God Save the People
After ‘Decentring Whiteness’ by Darius Simpson

the saying goes Black Lives Matter
the saying goes Eat the Rich
the saying goes celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee 

let’s talk about how every monarch
between Elizabeth I and George III
gave their blessing to the human trafficking of Africans
what happens when we call them monarchs rather than colonisers
let’s talk about historical amnesia
how in 2020, organisations who made anti-racism statements
are now supporting an institution that steals from you 

how the same organisations challenged colonial statues
I want to talk about how British “tradition”
is just peer pressure from white supremacist institutions
do you see how easy it is to erase institutional wrongdoing
and to individualise wrongdoing 

for example you say slavery, I say enslavement
you say triangular, I say Trafalgar Square
and immediately you start to think about where the money went
and if you follow the trail of modern insurance
you will start to see the Atlantic Ocean
as over 40,000 miles of unmarked graves
as street parties sit adjacent to histories depraved 

what happens when we call
enslavement, human trafficking
the Royal African Company a corporation
what happens when we call
British traditionalism genocide
you say Colston, you say enslaver
and immediately you think of his statue
and not the fact it was put there
over 150 years after he died
as British stately homes run red
adjacent to those hunched below the deck

immediately, you stop individualising my critique
and you start to ask questions about institutional violence
abracadabra, and the racial contract moves into the present
what happens when we trade the Jubilee for Thanksgiving
and Plymouth Rock lands on the Black Country
what happens when we call the Jubilee a white nationalist rally
a rally, a lynching, a lynching a long bank holiday weekend
do you see how violence gets erased from our history books
in the creases of a white woman’s smile 

do you see white women lynching Black men
and then wearing their faces on “equality” initiatives
what happens to the next protesters that pull down a statue
when mobs of football fans are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee
even though celebrating oppression is the most unBritish thing
in the aftermath of the Chartists and Blair Peach

why do we call it a Jubilee, instead of over 70 years colonised
what happens when we call it racism instead of white supremacy
an invitation to the Palace, rather than first-class demise
Honours rather than Stockholm Syndrome
what happens when terms like police abolition
are more controversial than 150,000+ preventable deaths

less about equal access to unjust systems,
more about why unjust systems exists
but to call your organisation anti-racist
while celebrating the monarchy –
I ask you to question the white supremacy
you have digested without thinking
why ‘British’ tradition keeps it colonial
with the Crown’s blood splatter
bank holidays bank-rolled
with the blood of our ancestors on it.


A proud Northamptonian: Tré Ventour is a freelance artist-educator, and thinker. His education work through lectures and workshops allows him to visit all types of institutions, including schools and universities in the subjects of Black history, anti-Black racisms, and whiteness. https://linktr.ee/treventoured