Sunday, April 16, 2006

Mr. Lincoln I wish You Were Here....




Good Friday was a good day for me. I hung out with a a buddy of mine from law school and his cousin from red state Texas. We drove down I95 to the nation's capitol to check out the sites, and to satisfy my red state friends hunger for all things American. Did I mention that he is fiercely patriotic, and a card carrying republican to boot? Yes, this former military man, personal fitness trainer, and fellow Texan like frat boy, was darn near foaming at the mouth to see where his leaders live and play.

Once in DC, we headed straight for the mall area and the Lincoln memorial. If you are a tourist to DC, this is where you go. Of all the monuments in DC the Lincoln memorial is the most historic and holds the most significance to Americans. It is where Martin Luther King delivered his "I have a dream" speech on a hot August day in 1963. It is, in fact, where most protesters gather when they go to the capitol to bring their grievances to their elected officials. It is also where, on good Friday, April 14, 2006, I saw pretty much all foreign visitors and white Americans celebrating America and it's history. "Hey, where are the black folks?" My friend -the lawyer- kept teasing me. "I thought DC was supposed to be chocolate city?" His constant heckling made me defensive, "heck I don't know, just because I live on the east coast, doesn't make me an expert on black folk in DC." And so it went all day, we could actually count the number of black folks we saw on one hand. Lot's of foriegners, but no black folks.

Of course my red state buddy was so beside himself with glee, he didn't have time to notice who was and who wasn't there. -As maybe he shouldn't have- He was acting like a kid who had just been told his parents were buying Disney World. I mean we couldn't keep up with the guy. The Korean war memorial, the World War II memorial, the Smithsonian, the Jefferson memorial, and finally, the Lincoln Memorial. What we all basically come to see in the first place. There he was, staring intently at honest Abe, and listening with rapt attention as someone described all that honest Abe has meant to the republic. He was no doubt feeling proud to be an American, and even more so, a republican, just like honest Abe.

Now all the way down to DC from Philly, my buddy -the lawyer-kept singing a Hank Williams Jr. song. The words went something like this: "Mr. Lincoln I wish you were here the republics changed alot in a hundred years. I don't think it's working like you planned. Mr. Lincoln we sure could use a hand.." or something like that. Now I kept thinking, what does old Hank mean by those profound words, and was my buddy even singing a real song? Well I looked it up, and my buddy was right, it is a song and those are the words. Now I am standing there staring at the great emancipator, with my buddies terrible singing and that song stuck in my head. All the while my red state buddy is clicking away with his camera while I am trying to read the words on the monument. Now I must confess, given what I know about honest Abe, I am not impressed, and I would suspect many other black people feel the same way. So as I am standing there, tourist from India, Japan, and who knows where else, clicking away around me, I am starting to understand the dearth of chocolate in chocolate city.

To some Americans -myself included- Lincoln wasn't the great emancipator everyone made him out to be. Now this might sound like blasphemy to most other Americans, but if we could put down our flags for a minute, and review the facts, maybe we could see honest Abe from a slightly different perspective. Say a field-negroes maybe?

Let's look at the facts for a minute; the great emancipator never publicly called for the emancipation of slaves. James M. McPherson writing in the New York Times said; "Lincoln lagged behind abolitionist, and was last to support the enlistment of black union soldiers. "
Lincoln wrote a letter to Alexander Stephens in 1860 stating; "Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a republican administration would directly or indirectly, interfare with their slaves?" Lincoln went on to write that "There is no cause for such fears." I bet you won't hear that quote from black conservatives the next time they are touting the republican party as the party of Lincoln. You see in my humble opinion, Lincoln was a politician first, and a very smart one, who did what he thought was necessary to keep the union together. Nothing wrong with that, and it doesn't make him a bad person. In fact, of all the politicians of the time, Lincoln probably had the most vision and was the most pragmatic. Does that make him the great emancipator who loved and saw an equal in black people? The answer is no.

Lincoln married Mary Todd who was from a wealthy family that owned slaves. Hardly the actions of a slave lover or a true abolitionist. He also balked at signing the Confiscation Act which had far more teeth than the Emancipation Proclamation, and which sought to punish slave owners who owned blacks at the time. Instead, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation which was based on the president's war powers as commander in chief to sieze the enemies property (i.e. slaves) The Emancipation Proclamation, contrary to popular beliefs, did very little in terms of actually freeing the slaves. Under the act, only 40,000 out of 4 million slaves were freed making it hardly the great document it's made out to be. The fact of the matter is this; Lincoln didn't want the Confiscation Act -which has far more teeth- in place until he could set up a deportation plan for blacks. Yes, a deportation plan. Lincoln believed in the colonization of blacks and actually received $600,000 from congress at the time to put this plan in place. Keep in mind that Liberia was established in 1821 as a colony for freed slaves. Again, I don't think honest Abe necessarily wanted blacks colonized because he hated us. On the contrary, he thought of the political ramifications of millions of freed slaves running around the United States, and thought it would be better if they were some place else. Hey, politically speaking he might have been right. I am sure he was thinking of the strain it would put on the countries resources to teach all these former slaves to read, to find them jobs, land to farm, and to assimilate them into American society. It couldn't have been an easy undertaking, and the politician Lincoln was no doubt thinking along these lines.

