Should we blame our ancestors for slavery when we’re equally culpable?

The premise of White Debt is that the author’s ancestors ran a business selling a product grown by slaves. Therefore he wants to investigate Britain’s role in slavery — which is a rather odd framing, since his family’s tobacco firm wasn’t started until decades after slavery in British colonies was abolished. But Thomas Harding apparently only recently learned that slavery happened in the British Empire. He goes as far as to ask: ‘How could I not have known this?’ Well, truly, I don’t know. I don’t recall the time when I wasn’t aware that slavery was the reason that people of African descent live in the Caribbean today. Some of