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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Was Lincoln a Tyrant?

"As Robert Johannsen, author of Lincoln, the South, and Slavery put it, Lincoln’s position on slavery was identical to Clay’s: 'opposition to slavery in principle, toleration of it in practice, and a vigorous hostility toward the abolition movement' (emphasis added). Regardless of what Basler said, I take the position that Lincoln’s sincerity can certainly be questioned in this regard. His words did lack effectiveness on the issue of slavery because he contradicted himself so often. Indeed, one of his most famous defenders, Harry Jaffa, has long maintained that Honest Abe was a prolific liar when he was making numerous racist and white supremacist remarks. He was lying, says Jaffa, just to get himself elected. In The Lincoln Enigma Gabor Boritt even goes so far in defending Lincoln’s deportation/colonization proposals to say, 'This is how honest people lie.' Well, not exactly. Truly honest people do not lie."

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Booker T. Washington said:

"There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs....There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who do not want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

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