Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uncomfortable truths.



"..More problematic were Lincoln’s views on race. He held opinions not very different from those of the majority of his racist countrymen. Even if slavery was wrong, “there is a physical difference between the white and black races that will for ever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality.” His solution was a form of ethnic cleansing: shipping blacks off to Liberia, or Haiti, or Central America — anywhere as long as it wasn’t the United States." ~~Barry Gewen~~ writing the review of the excellent book "Big Enough To Be Inconsistent" for the New York Times.

As we celebrate what would be the 200th birthday of the "great emancipator", it's always nice to understand that he wanted to emancipate us not because he thought we were his equal, but because he thought it was the legal thing to do, and the best thing for the Union. Unfortunately, Lincoln, like most of his peers and the people of his time, was a racist.

Still, we love the man, and abstruse as it may seem, that love might be justified. That, my friends, is and always has been, one of the greatest examples of this complex dance that we do with race here in our beloved A-merry-ca. To listen to our first African A-merry-can president praise Lincoln today, while knowing that Lincoln would never have approved of him sleeping in the house that was built for him---- and others like him, was surreal.

If you believe Lerone Bennett's, thesis (read his book Forced Into Glory:Abraham Lincoln's White Dream", when you get a chance) the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 was not so much Lincoln's doing but that of the abolitionist wing of his party. And Lincoln, ever the politician, carefully worded the document so that it did not free a single slave. Bennett argues that Lincoln put forth plans to deport slaves back to Africa before and during the time that he was president.

These are uncomfortable truths. But A-merry-ca is full of them. And the more uncomfortable they are the farther we push them away from our collective consciousness. What would we do with the names of all those building, school, towns, and streets if our perception of the great emancipator ever changed? How could we live with ourselves if "honest Abe" wasn't the paradigm of virtue we hold him up to be? We couldn't, and so we must memorialize the good, and pretend that the bad never happened. Our new president certainly loves number 16, and he has done so much to evoke his memory.

Lincoln would have been 200 today, and I hope that he would have been proud to see his beloved republic. It isn't a perfect union, but it sure is a more perfect one than the one he knew. There is no reason to think he would not. I would like to think that at some point in his 200 years he would have grown as a human being and learned to see us as equals. We would have long been free and afforded the same rights as he has. Would he have embraced the change? Or would he be typical of those who dominate his party today?

"Let us remember that we are doing so as servants to the same flag, as representatives of the same people, and as stakeholders in a common future....That is the most fitting tribute we can pay and the most lasting monument we can build to that most remarkable of men, Abraham Lincoln."

Yes Mr. President, he was remarkable alright, and so are you for saying that.





86 comments:

classical one said...

Filed,

Practically all of the founding fathers were not interested in freeing the slaves. George Washington was the lynch pin of the Revolutionary War, without him England would have won. Washington was offered the Kingship and he turned it down, because of him, we are not a monarchy. But you know what? He was a slave owner, so was Franklin, and Jefferson.

Thousands of slaves rose up and fled their plantations during the British assault on the south,
running to the army of Lord Cornwallis. More slaves aided and fought with the British, than the colonials. Do I blame them? No... Do I'm blame black people who don't like the founding fathers? Nope.. The very history of whites and blacks in this country will forever prevent the coming together of the two people. No one's going to become color blind and nothing will change because Obama is president. What we can do though, is learn to respect each others humanity and realize we each have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Jackson Brown said...

200 years from now, hopefully folks will look back at these race-based blogs with a similar shock and disbelief ... my own included.

Bob said...

Only ignorant people & propagandists hold Lincoln up as a "paradigm of virtue." Yes, he is big enough to be inconsistent. Through the changes Lincoln helped set in motion, including the enlistment of 160,00 black men the United States Army, colonization was dead as a major issue in the 1864 election, & in debates over the 13th amendment. Northerners, whatever their personal racism, understood & accepted that they were fighting for some level of actual, permanent citizenship for black people.

hennasplace said...

I do have respect for John Adams who did not own slaves, and did find slavery abhorrant. However, Adams is underrated as a President which goes to show we pick and choose who we like and relate to. With studying people in history, I found them complex and people of their times. The all too human and Linoln is among those complex figures. One theory that historians have suggested is that Lincoln wrote the emacipation to use as a bargaining tool for the South to surrender, and they could continue to have slaves. However, Lincoln made the offer while the South were winning the war. Lincoln's goal was to perserve the Union which may one of the reasons why he wasn't interested in punishing the Confederate after the war. One cannot deny the fact that end result that Lincoln accomplished his goal of unifying the nation, but does have black mark on how he saw black people. I wish we could have live discussion about this topic. It's also the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP.

brohammas said...

