“Don’t feel guilty about our colonial history”, Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar titled a column in The Times. He asked his colleagues and students to have “pride” in many aspects of their imperialist past:
“Pride at the Royal Navy’s century-long suppression of the Atlantic slave trade, for example, will not be entirely obscured by shame at the slaughter of innocents at Amritsar in 1919. And while we might well be moved to think with care about how to intervene abroad successfully, we won’t simply abandon the world to its own devices”.
Dozens of Oxford academics immediately united to condemn the “simple-minded” defense of British colonialism by the professor. Student associations also branded Biggar a “racist” and a “bigot”, and asked the university to suspend him. Trevor Phillips, former chair of the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, saidthat Biggar’s critics are using “an attack line of which Joseph Stalin would have been proud”. Its goal, in fact, seems the moral destruction of the intellectual adversary.