BLM Cautiously Welcomes Queen’s Support | Black Lives Matter Movement
Black Lives Matter UK expressed surprise after the Queen and the Royal Family backed her cause, but the anti-racist movement stressed that “actions speak louder than words”.
Sir Ken Olisa, London’s first black lord-lieutenant, revealed to Channel 4 that he discussed racism with members of the royal household following the murder of George Floyd in the United States. When asked if the palace supports the BLM, Olisa said: “The answer is easily yes.”
His comments come after a period in which the royal family’s racial record has come under scrutiny. In their interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused an anonymous member of the Royal Family of racism, while The Guardian revealed in June that the Queen was personally exempt from laws prohibiting refusing to d ’employ someone on the basis of their race or ethnicity.
The BLM movement also highlighted looting during the empire and the involvement of monarchs in the slave trade.
BLM UK spokesperson Adjoa said: “We were surprised to learn that the Queen is a BLM supporter. But we welcome all who agree with our goal of dismantling white supremacy. Of course, actions speak louder than words. The queen is seated on a throne made of colonial plunder. Until she returns all the gold and diamonds stolen from the Commonwealth and pays for repairs, those are just warm words. “
In Winfrey’s interview, Meghan said that an anonymous royal – not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh – had raised concerns with Harry before the birth of their son, Archie, over the color of the skin of their son Archie.
The couple also suggested that racism may have been a factor behind the decision to deny Archie security protection and the title of prince.
The Queen then issued a statement saying the issues raised would be dealt with in private, but “some memories may vary”. The Duke of Cambridge said: “We are really not a racist family.”
Patrick Vernon, cultural historian and co-author of 100 Great Black Britons, said that if the Queen truly embraces the BLM, “the next logical question would be what she’s going to do about it, in terms of an alliance, which is no different from conversations I have had conversations with people in the private sector when I have been discussing this issue for the past two years.
“What will she demonstrate by alliance to support blacks and browns and also recognize her privilege? In many ways, she is the ultimate privilege.
He suggested several steps she could take, including:
Make an explicit statement supporting BLM.
Increase the diversity of staff employed by Buckingham Palace.
End the Queen’s personal exemption from equality laws.
Recognize the Windrush scandal and support an appropriate compensation scheme for its victims.
In June, the palace said it “must do more” after releasing figures revealing that its share of employees from ethnic minorities stood at 8.5%, against a target of 10% by ‘next year. He declined to comment on Olisa’s remarks.
When asked if he is happy that the Queen is backing BLM, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said it was “a palace affair”.
As to whether the prime minister supported the BLM, the spokesperson said: “He himself has said that he has always supported the right of people to demonstrate peacefully and to make their feelings known.”