Opinions on Lincoln are much more inconsistent than he ever was. More people have written more on his opinions of black people than he ever wrote himself... and he wrote a lot.
We can say this: his views on slavery, that it should be abolished, are what caused the war... the south said if you elect this abolishionist we are out of here. He won.
The biggest thing that ruined reconstruction was the murder of Lincoln. This left the Presidency in the hands of a soft man who gave great concessions to the south rather than supporting free slaves as was the northern army's (including the commander in chief's) plan.

Lincoln may not be what many of us wish he was, but he was more pro-black than any other American leader up to his time and the press of his day ate him alive for it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Abe was a racist. But guess what? Blacks love to drive Lincolns. Jews drive Mercedes and Audis. Go figure.

Robert M said...

"Let us remember that we are doing so as servants to the same flag, as representatives of the same people, and as stakeholders in a common future....That is the most fitting tribute we can pay and the most lasting monument we can build to that most remarkable of men, Abraham Lincoln

The hell are we "doing". There isn't enough hear to agree or disagree w/ this statement.

As to Lincoln, it is unfortunate he didn't live to see what he had wrought.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what country outlawed slavery first, but the USA couldn't have been far behind. They still practice it in Africa. The British / USA reasoning that they could do as they pleased with "lesser people" is outrageous to me. Presidents are judged on the outcome of their decisions, not intentions good or bad IE:Jimmy Carter.

szpork

Anonymous said...

I find it sad, that the truth has to be revealed, but, this let's us know that regardless of LINCOLN'S belief, he did not, have the POWER to stop destiny, for if LINCOLN were alive today, I think he would hold his head in shame, he would be known as a PRESIDENT that tried to keep a race of people ENSLAVED, but yet he is known as a PRESIDENT that set a RACE OF PEOPLE FREE, and in the midst of HONORING LINCOLN, their had to be something good about ABRAHAM LINCOLN, because their is no way GOD would allow ONE MAN to receive so much HONOR, and even in the midst of LINCOLN'S belief, he signed the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, not knowing that, we as a RACE of PEOPLE, HONOR his good, and not his SHORTCOMING'S!

rainywalker said...

"The evil that men do live after them, the good is oft interred with their bodies."

Chris said...

PLEASE....

You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009.

Okay- then what two questions should we use to judge him?

1. Who more suitable to 2009 views could have been elected, held the nation together, won the war, or freed the slaves?

2. How did Lincoln's views about race, slavery, and the meaning of the war change.

The answer to 1 is no one! Any one holding the views of almost anyone reading this blog would have been percieved as a fool and unelectable. If politics is the art of the possible, Lincoln was one of the great masters.

The answer to the second question can be found comparing the Lincoln Douglas Debates with the Second Inuagural and his last speech on April 10th, 1865. In the LD debates he thought blacks and whites could never be political equals, in his last speech he thought educated blacks and veterans should be given the right to vote. John Wilkes Booth who heard the speech decided to kill Lincoln since he advocated black citizenship (which means equality). This is growth... this is change, Lincoln was way ahead of most whites in 1865, much less... fill in the year of your choice.

Finally, look at the Second Inaugural. Lincoln says if God demands every drop of blood shed by the lash is matched by blood drawn by the sword, then God's judgement is just. The Civil War is God's punishment for slavery-- Hell if that ain't an admission of guilt and repentance, than I don't know what is...

and if you saw Gates' show on PBS last night you know that the first time blacks were a big part of the crowd at an inaugeration was Lincoln's 2nd. According to the Times of London, the African Americans in the crowd heard Lincoln and vocally agreed with his sermon. Read it. Once you read that speech, your doubts on Lincoln will be settled.

Southland Diva said...

I think it was the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln signed rather than the Declaration of Independence.

I read D.K. Goodwin's book on Lincoln and according to her, Lincoln would have allowed slavery to continue in the states where slavery already existed if it would preserve the Union. The Confedracy, of course did not agree; more free states meant less political power for the slave states.

Did Lincoln evolve from thinking slavery could exist anywhere in a country professing itself to be a free country? Yes.

Was Lincoln pushed into greatness? Yes.

Did he do the darn thing? Yes

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

One of my grandfathers who was a slave named one of his sons Abraham Lincoln. I assumed it was because he was glad to be free.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I read a book in which President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, "I as any other white man believes in the superiority of the white race."

Nevertheless, The 13th amendment states this, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Therefore, it is my opinion that slavery and indentured servitude was never really abolished or ended. Some of my ancestors fought in the civil war. Matter of fact, throughout generations, relatives of mine have fought for this country.

