Vandals tagged the Lincoln Memorial with graffiti the other day. Why stop with graffiti? Let them eradicate all memory of Abe Lincoln. After all Lincoln was an absolutely vile racist and white supremacist.
Consider just a few quotes.
- “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]—that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” (Source: Lincoln-Douglas debates.)
- “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. … I … am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary.” (Source: Lincoln-Douglas debates.)
- “I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with Negros.” (Source: Lincoln-Douglas debates.)
- “Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and, at the same time, favorable to, or, at least, not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.” (Source: Speech at Springfield, Illinois in 1857.)
- “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.” (Source: Letter to Horace Greeley in 1862.)
- “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” (Source: First Inaugural Address in 1861.)
It’s not just Lincoln’s words, but his deeds as well, that were contemptible.
- He supported the Fugitive Slave Act, which made it a crime to harbor runaway slaves.
- He supported a proposed constitutional amendment which would have forbidden Uncle Sam from interfering with slavery in states where it already existed, and stated that he had “no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
- He instituted the first military draft in American history, and sent federal troops to suppress the bloody riots that broke out in New York City.
- He imposed the first income tax in American history, i.e. forcing “free” Americans for the first time to labor involuntarily for the benefit of others.
- Wait! There’s more! A whole lot more.
And, yes, I hear the train a comin’: What about the Emancipation Proclamation?
The Emancipation Proclamation is a short document of just over 700 words. You can read it here. It is as significant both for what it says and what it doesn’t say.
- It only “freed” the slaves in the Confederacy, which was at the time and independent sovereign nation in which Lincoln had no jurisdiction.
- It did not apply in the areas around New Orleans and Norfolk, Virginia, which had come under control of Union military forces.
- It also did not apply in the 48 counties which were about to become the new state of West Virginia.
- It did not apply in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri which, although still in the Union, still had legal slavery.
- Hence, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves.
Slavery came to an end not because of but, rather, in spite of Abe Lincoln and the war he initiated. No other country “needed a war” to end slavery. It came to an end because it was no longer economically viable and because of a spreading conviction in the hearts and minds of Americans that it was just plain evil. Instead of freeing people, Lincoln and the war he initiated set the table for an all-powerful federal government that will one day make us all slaves. Indeed, he was the Great Centralizer.
It has been said that, in the early days of this republic, the closest contact most people had with the federal government was when the mailman came by. That all started to change with Abe Lincoln.
The war did not at all “settle” the secession and nullification questions. Saying that it did is like saying that “my kid beat up your kid, so therefore my kid is right.”
If those who would relegate all vestiges of slavery, racism and white supremacy to the dustbin of history have any intellectual consistency whatsoever, they need to get busy eradicating the memory of Abe Lincoln.
- “If He Were Alive Today, Could Lincoln Own an NBA Team?” by Thomas DiLorenzo.
- Many more great essays by Thomas DiLorenzo at LewRockwell.com.