Britain’s slave trade and the problem with ‘decolonisation’

Colonialism and slavery. There is, of course, a connection between them. Yet the reason for our present interest in the topic assumes something stronger – not merely a connection, but an equation. That is why we are told we have to ‘decolonise’ ourselves. Because until we do, the vicious racism that slavery incarnated will continue to be our own. The assumption, however, is mistaken. It is true that the British were heavily involved in trading slaves across the Atlantic from Africa to the Caribbean and the southern colonies of North America, mostly between 1660 and 1807. Britain transported around 3 million Africans in conditions that were infamously dreadful, with human