Whelp, it's water under the bridge now. We's free and we've come a mighty long ways when you think about it, in spite of the BS we put up with from time to time on a daily basis. I just thank God that Lincoln did sign the Emancipation of Proclamation. So it worked out for the best and blacks are free, and that is something to be thankful for.

Jackson Brown said...

"You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009."

Exactly. We're all products of our historical moment.

StillaPanther2 said...

Amend Bro. Brown and Sister Grannie For Truth... I imagine in the 1860s the Blacks were happy/releived with any sense of advancement, a crumb better than nothing. I suppose in politics and dealing with people it would be hard for elected leaders such as Pres. Lincoln to be radicals. Thats why a democracy will always offer or lend to radical motions and groups to push/accelerate (1960s) toward desired goals. His (Lincoln) idea was 200 years- ours was immediate so I quess in the middle 100 years was a even outcome -albeit the suffering.

Shady_Grady said...

Right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of time IMO. In any event there were PLENTY of people in Lincoln's own time that were more moral than him on the questions of slavery and equality (David Walker, Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann Shadd, Thaddeus Stevens, John Brown, Henry Highland Garnett, etc..) Lincoln falls woefully short compared to those people. Evidently those people were also products of their time.

The Bennett book goes in great detail on Lincoln's views and policies regarding Black people.

I'm a little uneasy over Obama's embrace of Lincoln.

Mrs. C said...

One of the most important truths I know is that it is far oftener more about the moment than the man; men (and women--peeps, don'tcha know?) become emblematic in ways that moments really cannot, time being all ephemeral and whatnot, and the lucky intersection of THE man in THE moment is even rarer and more difficult to suss out. What's important in holding good old Abe (and others) UP is recognizing that they help us see more clearly that our path is upward, always hieing toward greater and greater nobility of purpose and egalitarianism. Yes, I do believe this to be true.

Black Diaspora said...

Chris said...
PLEASE....

You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009.


I hate to burst your bubble, but the standards were immortalized in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence.

Those standards did not change over time, but became the cornerstone of our democracy.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It's ironic, but not shocking, that that declaration applied to whites only, not chattel.

Your case would be stronger, but for this "historical" declaration, which clearly elevated all men to a self-evident (no proof required) status of equality, because slaves, too, were created by God, with "certain unalienable Rights...."

field negro said...

"You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009."

I agree with that sentiment. However, I also believe that we should be honest about how we view history. And as Black Diaspora said, there is that document we all hold dear.

"One of my grandfathers who was a slave named one of his sons Abraham Lincoln. I assumed it was because he was glad to be free."

Thanks for that Granny.It really personalizes things.

Classical one, that was a classic comment.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Eloquent post.

The history of race in this country is so complex. I agree John Adams was underrated.

I have to read that Goodwin book.

La♥Incognita said...

I ditto Classical one.

BTW, I have an older white republican female colleague from Kansas. She’s very friendly and we get along well, but I suspect she relocated to the US Caribbean among black people with that usual sense of entitlement and superiority ideology. And of course, she would have never anticipated meeting someone who didn’t have that “one love” brain wash like me.

During office chatter, people in the office would talk about race and "white people trying to take over the island etc.." and forget she was there. It wasn't too bad though.

Sometimes out the blue she would come off with awkward statements that had nothing to do with island real estate… "well you know Kansas wasn't a slave state" or "my ancestors fought died for equal rights in the Civil war". Yawn.

And of course me being the usual instigator and the youngest most daring in the office, I would take that as an invitation to pull her tale about ol Abe and the real 411 regarding the "civil war" and other social/political race issues. This poor woman would be so disturbed by my "not knowing anything" about the Civil war, that she would go into her car and call up her grown children to complain about me. I must be in her will by now :)

Um, Jackson Brown, your comments got me... ah curious in these here fields, lol. So I strolled over to "cake and potato" and see how Beau rides off with Mandy... go figure, no further comment :)

Rudy said...

Classical one,

I agree with your analysis. The two races will never come together because of history. The most we can do is respect each others right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

false said...

"You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009."

I agree with Black Diaspora. Not only were there people of the time who knew right from wrong, there was the Declaration of Independance as well as this book called the Bible. Americans always want to talk about the "standards of the time". Does that apply to Hitler? To the KKK? To Nat Turner? To Malcolm X? Every crime of the white man is "in the past" now it's "time for healing", not looking backward, etc.

This post calls to mind yesterdays post. Many liberals then and now look at civil right exactly as they look at animal rights. It's wrong to brutalize animals but that doesn't make them equal. Same with blacks.

