean island has been and still is deeply affected, yet in a time like this, they openly honour her death.
“We don’t see why we should sit down and say 12 days of mourning that fi show how backward and weh wi call stockholm syndrome.” He continued, “Here’s a family that represent criminal activities from your ancestors and now u start to love them, still honouring the most gruesome and cruel monarchy that ever exist.”
The question was further posed by the Rastafarian on how can Jamaicans sit for days and mourn for the Queen, yet there are millions of warriors who died across the Atlantic Ocean who were never recognized. He further questioned why was there not a day of mourning for Jamaica’s sole female heroine, Nanny of the Maroons, and Tacky, a Coromantee chief who led one of the slave rebellions.
“How can we now sit and seh wi gone have 12 days or mourning, 12 days of mourning for what? What we mourning, why we mourning that for?” He added, “I am not one of them who are mourning and I can talk for a lot of Rastafari brethren and sistren. We don’t see it as a mourning time.”
According to Mutabaruka, King Charles can now address the situation by first taking responsibility, apologizing then initiating reparation and repatriation discussions with the Government. He explained that several persons are desirous of returning to their homeland, Africa, which therefore means that this option must be included in going forward.
Watch the full interview below: