Amazon founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, got into a Twitter fight with a professor of Nigerian descent over the linguistics professor’s tweet calling for Queen Elizabeth II to “die in agony.” The tweet was posted shortly after news that Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96 on Sept. 8, ending Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.
Bezos, who is worth $153 billion, slammed Carnegie Mellon University linguistics professor Uju Anya after she described the late queen as the monarch of a “thieving raping genocidal empire.”
“This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow,” Bezos tweeted in response.
Anya stood by her tweet: “May everyone you and your merciless greed have harmed in this world remember you as fondly as I remember my colonizers.”
She also wrote in the language of the Igbo ethnic people in Nigeria, “Otoro gba gbue gi,” which roughly translates to, “May you die of an uncontrollable running stomach.”
Many on Twitter supported Anya and blasted Benzo.
“If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star,” Anya wrote.
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Twitter has taken down some of Anya’s tweets for violating community guidelines.
In her Twitter profile, Dr. Anya describes herself as a “Professor. Field: applied linguistics. Antiracist, feminist. She is a university professor and researcher in applied linguistics, critical sociolinguistics, and critical discourse studies primarily examining race, gender, sexual, and social class identities in new language learning through the experiences of African American students, according to her website..
She teaches and conducts research in the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University as associate professor of second language acquisition.
Carnegie replied to the furor over her tweets. The school’s official statement reads: “We do not condone the offensive and objectionable messages posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster.”
Twitter also removed the following tweet from Anya: “That wretched woman and her bloodthirsty throne have f***** generations of my ancestors on both sides of the family, and she supervised a government that sponsored the genocide my parents and siblings survived. May she die in agony.”
Anya was referring to the British Empire’s violent overthrow of her native country of Nigeria and its military occupation of South Africa in the late 19th century, Newsweek reported.
Since the tweets, hundreds of people have been calling for to be fired, The Daily Mail reported.
But many in Black America has been supporting her tweets.
“People get so frustrated when Black folk don’t love white supremacy. It’s weird, truly,” tweeted dr. jenn m. jackson.
“We don’t have to send flowers to Buckingham Palace. But, we can be silent. It’s basic human dignity. These mean-spirited comments are unworthy. A family has lost its matriarch. A country its monarch. Is it beyond us to pause our differences and allowing them to mourn in peace?” asked journalist Tyrone Reid.
“That queen died and that crazed Nigerian feminist Professor on the verge of being fired. Lemme find out God gave us the 2 for 1 special today,” tweeted J Winnfield along with a photo of Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan.
Jeff Bezos, May 9, 2019: Daniel Oberhaus, 2019, https://www.flickr.com/photos/163370954@N08/