Saturday, February 16, 2008

Abraham Lincoln on Race

Abraham Lincoln, the consumate political manipulator, often spoke out of both sides of his mouth on the subject of race, depending on who he was speaking to. Much the same was true of his utterances on politics. Here are some samples of each. Judge for yourself the words versus the reality of Lincoln's actions.ON POLITICS:"This country with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.""Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world."With statements like these one wonders how Lincoln could have opposed Southern secession. Could it be that Lincoln was a liar? Did his words depend on who he was speaking to? Actions speak louder than words, and Lincoln's actions brought about the deaths of over 600,000 Americans. Was Lincoln a liar and a murderer as well?ON RACE:"What I would most desire would be the separation of the white and black races."— Spoken at Springfield, Illinois on July 17th, 1858; from ABRAHAM LINCOLN: COMPLETE WORKS, 1894, Vol. 1, page 273"See our present condition---the country engaged in war! Our White men cutting one another's throats! And then consider what we know to be the truth. But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or another. "Why should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." — Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862, from COLLECTED WORKS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Vol 5, page 371"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 black and white races---that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making votersor 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 will ever FORBID the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race." — 4th Lincoln-Douglas debate, September 18th, 1858; COLLECTED WORKS Vol. 3, pp. 145-146
Lincoln the Racialist? NOT.An answer to yet another Lincoln lover"There is a rancor in our hearts you little dream. We hate you sir."— Gen. Henry A. Wise, CSA, to a Union officer at Appomattox It is with some considerable measure of sorrow that I pen this response to Richard McCulloch's article praising Abraham Lincoln and Mr. McCulloch's native North for their putative once-upon-a-time belief in "racial purity" ("The Open Wound", February 1997). Unlike Moriarity—who first raised the subject of Lincoln, but who is unknown to me—Richard McCulloch is a friend. We have spoken and corresponded over the years, and I have the greatest respect for the contribution he has made to racial awareness with his books. I keep a stack of The Nordish Quest at hand for whites awakening to the realities of race.However, his apologia for Lincoln and the North in provoking and prosecuting their fratricidal war against the Confederate States of America is so divergent from historical reality and so utterly devoid of understanding of the Puritanical political climate of the mid-19th century as to be laughable. It demands reply despite ties of friendship or consideration of past service to our common cause.Briefly, Mr. McCulloch's thesis is that Lincoln was really a racialist at heart. He and the saintly Northern people wanted nothing less than an all-white Nordic nation. But those nasty, selfish Southerners just wouldn't give up their slaves. Lincoln was forced to call out the army and invade the South for the greater good of whites everywhere. Had he not been assassinated, after he finished killing a few hundred thousand recalcitrant Southerners he would have magically whisked away America's blacks. We few survivors of his benevolence would have then lived happily ever after, with nary a black in sight to spoil our Nordic paradise. No doubt this would have, in time, assuaged our anger over our wrecked nation and our grief over our 260,000 dead fathers, sons, uncles, nephews and cousins.Thus, according to Mr. McCulloch, Abraham Lincoln's war was really fought to create an all-white America. Those evil Southerners fought to preserve multi-racialism— and so they and their country had to be destroyed in order to save whites from their folly. As evidence, Mr. McCulloch cites the sometimes reluctance of Northern states to admit blacks and Lincoln's occasional statements supposedly voicing a desire to expel blacks. Conveniently ignored, of course, is the historical fact that during the war Lincoln emancipated all those slaves he did not control and kept as slaves all those he could have himself sent back to Africa.Mr. McCulloch makes much of Lincoln statements defaming blacks. However, he has made the mistake of believing what Lincoln said and ignoring what Lincoln actually did. Since Lincoln was a consummate liar, telling each audience what it wanted to hear in order to advance his political career, it is easy to find pretty much anything one wants in Lincoln's utterances. For example, Lincoln, often cited for his atheism by close associates—so much the atheist that he wrote a book in his youth parodying Christianity—cynically invoked America's religious values in public as a means of gaining a political following.His 1848 Congressional speech for self-determination ("Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.") led many European statesmen to believe Lincoln could not, on principle, oppose Southern secession. What Europeans did not account for was Lincoln's duplicity. In reality, 1848 was the year communist revolutions broke out all over Europe. Lincoln's speech gave encouragement to those revolutionaries, many of whom later served as officers in his Union invasion army. However, closer to home, where Anglo-Saxon America was engaged in wresting the Southwest away from mestizo Mexico, he bitterly opposed the Mexican-American war as immoral.Lincoln carefully targeted his speeches to fit the audience. While campaigning for the U.S. Senate against Stephen Douglas in southern Illinois, an area sympathetic to the South, he 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 black and white races. . .and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race."However, in northern Illinois—filled by that time with German and other non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants—he glorified Negro equality: "In