Guardian Owner Apologizes for Founders’ Links to Transatlantic Slavery

    Photo: Mirror

    The Facts

    • Owner of The Guardian newspaper, the Scott Trust, released a report on Tuesday apologizing for the role of the publication’s founders in the transatlantic slave trade.

    • The Guardian underwent an “academic review” regarding its origins in the early 19th century. The report — which took two years to complete — concluded that its founder John Edward Taylor, alongside many of its financial backers, had links to slavery.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    It is high time that compensation be paid by those who profiteered by turning people into merchandise. Europe and the West have an obligation, not only to apologize for these wrongs, but to embark on comprehensive social justice programs to counter the long-standing effects of previous atrocities. Apologies are commendable but pragmatic steps must also be taken.

    Right narrative

    There are many practical issues with issuing reparations for the grotesque suffering of forebearers. The question of who would qualify is ambiguous, the criteria for quantifying monetary compensation is subjective, and such decisions are often made at the expense of people who never themselves practiced or endorsed slavery. Clumsily redressing what cannot be righted poses the danger of only making things worse.

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