Nothing Can Stop It!
…..Well at least his ancestors did. Along with yours and probably mine. (Actually the likelihood of my forefathers being on the slavery boat (pardon the abominable pun) is slim, half of them coming as Russian and Eastern European refugees to England, they just wouldn’t have had the funds. Although I’m sure, if they could have done, they’d have loved to have had a couple of slaves here and there too! A tragedy of economic inequality, eh?)
Unfortunately for Dawkins, this unpleasant fact coming to light is yet another way in which the once great biologist-cum-pop-theologian has experienced the once very distant pendulum swinging straight at his avuncular face.
The angle that Lusher places on this marginally interesting story is just utterly bizarre. As Dawkins points out in his reply, whilst tragic and unpleasant, it is entirely unremarkable that his ancestors committed these acts. They were men of a certain socio-economic status, living at a certain time, amongst a certain set of accepted moral principles. Uninteresting.
What is interesting is that The Telegraph find this story, ‘Man is descended from people who did bad things,’ of note, so interesting in fact, that they even went and published it! If you wish to criticise Dawkins, there are many more relevant and more effective methods of doing so. It’s not particularly big or clever to work out the flaws in Dawkin’s writing, they are self-evident. However it is far less big or clever, to attempt to undermine him on the grounds of something quite so incidental.
Adam Lusher writes that Dawkins is now “facing calls to apologise and make reparations for his family’s past.” I sincerely hope that Lusher will track down every single descendant of a perpetrator of slavery and attempt to extract apologies from them too. Furthermore why not find the descendants of war criminals, maybe even those who sat in courts which condemned people to their deaths, he should certainly pester the progeny of key players in the Salem witch trials. Hell, maybe Lusher should trace this historical blame back to the crucifixion of Dawkin’s most important adversary itself.
Grow up Lusher. Grow up The Telegraph.