the right to eat the bread his own hands have earned he is the equal of Judge Douglas, or of myself, or any living man." Carl Sandburg's adulatory biography quotes a private statement written during the debate, belittling "inferior race" and "Negro equality" abolition opponents. This pro-abolition paean ends as follows: "I am proud, in my passing speck of time, to contribute an humble mite to that glorious consummation, which my own poor eyes may not last to see." Nowhere in this private confession is black separatism to be found. His famous "house divided against itself cannot stand" speech was universally seen both in the North and the South as a harbinger of emancipation, not of separatism.Racialist sentiments undoubtedly existed in the North, as they certainly did in the South—a region that lived day and night with the terrifying possibility of racially motivated massacres. But it was not the majority opinion. Northern politics was dominated by outrage at the "immorality" of slavery and not by "racism." Set against this backdrop, it seems likely that Lincoln's flirtation with "black separatism" was a ploy designed to appease a racialist minority while allowing prosecution of the war to continue. His refusal to free slaves in Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware with the Emancipation proclamation fits the same mold. He needed these states to sustain the war effort. And so, as the eternally opportunistic politician, he took whatever actions required to achieve his objective, no matter how bizarre they might appear to an objective observer.It is a historical fact that in 1860 Lincoln was the candidate of the abolitionist Republican Party. As their candidate, he inevitably reflected their viewpoint. Not without reason were they called "Black Republicans", hardly the sobriquet one would apply to white separatists. Black Republicans did not advocate removal of blacks to Africa. They wanted not only black emancipation but social and political equality as well, a status they enforced with a vengeance as soon as the war was over—a predictable outcome that is utterly at odds with Mr. McCulloch's thesis.Also conveniently ignored is the historical fact that a black repatriation movement had existed since the 1820s. The American Colonization Society, founded by Southerner James Monroe, never attracted a politically significant (i.e. vote-getting) following in the supposedly white separatist North. Monrovia, the African city created for black repatriation, received only a few thousand blacks, most of whom settled there voluntarily rather than by forcible removal. If the North was determined to create an all-white nation, the vehicle had been available for decades. Since this option languished, one suspects that Northern motives were somewhat less racialist than Mr. McCulloch contends.Also conveniently ignored is the historical fact that Lincoln never publicly offered the South a separatist solution to the race crisis. If he wanted an all-white America, he could have, at any time—either before the War or after it began—proposed a plan to purchase and repatriate all slaves from federal tax revenues, thus obviating Southern concern over financial loss. If the Northern people really supported such a solution, it would have cost him nothing politically. If refused, it would have put the South in the untenable position of renouncing an ideal solution to the crisis. (Southerners might have been excused if they had objected—well over half of all U.S. tax revenues came from tariffs on Southern imports and exports.) But Lincoln never made such an offer—for the very good reason that he neither truly believed in it himself nor judged that the Northern electorate would accept it. In his 1860 inaugural address, Lincoln said that he had no intention to interfere with slavery because he had no legal right to do so. When this ploy failed to bring undeceived Southern states back into his clutches, he then proceeded with armed conquest, his 1848 speech affirming the right of self-determination notwithstanding. Lincoln soon put the lie to his words professing respect for law by his actions. He arrested Maryland's legislature on the eve of their secession vote, installing fiat legislators who then voted as he directed. This initiated a long bout of constitutional mayhem. When informed that the Supreme Court had ruled that he had no constitutional authority to wage war against Americans, he asked derisively if the Supreme Court had an army to enforce its ruling. And, of course, the utterly illegal Emancipation Proclamation stood the constitution on its head, making Lincoln solely culpable for destruction of the Founders' creation.The Emancipation Proclamation—an expedient designed to keep Britain and France out of the war, and not, as Mr. McCulloch suggests, to give "meaning, dignity and noble purpose to the traumatic suffering"—is the ultimate refutation of Mr. McCulloch's "Lincoln-as-racialist" thesis. Had Lincoln really wanted to remove blacks from America, surely he realized that, once blacks were freed, equality would be impossible to prevent—exactly the outcome that did occur after the war? Had the North really wanted to expel blacks, would they not have removed Lincoln from office in the 1864 election for freeing blacks rather than expelling them? Would not the Northern states have refused to ratify the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments after the War? No, the simpler explanation—and the correct one—is that the Northern majority saw slavery as a moral issue and not a racialist one. They approved of emancipation, never dreaming that one day their grandchildren would reap the whirlwind they had so foolishly sowed with their pious moralizing.Evidence of this permeates the historical record. Northerners operated the notorious Underground Railroad. Northerners—by refusing to return escaped slaves to their owners as the Constitution required—provoked the crisis that drove the South from the union. Northerners—such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the scurrilous Uncle Tom's Cabin—fanned the flames of race war, emitting a veritable flood of provocative lies in order to inflame opinion