Abraham Lincoln was not Simon pure when it came to blacks.

The issue as to whether Lincoln was a racist is one oft discussed among historians. He was in his early days. The Civil War moved him towards freeing the slaves. His reasons for so doing not necessarily from an honorable perspective. Rather, based on the practicalities of a situation. Lincoln was an expert politician.

Early in his life he favored abolition. However, he was opposed to racial equality. For the reason the black man did not possess the same mental attributes of a white. The black man was inferior.

By the end of he Civil War, Lincoln was on an upward arc, perhaps heading toward becoming the man he has since been mythologized as being: The Great Emancipator, the man who freed and loved the slaves. His journey however was not complete on the day he died.

Lincoln was still wrestling with race when he died.

Lincoln’s early public position re slavery was clearly spelled out in the 4th of his debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858 in their Senatorial race which Lincoln lost: “I will say that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races.”

He followed with he opposed blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office, and to intermarry with whites.

He concluded his speech with: “I will say in addition to this there is a physical difference between the black and white races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Lincoln at the time was no different than most white males, whether living in the north or south. He was a white supremacist.

Some other quotes of Lincoln symbolizing his thoughts at various times in his life.

“I have urged the colonization of the Negroes [in Africa], and I shall continue.”

“I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the Negro into our social and political life as an equal.”

“Within 20 years we can peacefully colonize the Negro…..under conditions in which he can rise to the full measure of manhood. This he can never do here. We can never attain the ideal union our fathers dreamed, with millions of an alien, inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible nor desirable.”

Politics always seem to play a part in major decisions. Each side having their respective leaders.

Lincoln was a believer of colonization. Send the blacks to Africa or Central America to live and govern themselves.

Lincoln called black leaders to a White House meeting in 1852. He pushed colonization big time. The black leaders were adamant in their opposition. Lincoln argued that given the “differences” between the two races and the hostile attitude of whites towards black people, it would be “better for us both, therefore to be segregated.”

The blacks refused to be swayed by Lincoln’s argument. They argued African-Americans were as much natives of the United States as white people, and thus deserved the same rights.

Lincoln gave up re colonization. Never spoke of it again.

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation the following year in 1863.

Most Americans today are under the impression the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves per se. All of them! It did not.

Lincoln was a war President. He knew the South needed the help of the slaves to successfully carry on the War. Two primary reasons. The South needed the slaves to raise the food to feed Confederate soldiers. Additionally, the Confederacy had begun to absorb slaves into the Confederate Army to fight against the Union.

Lincoln sought to solve the problem by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves only in a limited fashion. It freed those still living in Confederate states and those fighting in the Confederate Army.

Evidence reflects how tightly the Emancipation Proclamation was drawn to solely accomplish the two items. Any black Confederate soldiers who had been captured by the Union did not receive freedom from slavery.

In the next two years, many blacks fled the South to fight for the Union. Two hundred thousand. By the time the War ended in 1865, Lincoln was very much impressed with how these blacks had fought.

Lincoln felt the slaves had earned their freedom by their bravery. Something legal was required since the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not take into account “all” slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment would and did. It was the instrument by which all slaves were freed.

Lincoln approved the Joint Resolutions of Congress which authorized the Thirteenth Amendment on January 1, 1865. Ratification by State Legislatures was required to make it part of the Constitution.

Ratification unfortunately did not come till 18 months after Lincoln was killed. It did however free all slaves thereby earning Lincoln the title of Great Emancipator.

The task was not complete. Perhaps if Lincoln had lived we would not be in the position we are with present day black/white conflicts.

Historians are not sure how much further Lincoln would have pushed the black/white issue had he lived. Therein lies the reason no one knows what Lincoln’s final thoughts were with regard to social and political equality.

So it was.

Do sufficient grounds exist to topple Lincoln’s statues and disparage his accomplishments? Though he accomplished much for the black man, his contrary words and feelings may have been greater and bury the good he did.

What of those who did much less in an anti-black fashion than Lincoln? If Lincoln stands, should they not be resurrected to stand again?

It all comes down to what is to be the standard, if any, by which these decisions are to be made.

Enjoy your day!

18 comments on “ABRAHAM LINCOLN???

  1. History is just that, history. It’s not always pretty, but it’s what came before and can never be changed, right or wrong. Taking down monuments and statues won’t change past actions. Leave history alone and any existing reminders thereof. We should learn from the mistakes, both our own and from those who came before us and move on. Black history month doesn’t seem to spotlight the negatives of their forebears, so why are they dragging out skeletons from Caucasian closets? Deal with the racial problems we have in the present and let the past go. We can only try to change today and the future.

