British left-wing publication The Guardian faces calls for cancellation after grim details of its history surfaced, revealing that its founder had once owned slaves. The newspaper also had ties to the Confederate south and opposed US President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, referring to his abolitionist cause as “abhorrent.”
Originally called the Manchester Guardian in 1821, its founder John Edward Taylor used profits he earned from slave plantations to fund the newspaper’s development, The Sun reports. Following Taylor’s death in 1844, the paper is said to have demanded Taylor’s workers back onto the plantations.
Many took to social media to call for the paper to be “shut down” due to its hypocrisy over the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. The woke newspaper, which routinely publishes voices from the extreme far-left, hosts multiple op-eds citing their support for the movement, including calls for historical statues to be toppled.
“The prime minister says protesters want to ‘censor our past’, but people have been pulling down memorials for millennia,” wrote Charlotte Higgins for The Guardian on Monday.
An online petition to shutter the newspaper, organized by novelist Tony Parsons, went live last week. It has almost 10,000 signatures. Parsons wrote: “Shameful links to slave-owning Confederate south. Built on the profits of cotton fields. Shut down The Guardian Newspaper.”
During the US Civil War, the newspaper allied itself with the Confederacy against President Lincoln. A leading piece for the article proclaimed: “It was an evil day both for America and the world when he was chosen President of the United States,” referring to the Republican leader.
The paper also accused Lincoln of not respecting the demands of Americans at the time. “Nor is Mr Lincoln's re-election by fraud, violence, and intimidation rendered a matter of comparatively small importance solely by the fact that it reveals nothing with respect to the real wishes and thoughts of the majority of his fellow countrymen,” the paper stated.
Following Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, The Guardian showered criticism upon the dead president, describing his leadership as “a series of acts abhorrent to every true notion of constitutional right and human liberty.”
While Lincoln’s act to abolish slavery no doubt puts him on the right side of history following the defeat of the Confederacy, historians may not be so kind to The Guardian.