Andrew Roberts Blows Up on MSNBC Over Queen's Link to ColonialismHistorians in the News
tags: colonialism, British Empire, Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Family
MSNBC's coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II took a turn on Saturday morning when a British historian took exception with host Ali Velshi after he mentioning the brutal colonialism conducted under the crown -- and the two ended up in a shouting match.
In his intro, the MSNBC host explained the late queen, "Represented an institution that had a long, ugly history of brutal colonialism, violence, theft, and slavery. For many centuries the British robbed other nations of their wealth and power and exploited their people. Even as Queen Elizabeth's reign largely marks the beginning of the post-colonial era, the horrors that her long line of ancestors inflicted upon many generations of people across the globe continues to be the source of pain. That is now a legacy that her eldest son, King Charles II inherits."
That immediately set off his guest, historian Andrew Roberts, and the interview went off the rails with Roberts asking the MSNBC host where he was born and Velshi sarcastically closing by thanking Roberts for coming on the show to "whitewash" British history.
Roberts came right out of the gates chastizing Velshi.
Asked by the host if the royal institution needs to change, Roberts shot back, "I think that is wildly overstated frankly. When you look at all the opinion polls we are about 80 to 85% in favor of having a constitutional monarchy. Whoever is saying that on the throne, so I think this is extremely overdone."
"Frankly, I am afraid to say, as your introduction was -- it pains people throughout history -- why was she chosen by every single commonwealth country, many of which are former countries, as the head of the commonwealth?" he asked.
"Andrew, hold on a second. Are you really denying what I just said about racial colonialism? Are you really doing that, Andrew?" Velshi replied as Roberts continued to protest. "Andrew, Andrew, this is not a propaganda show. Andrew, I need you to stop. I need you to stop for a second. Are you really taking issue with the horrors of colonialism, Andrew?"