    • I think the problem we are experiencing today, on this issue, is a result of the thinking you express in your post. Let me explain this way. I am Jewish, I would have a problem if half of America had swastika symbols on their trucks, swastika flags at their buildings, swastika pins on their lapels, third reich picnics in the park, Hitler statues, etc., etc., etc. How about third reich event advertising on the radio and all the other little things you can think of in that kind of analogy if you let yourself go. It would then be even worse if someone coming along asks you why you are upset about that, after all history is history and we shouldn’t have to ignore it.

      I don’t think you post was mean or nasty, but do think it is insensitive. We don’t have to ignore history, but I think we should start thinking a little different about it. There are time where some telling of history is needlessly harmful. Take for example if we celebrated train wrecks, or the Charles Manson murders. Can’t we find a way to tell the history of things offending those who suffered from the events of that history? I don’t see any reason we need to have a statue of a Confederate general to be able to acknowledge that person in a history book, at least no more that we would do for any German general in WW II. Is there any buildings in Berlin named after any official in WW II?

      Wouldn’t it be better to listen to what’s be complained about with the protesters today and make some changes on an intelligent level rather than getting hysterical about what we should or shouldn’t do? Not everything we Jews wanted done was done and not everything the BLM movement wants done should or will be done either. But a lot of it should be. Stuff the we often think is going too far, might really NOT be going to far, we are just being stupid and need to start doing the right thing and walk in somebody else’s shoes and stop thinking we don’t need to adapt.

    • Germany learned the lesson. They can’t undo the past but they can make an effort to lessen the symbolism of the past. Illegally displaying Nazi symbols in Germany can be punished by three years in jail. There are no statues of Hitler.

      • And yet in Italy there are many reminders of fascism still standing, including the palazzo, known as the Square Colosseum, that stands in Rome today, its exterior engraved with a phrase from Mussolini’s speech, in 1935. Mussolini’s tomb is a popular destination for visitors who leave flowers and fascist mementos.

  2. I think we have in keep in mind that people and the way we think- evolve over time.
    So Marie while you make a comparison to Nazi’s- I think in Lincoln’s time, most white males thought the way Lincoln did while in late 1930’s, most people did Not think how Hilter did.
    We know today that all men and women should be treated equally. While we have further to go with women’s rights- you have made great strides without tearing down statues or violent movements.

  3. Can I offer a brief side note here, just as a matter of interest? The word “racism” did not exist in the English language until 1902. Likewise, the word “racist” did not come into common usage until the early 1930s. So if you had accused Lincoln of being a racist, he probably wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. Now before you start calling me names, I am NOT saying that racists and racism did not exist in Lincoln’s time. They certainly did. But people had to use different words to express themselves.

  4. But for us, there were no offensive statues or monuments, we had other problems and obstacles. We marched yes, but we were not attacked in those same ways, nor were we murdered. We fought inside the enemy’s home and inside the enemy’s beds, and still we are a long way away from winning. There is violence now, because with this problem nothing else has worked. It has come this far without results and they are now taking matter into their own hands. Start listening and doing the right things and the violence will stop.

    • Forcing people to think the way you want them to will only increase resistance with some people. A lot of their feelings will be internalized, not changed.

      You can’t control the way people think. And violence certainly won’t win many converts. This is not going to end well for anyone.

      • Are you suggesting that we should cow down to people who think that suppression of black people is good and proper, because to do otherwise would not change them anyhow?

        And where do you get your information that “You can’t control the way people think. And violence certainly won’t win many converts.” When the Trump administration has managed to change how a lot of people feel about everything (think Free Trade alone). And violence (Neo-Nazi’s) seems to have created a lot of converts.

        • You absolutely cannot make people think the way you want them to. People have free will. Especially in this country.

          If people CHOOSE to agree with Trump or BLM, they do so on their own.

          You sound like someone who thought you would be able to change your mate when you got married (before your divorce).

          • Hitler was able to change a lot of peoples minds, so did Lee Iacocca. Trump does it every day, just ask Susan Collins, or Lady G., or how about Jim Jones.

            You have your head in the sand if you think minds aren’t changed.

            Rather naive (or perhaps blind) of you to think that everybody’s mind change is their own choice.

            You must be an Evangelical Christian trying to force all results to suit your hypothesis.

            BTW – I’ve been married over 55 years, to the same guy!

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