It's not surprising that Americans would have that attitude considering our ignorance. Since we're taught that Africans never created anything before coming in contact with whites. Since we're taught that Egypt, for instance, was not an African civilization. Since black history month only covers African-American history, ie our community was born in slavery. Since we're still accused of cannibalism or sleeping with Green Monkeys. Since the USA (led by Colin Powell) didn't really kidnap Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since the media only covers Africa when people are starving or raping. Since stable African countries like Ghana are never spoken of, how can white folks believe Blacks are equal to whites? How can blacks for that matter?

Rudy said...

"You cannot judge someone who died in 1865 by the standards we hold in 2009."

Who told you that lie?

Ethically, Lincoln can be judge on the principle of utility. He made decisions that benefited the greatest number of people-- the country. That's classic utilitarianism if I ever saw it.

Christopher said...

Field,

Have you seen this?

A Texas judge has ordered an online news site to unveil identifying details about 178 anonymous commenters on the site. The order came after a couple, Mark and Rhonda Lesher, sued the numerous anonymous commenters posting to Topix.com for making what they considered to be "perverted, sick, vile, inhumane accusations" about them.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/02/texas-judge-orders-site-to-identify-anonymous-trolls-flamers.ars

Blogger is now considering a shift in their log-on policy requiring all posters to use a valid email address before comments will be allowed.

Bye-bye, all you anonymous commentators and trolls.

Eddie said...

I'm pretty young and cynical, so my take is that all Lincoln's main task was to keep the country together and we just happened to luck out. Not saying I'm ungrateful, but it seems like we get something when the country's about to erupt. We got our freedom during the Civil War. We got our rights in the 60's when the county was in turmoil over a lot of things. We got a Black President when the previous one gutted the country as a whole. When I think about this country somedays, it makes me think a picture I saw of a Black preacher from Memphis shaking David Duke's hand with his other arm around him like they've been buddy's for a while. Of course, Duke is cringing while the other guy is smiling.

La♥Incognita said...

False said: "Many liberals then and now look at civil right exactly as they look at animal rights. It's wrong to brutalize animals but that doesn't make them equal. Same with blacks."

This is a very profound statement. I've always said this on another blog, and got called a negative. This is why I sometimes feel some white liberals to some level may still hold that "superiority" type mindset even when their emphasizing with black people, or assisting with black causes.

I guess I'm frugal with my honorary Field Negro awards.

La♥Incognita said...

Eddie, we were actually used, and highly disposable.

In layman's terms:

Majority of the "civil war" was about economics (as well as other things). Black slaves came into play because we provided FREE labor to fuel one set of white people's economy (South/confederacy) while the other set (North/union), didn't have such "luxuries". Therefore, a war was born and we got caught in the middle. The North was getting their ass kicked so they offered certain black slaves in the south to help fight, and in return get their freedom (btw, black soldiers from all over were not even equal in the Union army despite what they say).

After the confederacy was defeated, the union realized the South would still be able to pick up economical domination again (via slavery), so they decided to "free" all black slaves as way to spite the confederacy from rising again. Of course, Linc and company wasn't hip on having too many darkies running around, so that's where the concept of shipping us out America came in, but it felt through. The end.

To hell with Linc and the civil war, it wasn't about "freeing black slaves". Many black died, both men and women. Many freed slaves were also killed out of spite by white plantation owners and their ilk, rather than let us go free. We were disposable and treated like cattle through out the entire ordeal. As black people, we owe no one anything

hennasplace said...

You have to look at historical figures for the time in which they live and their complexity. I mentioned this in the post discussing the cotton picking re-enactment. Lincoln was a man of his time who dealt with the circumstances he faced. He wanted to perserve the union and if it meant that white wealthy southerns keep their slaves, then that what it meant. Although, Granny, I do disagree with you about the 13th Amendent. The amendment freed all of the slaves while the emancipation only freed those states under union control and the border states. The reason for the amendment was because abolitionist were afraid that slavery would return as the emancipation was only a war measure at the time.

I am not uneasy that Obama refers to Lincoln in terms of using his political acumen to unify democrats and republicans for the purpose of getting out of economic crisis and the two war aboard. There are some lessons that we could learn from the pass. We can take the ideas that work and discard the ones that do not. One should also understand that the abolitionist were also people of their time and thought that blacks were inferior and wanted to help the unfortunate. No one is entirely altruistic there is a reason why abolitionists wanted to end slavery and it wasn't because there were necessarily decent people. Some historians also theorize that the slavery would eventually ended as the industrial revolution came to the south. It all comes down to labor, some northerns did not think it was fair that the south had cheap labor. Again, I think it would nice to have a good conversation about this topic because it's fascinating to me trying figure out pieces to the puzzle.

hennasplace said...

