The Telegraph hit piece on Dawkins is out (as many of you already know; it’s nearly 5 in the afternoon in the UK, while it’s only a fresh-faced nearly 9 in the morning here on the west coast of the US). It’s even worse than I expected it to be, and that’s saying something. It’s vicious slavering bullshit. It’s a disgrace to journalism.
He has railed against the evils of religion, and lectured the world on the virtues of atheism.
Now Richard Dawkins, the secularist campaigner against “intolerance and suffering”, must face an awkward revelation: he is descended from slave owners and his family estate was bought with a fortune partly created by forced labour.
It’s not “awkward.” We’re all descended from people who did bad shit. Count on it. God, just think, here’s me, a feminist, yet half of my ancestors are men!! Omigod that’s so awkward; how will I ever explain it?
There is no “estate”; there’s a farm. Everybody alive now depends partly on wealth created by forced labor.
He is now facing calls to apologise and make reparations for his family’s past.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, of Lewisham, south London, the co-vice chairman of the Pan-African Reparations Coalition in Europe, said: “There is no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity.
“The words of the apology need to be backed by action. The most appropriate course would be for the family to fund an educational initiative telling the history of slavery and how it impacts on communities today, in terms of racism and fractured relationships.”
Ah, Adam Lusher, that’s naughty.
What he means is, he phoned Esther Stanford-Xosei and solicited that statement from her. The way he phrases it, it looks as if “calls” are coming spontaneously (despite the fact that this article is the first anyone has heard of this “revelation” apart from Richard’s account of Lusher’s obnoxious phone calls). That’s a sneaky journalistic trick, presenting their own “calls,” or “calls” that they’ve solicited for a story, as if they were independent. That trick borders on deceit; it borders on mendacity, not to say lying. It’s technically true but highly misleading. It’s contemptible. It shouldn’t be the job of journalism to play tricks of that kind.
There’s more, in other papers. This stuff has to be bitten off and chewed one by one.