Now before you, the reader, think that I have some real issues with honest Abe, let me say for the record that I do not. He did support the 13th amendment which formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, and Fredrick Douglas thought he was an honorable man. And who am I to dispute what a true field-negro like Fredrick Douglas says? So there, I do have some love for honest Abe. But let's not get it twisted, honest Abe could easily have gone in another direction on this slavery thing. Had he done that, there is no telling where we would be now. Maybe old Hank would not have written his song; heck, he wouldn't need to, cause I am sure the republic would have been more to Hank's liking.

"Mr Lincoln I wish you were here the republics changed alot in a hundred years. I don't think it's working like you planned." I don't think so either Hank.

I gotta go to the white house now, my republican buddy would never forgive me if I didn't take him to see where his President and fellow Texan lives.


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you use some color other than blue? I gave up after two sentences.

Anonymous said...

I know, tough on the eyes, but I have color issues :)

I will try to brighten it up next time.

FN

Anonymous said...

I can see him now...the red state republican panting and whining and scratching at the door just anticipating that culminating moment of "I HAVE ARRIVED" glory.

Now the rest of us are left to relive the stories of how he, the Patriot, walked the paths many of our great leaders have walked.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for the possiblity of losing to the South, the neggras would not have been needed. It was a trade for an alternative type of service.

Anonymous said...

You know I often wondered if abe was passing as a white man, just from his physical features and the fact that there is hardly any information about his family life, i.e mother father etc. Besides that would explain the whole idea of freeing the slaves since simple human decency had not prevailed for 300-400 years. On my last visit to the capitol more particulary the Lincoln Memorial I was told by one of the tour guides that the back of Mr. Lincolns head bears the image of the southern general Robert E. Lee, as a constant reminder that the south would always adhere to the values and ideologies of the confederacy, next time your there check it out or more importantly point it out to your red states friends.

Anonymous said...

Honest Abe a brotha? Mmmmmm.....

FN

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Laci the Chinese Crested said...

FN, It's a known fact that freeing the slaves wasn't the issue in the American Civil War.

Unfortunately, the myth has arisen that this was the root cause.

The non-slavery factors still exist that caused the ACW, which are regionalism and regional issues.

Likewise, the issues of equality between the races still exist to some extent.

Additionally, the problem of getting a low paid work force still exists in the form of illegal immigration, which hurts the poor, unskilled workers.

Actually, it effects everyone to some extent, but that's a whole 'nother issue

DOGLAS FIELDU said...

TROY DAVIS, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT AMERICA IS NOT THE OLD SOUTH ~ AFRICA !

A $TATE ECONOMIC BOYCOTT OF GEORGIA INTERNATIONALLY WILL OBVIOU$LY BE THE END RE$ULT OF GEORGIA DECIDING TO MURDER A PO$$IBLE INNOCENT TROY DAVI$ WITHOUT A NEW AND FAIR TRIAL ?

US CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS WHO ARE ALSO LAWYERS BY TRADE, CONTINUE TO DENY poorer AMERICAN'S PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION !!!

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO BEGIN A FORMAL INVESTIGATION INTO THESE US CONGRESSIONAL CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BEING INFLICTED ON poorer AMERICAN'S LIKE MR.TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA !!!

HAVING BEEN DENIED APPEAL LAWYERS FOR THREE YEARS ON DEATH ROW IN GEORGIA MR. TROY DAVIS IS NOW BEING EXECUTED FOR A CRIME HE MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN INVOLVED WITH !!!

SENATOR OBAMA PLEASE LET THIS COUNTRIES VOTERS KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT A NEEDED FUTURE REPAIR AND RENOVATION OF OUR BROKEN JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE EXECUTION'S OF EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT AMERICAN’S LIKE TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA ?????

BEING THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SENATOR OBAMA, DON'T WE NEED AS THE LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD TO BEGIN ONCE AGAIN TO RE-INVEST THE PROPER MONIE$ IN OUR OWN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ASSURING ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS TO FAIR TRIALS WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???

DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR poorer american’s SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ??

***OUR US CONGRESS CONTINUES TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

*** 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ? SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

*** WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED *** THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

**** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

***WHERE ARE AMERICA'S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ??????? Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY !

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE
(MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.) ** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

***Someone please tell our US Congress that the GED degree that Manny Gonzales acquired in prison is not a LAW DEGREE !!!!!!

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com (424-247-2013)

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John Tarkany said...

Great rundown on Abe and the politics of the day. FYI, listen to Hanks song, you might be surprised, I doubt the lyrics are what you assume.