Bollocks?: Richard Dawkins being criticised for having ancestors who owned slaves.

Has the world gone fucking mad? Is this the beginning of the 2012 apocalypse?

Dicky Dawkins

For those who don’t know a journalist did some research on Richard Dawkins family history (why?). Anyway he found out that Richard Dawkins great great great great great grandfather owned a sugar plantation in Jamaica along with over a thousand slaves. The journalist, Adam Lusher who writes for the Daily Telegraph, spoke to Dawkins over the phone and asked if Dawkins felt any guilt, to which Dawkins replied along the lines of “No I wasn’t fucking born” (I’m paraphrasing). The conversation then ended.

The journalist then phoned back moments later to ask Dawkins if he thinks he may have inherited a gene for supporting slavery. Dawkins replied:

“You obviously need a genetics lesson,” I replied. Henry Dawkins was my great great great great great grandfather, so approximately one in 128 of my genes are inherited from him (that’s the correct figure; in the heat of the moment on the phone, I got it wrong by a couple of powers of two).

The journalist then suggested that Dawkins pay reparations. The journalist thought that Dawkins ancestor probably used the money earned from his slavery business to purchase the “estate” the Dawkins still own. However Dawkins replied that his family only own a small fraction of it and that it’s no more than a small farm that’s worth peanuts. Dawkins went on to say that most of the Dawkins wealth was pissed away (paraphrasing) by Colonel William Gregory Dawkins, an ancestor.

I seriously can’t believe there isn’t enough shit going on in the world. Are journalists so in need of a good story? I abhor slavery and as a 21st century man I believe all men and women should be equal regardless of race, colour or culture. However we cannot hope to improve the future if we were to never move on from the past. What Dawkins ancestors did was disgusting but it’s not his fault. Should we bulldoze the pyramids? They were made by slaves. Should we all have to apologise for what our ancestors did? If you look back far enough I guarantee you’ll find something nasty.

I think I’ve mentioned or at least hinted at the fact I’m an Atheist in past blogs but I assure you I’m not just coming to the aid of a fellow heathen. If it were discovered tomorrow that Dawkins was still using slaves then I assure you I would be every bit as disgusted as everyone else, regardless of their faith.

You can read his account of things here

Or if you’d rather an unbiased opinion from a newspaper (ha!) you can click here.


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