Kambon:Queen was a symbol of oppression

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Queen Elizabeth II arrives att he Piarco International Airport for CHOGM on November 26 2009. – File Photo

While some in TT are mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the head of the Emancipation Support Committee, Kafra Kambon, said TT should not feel any emotions on the queen’s passing, as she was a symbol of oppression to not just the African diaspora in TT, but all cultures in TT that experienced oppression under British rule.

“If we understand what she was a symbol of – a symbol of colonial oppression – we should not be in any emotional state over the queen’s death. The queen is dead. Fine.”

“Her death has no emotional meaning for me,” he added.

“It is just that someone has died. A symbol of an oppressive empire has died – one that I buried in my mind a long time ago.

“Someone told me about the queen’s death. I didn’t hear it on the news. When I heard the news I simply said ‘OK.’”

He said the queen was a symbol of an empire which plundered countries all over the world.

“Look at how old she was when she died. She was kept alive that long because of the plunder of countries like ours. It was that plunder that allowed them to live the lives of luxury that they did.”

He said that crimes committed by British colonisers were so horrendous that they were ordered to be destroyed, but symbols of the British empire in the form of statues and monuments remained to solidify the psychological colonisation of the minds of the people they once ruled over.

Khafra Kambon, co-founder if the Emancipation Support Committee.

“Remember, the queen is not a powerful figure, that power was psychological,” he said.

“The aura that was created around the queen was part of Britain’s strategy for power – because power is not just in the gun it is in the psychology. They really worked on the psychology of the colonies and that is why, up to today, people would not want to take down symbols of those people who represented terror and cruelty for us in TT and in the Caribbean.

“If someone killed your grandmother, would you put up a portrait of them in your living room? You wouldn’t, because they represent something that is painful for you to remember.

“The colonisation of the minds was embedded in those symbols they left in our environment. Those symbols were part of a psychological terror and domination,” he said.

On Thursday, news of the queen’s death spread around the world. Various bodies including the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, the British High Commission and several figureheads expressed public condolences over her death.

Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96.