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God Save The Caribbean: Why Don’t Island Nations Go It Alone?

As the British monarchy reels under fresh allegations of racism, the question grows stronger each day — why do Caribbean nations need The Crown, anyway?


Islands full of beautiful brown and non-white people remain ruled by Royals who reportedly scoff or even panic at the thought of a sun-kissed Blue Blood.


In Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Prince was adamant that neither Her Majesty the Queen nor Prince Philip participated in the family’s racial murmurings about his son. He did, however, reveal that there were discussions among “unnamed others” who speculated on how dark his son’s skin might be.


Heaven forbid that a member of the royal family resemble vast numbers of its own people.


To her credit, Queen Elizabeth II stood in solidarity with British Commonwealth countries to help bring down apartheid in South Africa. Yet it remains clear that her family’s ingrained racism remains alive and vibrant behind the silken veil.


So why, then, especially in the Western Hemisphere, do Caribbean nations cling to a political structure that doesn’t seem to serve or value them? In practice, most are fending for themselves anyway in dealing with essential matters like the global pandemic.


Some islands have reportedly moved away from the crown already. As Tim Padgett notes: "Dominica went queen-less in 1966; Guyana in 1970; Trinidad and Tobago in 1976.” Others, like Jamaica, are said to be “considering it,” but consideration alone won’t cut the cord.


Perhaps Barbados will lead a new wave as it closes the door on colonialism once and for all. After announcing in September 2020 that it’s replacing Queen Elizabeth II with “a Barbadian head of state,” Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason pledged that Barbados will be a republic by the time it celebrates the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain in November 2021.

 

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