The Queen is Dead
The Queen is Dead
From Stan Grant, leading journalist and author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers Talking to My Country and Australia Day, comes an extraordinary and powerful call to action. 'History is not weighted on the scales, it is felt in our bones. It is worn on our skin. It is scarred in memory.'
The Queen reigned for seventy years. She came to the throne at the height of Empire and died with the world at a tipping point. What comes next after the death of what Stan Grant calls 'the last white Queen'?
From one of our most respected and award-winning journalists, Stan Grant, The Queen is Dead is a searing, viscerally powerful, emotionally unstoppable, pull-no-punches book on the bitter legacy of colonialism for indigenous people. Taking us on a journey through the world's fault lines, from the war in Ukraine, the rise of China, the identity wars, the resurgence of white supremacy, and the demand that Black Lives Matter, The Queen is Dead is a full-throated, impassioned argument on the necessity for an end to monarchy in Australia, the need for a Republic, and what needs to be done - through the Voice to Parliament and beyond - to address and redress the pain and sorrow and humiliations of the past.
Momentous and timely, The Queen is Dead carries an urgent, undeniable and righteous demand for justice, for a reckoning, and a just settlement with First Nations people.
When Queen Elizabeth II died, Stan Grant was asked by the ABC if he would present the coverage that evening. He said no: ‘I cannot mourn the White Queen.’ For Grant, the Queen signified the Whiteness that had justified the invasion of his country and the oppression of his people. The death of the Queen was nothing to mourn, nothing to celebrate.
In this powerful and raw book, Grant explores the notion of Whiteness, which he describes as a spell, an evil magic that elevates White above those not deemed White. In strong language, Grant describes the impact of Whiteness: the exercise of racially charged power. The Queen was heir to a legacy that enslaved, exploited, and subjugated hundreds of millions of people over many centuries, and Grant makes the case that this legacy has left in its wake a world that is anxious and without a moral core.
Grant examines the impact of Whiteness across different societies throughout history – and the evil of it; in Ireland, the British made the Irish second-class citizens in their homeland, yet when Irish people escaped to Australia in the early period of colonisation, many became as brutal as their British oppressors. In the United States, centuries-old communities were driven from their lands; in South Africa racial oppression was clinically formalised.
Grant is a highly respected journalist and writer with an international reputation, yet he feels alone in his own country; the words of Australia’s national anthem, and the Union Jack in the corner of the flag, inspire anger and loss in him. For many of us, this book will be uncomfortable reading, because we have been participants in, and beneficiaries of, the dispossession and alienation of this country’s First Nations peoples. I hope we will see that in writing this book, Grant has done us all a great service.
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