You have to look at historical figures for the time in which they live and their complexity. I mentioned this in the post discussing the cotton picking re-enactment. Lincoln was a man of his time who dealt with the circumstances he faced. He wanted to perserve the union and if it meant that white wealthy southerns keep their slaves, then that what it meant. Although, Granny, I do disagree with you about the 13th Amendent. The amendment freed all of the slaves while the emancipation only freed those states under union control and the border states. The reason for the amendment was because abolitionist were afraid that slavery would return as the emancipation was only a war measure at the time.

I am not uneasy that Obama refers to Lincoln in terms of using his political acumen to unify democrats and republicans for the purpose of getting out of economic crisis and the two war aboard. There are some lessons that we could learn from the pass. We can take the ideas that work and discard the ones that do not. One should also understand that the abolitionist were also people of their time and thought that blacks were inferior and wanted to help the unfortunate. No one is entirely altruistic there is a reason why abolitionists wanted to end slavery and it wasn't because there were necessarily decent people. Some historians also theorize that the slavery would eventually ended as the industrial revolution came to the south. It all comes down to labor, some northerns did not think it was fair that the south had cheap labor. Again, I think it would nice to have a good conversation about this topic because it's fascinating to me trying figure out pieces to the puzzle.

uptownsteve said...

So False,

Do you feel that conservatives who OPPOSED civil rights and every measure of black advancement since the Emancipation are more in touch with the "equality" between blacks and whites?

Zomba said...

La incognita,
Thats it right there and don't forget the north also benefitted from the south having slaves and free labor. When white people from north states say things like their family didn't own slaves, I remind them how they still benefited from the low cost north and south tradings.

Hey field, whats your take on the eagles receiver draft coming up?

Jon Lester said...

No one should be surprised Lincoln was a man of his time and the "conventional wisdom" that would have been inescapable from the culture he was born into. All academic political arguments aside, I'm pretty sure "separate but equal" was his idea, however temporary or permanent he may have expected it to be.

More important to remember is that the union as a whole took a long time to mature into the society we have today. You can't say those who conquered the Native Americans really had the ideals of the Founders in their hearts, to name but one example, and it wasn't exactly in the spirit of the Constitution when the "Yellow Peril" was invented to fill the void left by the subjugation of the red man and the completion of the railroad, especially after the Asians had been invited to come live and work here in the first place.

Of course we know there are quite a few Americans living today who still seem to have no appreciation of what it really means to be American and why every citizen has a right to equal treatment under the law.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of hearing SOME minorities complaining about things that happened 200 years ago!
There are people in our society today that can’t even marry each other. That’s right IT’S AGAINST THE LAW!!!!!
Sick&tired

uptownsteve said...

Anonymous,

What are you railing about minorities for?

Why aren't you yelling at gay Republicans like Jim Kolbe, the Log Cabiners and Armstrong Williams who support a party that doesn't even acknowledge their humanity or equality????

Cheron L. Hall said...

Lincoln was probably Obama's great, great, great grand daddy...

In other news...have you seen this?
Pauly Shore acting a damn fool in Africa

La♥Incognita said...

Cheron, the Obama effect is getting worse than we thought, there's more open season on black people to come. Every body wants to show their true ass now. They think it's safe again.

I'm sure Pauly would tell you he voted for Obama. That video was too extreme. Pauly has always been and will always be a racist turd dropper.

Shady_Grady said...

This is really interesting with lots of good points.

Henna, Jon:
Thaddeus Stevens, Elijah Lovejoy and Wendell Phillips were also men of Lincoln's era. Yet they made very different decisions and held quite different opinions than Lincoln. So everyone, regardless of the time or society always has a choice. I think there are moral universals that apply regardless of time or place.

Adam said...

Good post, Field!

Black girl with long hair said...

love this post! and yes, race in america is hell-a complex

Anonymous said...

It's important to avoid sophistry when discussing this topic.

Two quotes on slavery to be considered when discussing Washington and Lincoln:

"In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows."
--Lincoln, August 17, 1858 Speech at Lewistown, Illinois

"… No man desires more heartily than I do [the end of slavery]. Not only do I pray for it on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union."
-Washington 1786

and a very enlightening piece can be found here
http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/henriques/hist615/gwslav.htm

Anonymous said...

