Cambridge historian Professor Robert Tombs has written an excellent piece in the Telegraph stressing that the woke obsession with ‘anti-racism’ and ‘facing up to’ past involvement in slavery is really all about advancing a thinly-veiled revolutionary, anti-British agenda. Here’s an excerpt.
We play along with the pretext that the obsession with slavery and colonialism is about history. We even acquiesce in activists’ claims that the aim is uncovering some long-hidden aspect of our past and ‘facing up to it’. But real history seeks above all to understand and it aims at getting the complete story. Trawling through the past in a search for something discreditable is crude propaganda.
There is no serious historical purpose when institutions such as the Church of England, Cambridge University, Kew Gardens, the National Trust, or the Bank of England solemnly announce that they are investigating their guilty past. It is perfectly well known that Britain, and hence the monarchy and many other institutions, were involved in the slave economy. It is equally well known that nearly every other country was – not only European countries, but African, American, Asian and Middle Eastern ones too.
Many people also realise that Britain, and hence its monarchy, were the leaders of a long global campaign to end the slave trade and then slavery itself. Successive governments were responding to a tide of public pressure, including mass petitions and boycotts of slave-grown products – sufficient proof that Britain has long been one of the least racist societies. Of course, efforts to end slavery were not wholly successful, but they were sustained and often heroic.
Moreover, they were unique: the British anti-slavery policy was strongly resisted by American, European, Arab and, of course, African states, which had to be persuaded by diplomacy, bribery and sometimes force. This epoch-making endeavour, not participation in the slave trade, is the part of our history that is now being deliberately downplayed and distorted. Yet while we need to reiterate the basics – of which many children and young people seem ignorant – argument alone is not enough, as it assumes a willingness to listen and be convinced by plain fact.
In reality there is no such willingness among those who are singling out Britain, as if this country and its monarchy were uniquely tainted. Sometimes their motives seem to be ideological, as succinctly expressed by the newly elected National Education Union General Secretary, Daniel Kebede, who has spoken of “taking back education from a brutally racist state”.
Read More: The ‘Anti-Racist’ Mission to Destroy Britain is Working