Mr. Lincoln The Racist

by Al Benson Jr.

It is amazing to see how many blacks today continue to revere the memory of Abraham Lincoln as though he had actually done something for them. Of course many whites do the same thing. In fact, there is an entire cottage industry operating nowadays, consisting of people, many of whom are academics, whose entire goal in life seems to be the attempted beatification of "Saint Abraham." Most of this foolishness is due to the fact that, in our government schools, we have been taught a laughable, shoddy imitation of history. The facts must never be allowed to get in the way of the fantasy.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is a dubious document that has been widely touted as having "freed the slaves." It didn’t. It was aimed at the slaves in Confederate territory where Lincoln had no legal authority. Slaves in both states and territory controlled by Mr. Lincoln’s dictatorial regime remained firmly in bondage until the 13th Amendment freed them, several months after Mr. Lincoln’s demise. Even Lincoln, himself, admitted the proclamation was a war measure and probably would not have passed any sort of constitutional muster. So who did it really free? No one, that’s who. It was never intended to "free" anyone. It was excellent propaganda and that was it. Period!

Several years ago, columnist Joseph Sobran wrote: "When Lincoln finally did grab the slavery issue in 1854, he again followed (Henry) Clay in advocating gradual emancipation, combined with a program of colonization–resettling former slaves outside of the United States. He expressly opposed political and social equality for Negroes in this country. They should be equal all right, but not here…Lincoln’s segregationist views are soft-peddled, shrugged off, explained away, or simply ignored…the Fantasy Lincoln must be maintained at all costs." And this is exactly what many establishment scholars today do. They maintain the cottage industry that promotes the "Fantasy Lincoln" while conveniently ignoring his racist views–views they seem to find abhorant in anyone else yet perfectly alright in Mr. Lincoln.

So far as Lincoln’s overt racism, let us go right to the horse’s mouth as it were, and find out what the great emancipator said himself. In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, which took place in 1858, while debating in Ottowa, Illinois on August 21st of that year, Mr. Lincoln stated, quite plainly, that: "I have no disposition to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together on terms of respect, social and political equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there should be a superiority somewhere, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position;"

Lest one be tempted to think that this Lincolnian sentiment was a mere abberation, a slip of the tongue on his part, let’s note Lincoln’s comments in his speech at Charleston, Illinois on September 18, 1858. Here, dealing again with the same question, Lincoln said: "I will say then, that I am not nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor have I ever been in favor of making voters of the negroes, or jurors, or qualifying them to hold office, or having them to marry with white people…there must be the position of superior and inferior, that I as much as any other man am in favor of the superior position being assigned to the white man." And he repeated, again, this exact same sentiment in the debate in Quincy, Illinois on October 13th. You do have to admit that Mr. Lincoln’s racism did remain constant.

When I read about all the Northern (and some Southern) liberals that so deftly condemn Southern folks for their racism, I often wonder why they seem to forget to condemn Mr. Lincoln for his racism. And why do they conveniently forget to condemn the North for its racist attitudes–because the North had them every bit as much as did the South. Why is Southern "guilt" to be pointed out and exclaimed over while Northern "guilt" for the same "crime" is simply ignored? You don’t supposed there is just a teeny bit of anti-Southern bias among the liberals and their court historians do you? Naw–that could never happen–could it???

Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, in his excellent book The Real Lincoln noted that: "The Republican Party, led by Lincoln, was in favor of Southern slavery because its leaders feared the spectacle of emancipated slaves residing in their own Northern states. Lincoln’s own state of Illinois had recently amended its constitution to prohibit the emigration of black people into the state, as had several other Northern states. Most Northern states had adopted Black Codes that discriminated in the most inhumane ways against freed blacks. Such discriminatory laws existed in the North decades before they were adopted in the South. There were very few blacks in the North in 1861, and most Northern voters wanted it to remain that way." Black Codes in the North for decades before the South adopted them? Wonder why your "history" book never mentioned that. I never read about that when I went to school. Maybe they sort of forgot to put it in my history book. You say it wasn’t in your’s either? Oh my!

So most black folks as well as the white liberal race-baiters continue to pay homage to a man that displayed all the habitual racial attitudes they claim to hate in all the rest of us–but, somehow, in the sainted Mr. Lincoln, it’s all forgivable. Do you detect, ever so slightly, just a bit of a double standard here?

Copyright © 2006-2008 Al Benson, Jr.

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