I agree with your analysis. The two races will never come together because of history. The most we can do is respect each others right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

Fuck that! to much of our ancestors blood is in the soil of this satanic country.America owes the native american & blacks something they can never repay.I hope this nations economic problem is the beginning of the end.Im enjoying seeing white people suffer from thier own greed.Now cuzin cooter caint find a job. & the illegals have stopped coming to this so called great country.wait till the grocery stores close & you gotta kill your own food.A lot of blacks will be screwed becuase they are to dependant on fast food & malls.race wars right around the corner.whites will win,but the cost will be so great life wont be worth living! i cant wait! oh yeah fuck lincoln & everyone who built a nation on the backs of innocent people,& the all the white muther uffers who benefit today from thier pain.If your white & your in america then you are beneifiting from your fore fathers evil. fuck america.

uptownsteve said...

Thank you Rev Wright.

false said...

@ Uptown Steve

So False,

Do you feel that conservatives who OPPOSED civil rights and every measure of black advancement since the Emancipation are more in touch with the "equality" between blacks and whites?


I guess the real question that I alluded to in my post is whether racists are born or taught. Nature or Nurture. I'm suggesting that our (mis)education system puts prejudice into people minds. It's been said that blacks were not considered inferior in the ancient world. Racism was invented to justify slavery and make the world safe for (sub)human capital.

The crime/disease/idiocy of prejudice infects not only the flaming racist, but the "color blind" liberal, and sadly black folks themselves. Too many of our people run screaming at the mention of Africa. They're embarrassed by it. I've even had native Africans refuse to enter my home because I had some masks and artifacts from their own continent on display (If it ain't Jesus it ain't worthy).

The question must be answered; why do whites own all the economic, political and military systems in the world? Why do blacks "own" all the poverty, violence, and disease in the world? In the absence of historical knowledge isn't inferiority the only answer.

As far as conservatives, maybe they are more in touch. Maybe they realize that if you level the playing field they lose all advantage and will find themselves having to actually compete for once.

hennasplace said...

Hi Shady:

You are right those men were in the minority at the time of their thinking, but the vast majority of the country shared the view that black people were inferior. Think about it for a moment slaves were the minority and they were slaves, and if they were slaves then they must be the inferior or else why does the white man have dominion over them. This was thinking of the time, and some believe that it was it was part of the divine plan that these people were slaves. An abolitionist and a radical republican could see blacks as the inferior and still want them to be freed of slavery. People had different reason for wanting to end slavery that were not necessarily altruistic. Human beings have many contradictions. How can someone who is pro-life believe in the death penalty or pro-choice who does not believe in the death penalty?

These are questions that we constantly ask ourselves as human beings. That being said, Lincoln needed to make a decision on how to perserve the Union and he used the Emancipation. However, the document did open the door to the 13th Amendent after the civil war and the times were changing as well. The country was experiencing the Industrial Revolution which some historians believed that slavery would eventually ended, but we will never know for sure.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Granny said (in part):
I read a book in which President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, "I as any other white man believes in the superiority of the white race."

So?

What is wrong if whites feel that their race is superior?

I have no issues with whites who love being white and who don't ever want to be black.

I love being black and have never had a desire to be white.

If there are whites who feel that being white is superior to other races, that is not a threat to ME on its surface. I feel that my race is superior. I don't think that feeling superior is the root evil...it's the actions that come from those feelings of superiority.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Adam said...

hennasplace:

What I find fascinating is that it was the Republican Party that sought to put African-Americans in places of power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In fact, the Democrat Party Conventions of the 1920's featured cross burnings.

It is really interesting how both parties have evolved (or mutated) in this country since the mid-20th century.

Jon Lester said...

Adam, that's a big reason why Georgia was under one-party rule for almost twice the duration of the Soviet Union. Southern Democrats were the party of maintaining segregation for 100 years.

Years ago I bought a thrift store copy of Barry Goldwater's "The Conscience of a Conservative," and I found it bookmarked with a clipping from the Atlanta Constitution, pointing out that Goldwater was personally in favor of integration, and this was why the newspaper endorsed Johnson.

Adam said...

Jon,

Thanks for that info. I never knew that.

A lot of people do not realize that the bulk of the Civil Rights legislation in this country was written by Republicans as well. Nixon had huge influence in it.

Even Ronald Regean supported Affirmative Action policies in Calfornia during the 1970's.

It is the history of both of these parties (and their now pathetic conditions) that always interests me.

I have voted Independent in the last several Presidential elections.

grinder said...
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Jackson Brown said...

La|Incognita:

lol ... If only real-life endings were that simple. :-)


Shady_Grady:

I hear ya'--right on with John Brown and everything. Every era has its visionaries, and maybe Lincoln wasn't as forward-looking as some others. (He was, after all, the humble, self-taught son of uneducated farmers.) I just don't think a great American leader should be canned because of his shortcomings, which everyone has.


Good post, field.

grinder said...

