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  1. #1
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    Lincoln Wouldn't have approved Obama

    Raises some interesting points. What i've always found odd in respect to Lincoln is that he freed the slaves, when he only quasi did that and to piss off the south. This article does a good job talking about that, but also closes perfectly when talking about Lincoln.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/338/story/59958.html


    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Miami Herald

    On Tuesday, Barack Obama will stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and take an oath making him the nation's first president of African heritage.

    The statue of Abraham Lincoln, which sits facing the Capitol in a temple two miles away, will not give two thumbs up. Neither will it weep, commune with the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. or dance a Macarena of joy.

    The point is obvious, yes, but also necessary given that when Obama was elected in November, every third political cartoonist seemed to use an image of a celebrating Lincoln to comment upon the milestone that had occurred. Lincoln, they told us, would have been overjoyed.

    Actually, Lincoln likely would have been appalled. How could he not? He was a 19th century white man who famously said in 1858 that "there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which . . . will forever forbid the two races living together upon terms of social and political equality.''

    How do you reconcile that with all those cartoons of Lincoln congratulating Obama? You don't. You simply recognize it for what it is: yet another illustration of how shallow our comprehension of history is, yet another instance where myth supersedes reality.

    Not that this is anything new -- or that political cartoonists are the only ones susceptible. Indeed, African Americans once tended to regard Lincoln with an almost religious reverence. Consider another Lincoln statue, this one in a park east of the Capitol: It depicts Lincoln towering over a newly freed black man who kneels at his feet. While modern eyes might find the image unbearably paternalistic, it represented the heartfelt sentiment of the black men and women who gave it to the city in 1876 in gratitude, they said, for Lincoln freeing the slaves.

    Of course, Lincoln freed no slaves. That's the myth. His Emancipation Proclamation was a military measure to demoralize and destabilize the rebellious South; it covered states he did not govern but did not apply in slaveholding states that remained under his jurisdiction.

    None of which is to deny or diminish the greatness of the 16th president. His greatness stands unquestioned, unquestionable. We would be a very different nation, a lesser nation, without his political genius, his dogged faith in the unsundered Union, his refusal to accept less than Union, even when haunted by reversals and setbacks that would have broken anyone else.

    No, the argument is not about Lincoln's greatness. Rather, it is about our tendency to cherish untextured myths that affirm our preferred narratives. George Washington confessing that he chopped down the cherry tree is one, a parable of honesty that has survived for generations despite the minor inconvenience of not being true. Lincoln the Great Emancipator is yet another.

    Abraham Lincoln did not believe in the equality of black people. He did, however -- and this was no minor distinction in his era -- believe in their humanity. He also abhorred slavery. But he was willing to countenance it if doing so would have vindicated his primary goal: to save the Union.

    For him, nothing mattered more. Lincoln held with an indefatigable fervor to the belief that there was something unique, something necessary to preserve, in the union of American states, this government of, by and for the people. He held to this even when common sense, casualty reports and political reality demanded otherwise.

    So, remarkable as it is that America has elected a black man its 44th president, Lincoln might find it more remarkable simply that the country has elected a 44th president at all. That was not always a certainty. He would be glad to know that, 144 years after his death, America continues to surprise itself.

    The Union endures.


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  2. #2
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    Good find, bmd.

    The article does raise a really important point. Lincoln didn't see the slaves as equal; he just knew that slavery was a tragic thing. But, above all else, he was willing to do what it took to keep the Union intact.

    But, the fact that Blacks weren't seen as equals in Lincoln's eyes makes something else even more clear -- just how far we've come in a century and a half. While inequality still exists among the races and between the sexes we have progressed to a point that few among us could realize.

    In talking with my mother-in-law days after the election (she's in her 60's and relatively unhealthy since my father-in-law died ... he was her life) she told me that she never thought she would see a Black man elected President in her lifetime. And, who's to blame her for that view? What events have transpired that would allow her to believe something of that civil magnitude could take place in the early 21st Century?

    I always figured that I would see it. But, I felt as though a few other events would have to take place in the meantime, because the United States is not a place where rapid (political) change takes place. Most political events are incremental, but this is extraordinary. I expected a progression of events -- the first Female President (White), an African-American Veep, and an unsuccessful Presidential run by a "legitimate" Black candidate before we saw anything remotely close to what we're seeing now. And, for a black man with a "Muslim" name to be elected in this day and age of Islamo-fascist terror and fear-mongering is truly remarkable.