There are all kinds of inconvenient truths about Lincoln, one of which is that he was a frequent visitor to a forest located on and across from what is now the White House's south lawn, and which in the day was a well-known gay cruising ground.

At least he's on the five dollar bill.

field negro said...

Wow,you people are smart. And you make some good points about the complex nature of race and politics in our country.

"There are people in our society today that can’t even marry each other. That’s right IT’S AGAINST THE LAW!!!!!
Sick&tired"

Sick & Tired could you tell us the name of this place? I thought the Loving vs. Va. case took care of all of that


"Hey field, what's your take on the eagles receiver draft coming up?"

Zomba, they won't draft a WR in the first round. They don't like taking skill poisitons early. I am hoping they get a free agent this off season. Hopefully Bolden from Pheonix.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln would never have become president had he confessed a powerful love and support for AA.
Had this happened AA may have gone another 100 years as slaves since every president before him turned a blind eye to slavery because it was just too explosive. This great man and politician walked that fine line of not frightening people so he could get elected so he could be in a position to help AA.
OnCe elected he had 3 choiceS: Freeing the slaves, ignoring slavery or sending slaves back to Africa. I can imagine at first he might have consider the path of least resistant which was sending AA back to Africa because that way he could avoid a civil war while also ending the pain of AA. Before criticizing Lincoln, consider the times, the environment and the context in which everything took place. As an AA, I think Lincoln is one of the GREATEST men who has ever lived.

Chris said...

My question still stands, If Lincoln wasn't all that-- then who else could have done more?

Politics is the art of the possible. Could someone more 21st century have been succesful? By success I mean-- holding the Union together and abolishing slavery?

Finally the reason folks back in the day didn't care about the technicalities is that they knew once slavery had been abolished in one place the rest will follow.

You can't get the toothpaste back in the tube. No matter what kind of President Obama turns out to be, the barrier is broken. No matter where Lincoln abolished slavery, slavery was doomed.

La♥Incognita said...

Anony 9:47, does your massah know you sneaked out the house?

Jon Lester said...

Check it out:

You can see Santa Fe Trail for free, a 1940 film about John Broun and starring Ronald Reagan!

Jon Lester said...

One more thing I meant to share earlier, my very favorite "Star Trek" allegory story:

The Savage Curtain

Anonymous said...

You new Negroes. He was a man of his time, racist AND pushed to move beyond himself and his limitations. Stop tripping. Stop being a wet blanket. There's MUCH re: history that would REQUIRE -- via some schools of thought -- for Black to leave the country NOW, given its ugly history. And yet? THEY STAY. Some love, prosper, and dig their roots deeper in this bloody, complicated, shorn, and maddening soil. And, Field? By "some," I mean YOU. No run and tell THAT.

Constructive Feedback said...

Filled Negro - Our current president has some RACIAL INFERIORITY ISSUES with Black folks that he must deal with as well:

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

Filled Negro - when he is talking about RACIALLY SEGREGATED SCHOOLS of 2009 is he talking about WHITE FOLKS being injured from not having the benefit of sitting next to Black and Hispanic kids or is it BLACK KIDS who benefit from sitting next to White?

I have been monitoring the fiasco with the Chicago Public Schools. The Racism Chasers there drove outside of the Democratic paradise known as Chicago and found two SMALL, RICH AND WHITE school districts to complain about racist and inequitable funding. Sadly the news media BIT.

The Racism Chasers found one White school district which had 1,700 students and spent $15,000 per student and another rich White school district with 3,400 kids and spent $16,000 per kid and compared this against the CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM with, get this 409,000 kids and spends $10,500 per kid. (And they said that Sarah Palin lacked credibility in comparing her town of 55,000 to that of Chicago).

Now get this Filled Negro - if the Illinois state average for school funding is $8,900 and Chicago spends $10,500.....LOGIC STATES that there is a large pool of schools that DON'T SPEND AS MUCH AS CHICAGO DOES but is yielding better results than the city of Obama.

But again I ask - Why did your president assume that a school full of Black kids is inherently an INFERIOR SCHOOL and thus we should avoid this?

Do you figure that there will EVER be a time in which the average Black student has the "benefit" of sitting in class next to White kids, thus insuring quality education?

How can this ever NOT BE a RACIST construct?

My problem with Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chasers is that you all are too quick to ASSUME THE POSITION if in doing so you gain access to resources. Your dignity is for sale in this way.

When are you going to call President Barack Obama on his assumed inferiority of all Black schools? (Quite honestly - the real question is "When will the progressive administrators of these schools gonna stop proving the BIGOTS correct in their deflated assumptions of these schools?)