    These are huge and momentous times. And, I hope everyone of every political stripe can step back and observe this for what it is -- history in the making.
    Last edited by SmthBluCitrus; 01-19-2009 at 02:40 PM.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    Good find, bmd.

    The article does raise a really important point. Lincoln didn't see the slaves as equal; he just knew that slavery was a tragic thing. But, above all else, he was willing to do what it took to keep the Union intact.

    But, the fact that Blacks weren't seen as equals in Lincoln's eyes makes something else even more clear -- just how far we've come in a century and a half. While inequality still exists among the races and between the sexes we have progressed to a point that few among us could realize.

    In talking with my mother-in-law days after the election (she's in her 60's and relatively unhealthy since my father-in-law died ... he was her life) she told me that she never thought she would see a Black man elected President in her lifetime. And, who's to blame her for that view? What events have transpired that would allow her to believe something of that civil magnitude could take place in the early 21st Century?

    I always figured that I would see it. But, I felt as though a few other events would have to take place in the meantime, because the United States is not a place where rapid (political) change takes place. Most political events are incremental, but this is extraordinary. I expected a progression of events -- the first Female President (White), an African-American Veep, and an unsuccessful Presidential run by a "legitimate" Black candidate before we saw anything remotely close to what we're seeing now. And, for a black man with a "Muslim" name to be elected in this day and age of Islamo-fascist terror and fear-mongering is truly remarkable.

    These are huge and momentous times. And, I hope everyone of every political stripe can step back and observe this for what it is -- history in the making.
    It def is history in the making. I can even appreciate that. But if his first 4 years is a disaster, or we don't see monumental improvement, I think it'll be a good 20-30 years atleast before we see another african american with a legitimate shot at winning. Heck if Burris wasn't confirmed to the senate, we'd have a black free (lack of better word) senate.


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  4. #4
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    I'm not sure I buy that argument. Bush was a disaster (imo) -- I'm pretty sure we'll see a white guy elected again.

    OK, that's not fair. I admit it. But, the argument really does hold true. You can't characterize the many based on the actions of a few.

    Again -- and I can't stress this more -- I think the fact that Barack Obama, a Black man with a Middle-Eastern sounding name, was elected while we're at war with Islamic extremism says a whole lot about the state of the voting populace. A new age of voter has come along that doesn't have a predisposed view of the "races." The 18-30 year old voting population (that has been incredibly active) didn't have to deal with segregation, so racial separation isn't at the forefront of their voting guidelines. The same will likely hold true into the future.

    Maybe that's just how I see it.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    I'm not sure I buy that argument. Bush was a disaster (imo) -- I'm pretty sure we'll see a white guy elected again.

    OK, that's not fair. I admit it. But, the argument really does hold true. You can't characterize the many based on the actions of a few.

    Again -- and I can't stress this more -- I think the fact that Barack Obama, a Black man with a Middle-Eastern sounding name, was elected while we're at war with Islamic extremism says a whole lot about the state of the voting populace. A new age of voter has come along that doesn't have a predisposed view of the "races." The 18-30 year old voting population (that has been incredibly active) didn't have to deal with segregation, so racial separation isn't at the forefront of their voting guidelines. The same will likely hold true into the future.

    Maybe that's just how I see it.
    The heck we can't. You mess up at a job as a white girl, and I mess up at the same job. I'm far more certain that i'll get an equivalent job then you would. That and Obama was a perfect storm, of bad times, hatred of the current party and president, and one heck of a campaign marketing. (he did win marketing of the year.) There's alot of pressure on this presidency, it was built up for so many things. That he will fix the economy, that he will fix global warming, that he will fix public schools, and that he can break threw and succeed in the racial divide. Maybe i'm pessimistic, but I feel that if he fails, it'll be a knock on that race. Just like if Condi does get a president of an NFL franchise, and they turn out like the lions, and she gets fired. That sets it back.

    Also you bring up the middle name. It was enough of a problem, that Obama himself wont' refer to it, gets pissed when someone calls him it, and had McCain specifically apologize for it.


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  6. #6
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    Obama never got pissed that anybody used Hussein. It was the context in which they were using it that got people's feathers ruffled. Again, an attempt at capitalizing on fears of brown terrorists.

    He is, in fact, using his full name tomorrow when he takes the oath of office ... much to the disbelief of Congressman "Psycho" Steve King (IA-05)
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    Obama never got pissed that anybody used Hussein. It was the context in which they were using it that got people's feathers ruffled. Again, an attempt at capitalizing on fears of brown terrorists.

    He is, in fact, using his full name tomorrow when he takes the oath of office ... much to the disbelief of Congressman "Psycho" Steve King (IA-05)
    yes but he difference is who cares now he won. Also the shear fact that people used in as you say in an attempt for fear mongering, and the fact Obama did not call himself that any time during the election, and did get ticket even when it was used as fear mongering, shows even he knew it was damning to his reputation during an election. Now who cares, he's elected, it's not like people can say SOB his middle name is Huissen I'm changing my vote.


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  8. #8
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    I think I understand what you're trying to say ... possibly. But, your thought process seems a little mashed up.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    I think I understand what you're trying to say ... possibly. But, your thought process seems a little mashed up.
    that's a surprise.

    What i'm trying to say is, Obama himself had to know that it was a potential problem. Other wise, he wouldn't have ever made a sound when people called him that. Now it doesn't matter. Going back on baseball, we needed an african american to succeed for they were taken seriously. It could just be that I'm pessimistic on how far we've actually come in this country.


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  10. #10
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    I would say so.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

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    This has nothing to do with Obama, but I found it funny. Me and the fiance were arguing a bit, nothing serious more like playful arguing, over the temp in the house. I like it cold, she likes it about 5 degree's warmer. Even during the -20 temp we had last week, I had the thermostat set at 65. She responds but I pay the heat bill, I said yea but I pay the mortgage I trump you. She said It's cold. I said well go to hell, it's warmer. She just laughed, and I said and before you go, I want my rib back. While sexist, I really thought that was one of my better one liners.


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  12. #12
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    Of course Lincoln would hate it. Lincoln, like most Americans (including most Northerners) was racist, even if he was a nice, Christian racist. The only reason he freed the slaves was to stop Europe from joining the war... it was purely a PR move. That's why, if you notice, no slaves were actually free. Had he actually freed the slaves during the war, slave owning states in the Union would have been really pissed off. Pissed off enough to secede from the Union.
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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    I think this article is good because it trys to put things in prospective and since we live in this wonderful world where people don't try to be accurate anymore about anything unless of course it's to teardown their opposition it's kind of refreshing. On the other hand who cares? I learned this once upon a AP History course back in High School where I was one of the few dissenting voices saying "Lincoln ain't give a damn about black people. Freeing the slaves was a strategic move to win the war" as some of my classmates disagreed (of course it didn't help that I was one of a very few black kids in my class and I sounded like a cynical conspiracy theorist or something) until my teacher backed me up and pointed out the reasons why in fact it was strategic. I think because the man was brilliant history has and will continue to look upon him favorably (even ignoring the fact that b/c of the times he probably was a racist). So yeah it was strategic, it was to win the war and hold the nation together but what the hell? Blacks folks were willing to take what they could get. I mean did the slaves really care why they were freed? "Nah man, Lincoln's full of crap he freed us to win the war." Yeah I'm sure the slaves as well as the abolitionist really cared why that wicked institution was ended (sarcasm). I get what the focus of the article is that being Lincoln not necessarily vouching for Obama but we also forget that Lincoln so loved his country that much like McCain, he would have graciously supported his commander in chief. So no he probably would not have voted for Obama (Hey 58 million Americas didn't just a few months ago also) but he would have had respect for the office he once held and love for the country he served. Lincoln would have understood that although the nation isn't as splintered as it was in his day there is still of need for unity in order to solve the pressing issues of the day. So again I asked what's the point?

  14. 01-21-2009, 11:58 PM

  15. #14
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    i was wondering this too. fice find, bmd.

    actually in history class we talked about prejudice. even if they wont admit it, every one is prejudice against someone.
    **********

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