Arthur Gilroy said...

Field Negro...

Hello. Long time no see. I hope all goes well in Philly for you. i am doing what I do here in NYC.

I posted something about this piece on My Left Wing. You might want to read it.

"A Response To Field Negro-Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass"

(http://www.myleftwing.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=24358#339249)

I'd post it here as well but blogspot's .html is so clunky that I'd rather not spend the time altering it.


It's also up at Booman Trib (http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2009/2/14/112926/806#1) and The Wild, Wild Left (http://thewildwildleft.soapblox.net/showDiary.do?diaryId=1585#10843) if you want to see who the leftiness clones respond.

Later...

AG

grinder said...
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grinder said...

I agree with Anon 9:47 with one exception, that being the statement that Lincoln is "the greatest man that ever lived." I don't think it's possible to know who the "greatest man" is, and in fact I think it's a bad idea to try to establish such a rank order.

Lincoln was a great leader. His second inaugural address, something I didn't read until I visited the Lincoln Memorial and read it on the wall, literally made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

You might say that he was one of history's great bisexuals, but not necessarily the greatest. I mean, there were those Greeks who gave us a big chunk of everything we know.

classical one said...

In reality, washington is probably the most important of our historical figures in the states, if you had to pick someone.


Rev. Lisa

That's a very bizarre and puzzling statement for a woman of the cloth to make. How is one race superior to the other? How do you define superior? Does God sanction a theory of racial superiority? it sounds like your taking cues from the Nation of islam.

Anonymous said...

Okay, one can say Lincoln was a "racist", yet when present day whites want to adopt black children or black men want to date white women, there is always an OUTCRY from the black community, that the children will not be "raised black enough" or the black women don't have enough mates because black men are dating outside their race??? There is a present day double standard too....

Someone please explain for non-blacks how this is?

La♥Incognita said...

Anony 5:47, lol... you wanting black men to desperately bed you has nothing to do with the above post. (I swear this must be a set up for me :).

And please don't flatter yourself about us "not having enough mates", you can have all the black men you want. Hurry take them. More black women are now dating all those white men and non-black men who prefer black women, and those who rejected your kind in the first place. Cheers.

Grinder, and of course you would agree with Anony 9:47.

(man, I promised myself I would behave on this blog for the new year, but some people keep provoking me.)

Anonymous said...

LaIncognita ? ? ? Appears not to just get it. No, I did not sneak out of messas house and neither did you thanks to Lincoln. Most informed folks know that diplomacy and/or discretion are what gets you elected. Today's politicians have little choice but to let AA know in some way that they are concerned about our issues or they will not get the AA vote. Lincoln
had more liberty to disregard the AA issue because we could not vote.
Lincoln could probably have disregarded the AA issues and still gotten elected because we did not vote. He chose not to do this, rather he took on the slavery issue almost at the very beginning of his presidency. It took guts to do what Lincoln did. It was not because he was a so called "racist" that got him killed; it was because he ended slavery ! You and Bennett are both so far off base and appear not to see the bigger picture of the time period in which Lincoln lived.

Anonymous said...

Grinder - I did not say Lincoln was the greates man who ever lived.
I said that he was ONE of the greatest. I said one because I think of several people such as Ghandi, MLK, JFK, RFK, Mandela, James Weldon Johnson, John Brown,
FDR, etc. Obama at this time does not make my list as one of the greatest because he is just starting out. Depending on what he does with the opportunity he has been given as president, he can make my list since he is smart and insightful.

grinder said...

Grinder - I did not say Lincoln was the greates man who ever lived. I said that he was ONE of the greatest.

I misread your comment. The error is mine, and I apologize for it.

Obama at this time does not make my list as one of the greatest because he is just starting out.

I couldn't agree more. We all have high hopes, but I had high hopes for Jimmy Carter, too.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

"Hey field, what's your take on the eagles receiver draft coming up?"

Zomba, they won't draft a WR in the first round. They don't like taking skill poisitons early. I am hoping they get a free agent this off season. Hopefully Bolden from Pheonix.


This shit pisses me the fuck off! This is why they do *really well* but haven't won the big one! They need a motherfucking superstar WR so Donovan can go vertical!!!!!!!! AIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Swiff said...

Fred Douglas said Linc was on the up and up. Good enough for me.

Black Rose said...

Field,
Excellent Post.

Black Rose

Anonymous said...

La incognita 8:25,
You are spot on sista!

Ava said...

Lincoln, in part, wanted to free the slaves because he wanted equality among white men. White men who had slaves were wealthier and slaves provided good labor and that would make them even more wealthy. He thought that that was unfair to poor white men.

Anonymous said...

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