against the South. Northerners financed atrocities such as John Brown's raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry—the purpose of which was to arm Virginia's slaves for massacre of Virginia's white population. Finally, a Northern Congress whitewashed Brown and the abolitionists who backed his murderous ambition. The late Revilo Oliver, an Illinois "Yankee"—and one of the foremost racialist intellects of the 20th century—nailed Brown and his admirers in America's Decline:". . .Americans have been taught to venerate a particularly vicious homicidal maniac named John Brown, who, after a long series of murders in Kansas, appointed himself President of the United States and slipped into Virginia in the hope that he could enjoy seeing white men, mutilated but alive, hanging by their heels from trees while their intestines were pulled out of their bodies and torches were used to ignite their hair, and he yearned to see white women blinded and herded together in pigpens, but kept alive for the amusement of black beasts."Oliver adds: "Of Brown's purposes and plans there can be no possible doubt, for he openly boasted that he would model his work on the great slave revolt in Hispaniola, which, after the extermination of the Aryans by the procedures I have mentioned, eventually produced the fetid pest-hole now called Haiti." It is this same John Brown that Northerners eulogized as a holy martyr after Virginia hung him for murder. Oliver concludes his skewering of Brown's admirers thus:"[T]hose facts were, of course, well known to the liars, chiefly of degenerate Puritan stock, who started the canonization of Brown and publicly compared him to Jesus Christ as they labored to arouse enthusiasm for an invasion of the more civilized states in the southern half of the nation—enthusiasm for the war that they greatly enjoyed, to say nothing of its aftermath, when they so richly appeased their sadistic lusts with the suffering they inflicted on the conquered white population."Also conveniently ignored is the historical fact that miscegenation between blacks and whites was far more prevalent in the North than in the South. In his 1867 book, A Defense of Virginia and the South, Robert L. Dabney, chaplain to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, analyzed pre- war census records. Prior to the war, census-takers noted the race of each person counted, a record that included mixed-race mulattos. Dabney found that the greatest percentage of mulattos lived in the North. In many Northern states, mulattos exceeded half the non-white population. On the other hand, Southern Negroes were largely pure African. Contending that the same people who bred so freely with their few blacks were in reality frothing white separatists is simply a case of wish replacing reality.Dabney's book lays bare the hypocrisy of Northern commercial interests and political leaders on the issue of slavery. Forgotten is the fact that slavery was at first legal in Northern states as well as Southern. Slave ships were exclusively of Northern registry. Virginia efforts to eliminate slavery in the early 1770s were opposed by Northern slave trading interests. As Northern slavery was phased out— due to climate and unsuitability of African labor in a rapidly industrializing North—laws allowed sale of slaves out of state but did not require repatriation. Northerners cynically sold their "problem" to the South. Only after they had recouped their own investments did they begin self- righteously beating the drums for emancipation—and let the South's financial interests be damned.Finally, also conveniently ignored is the historical fact that it was the South that—after the horror of Reconstruction was thrown off—imposed a virtually air-tight political and social apartheid on its blacks. Northern attitudes toward blacks in the intervening century have unquestionably been more tolerant than those of Southerners. It took two 20th century invasions by the United States Army to defeat Southern segregationist resolve—one by Midwesterner Dwight Eisenhower (he of German descent, a fact that will not be lost on Mr. McCulloch), and a second by that self-absorbed son of an Irish bootlegger, John F. Kennedy. Are we to believe that, up until the War, Northerners were rabid white separatists, but that by some mysterious Vulcan mind-meld they suddenly became ardent pro-integrationists—while racially tolerant Southerners simultaneously underwent an equally miraculous reverse transformation? This tortured explanation defies the bounds of credibility.No, the North's acts were not those of noble idealists, intent on creating an all-white America. They were the acts of venal, self-serving, holier-than-thou zealots—the kind of people who always know what is best for everyone else but who never get around to applying their pious drivel to their own lives. The word that describes them is "liberals", and nothing has changed in 130 years—as is amply attested by current Northern voting patterns.Perhaps the saddest point of all is Mr. McCulloch's plea for acceptance of Lincoln as "one of our own." We are asked to embrace a genetic defective, an illegitimate bastard, an inveterate liar, a delusional egotist, a homosexual deviant, a communist sympathizer, an emancipator of 4 million Africans, and a man whose war caused as many white deaths as all other American wars combined. Think, for a moment, about who one allies oneself with in bowing to Lincoln. Shall we lick the tyrant's hand, thus dancing as puppets for our Marxist adversaries' amusement? The effrontery of this boggles the mind.Finally, why is it "highly partisan" to criticize a man who killed one-quarter of the South's military-age men—but "non-partisan" to praise him? No wonder the white race is in trouble. If racialists are unable to ascertain truth and to accurately assess self-interest—even when it smacks them in the face with the force and stench of a dead fish—where is our hope of victory? I cannot say what others may think about this self-abasing homage to Lincoln. But I can tell you that this son of Scottish and Scotch-Irish pioneers and Confederate veterans knows who the enemy is—and eagerly awaits the coming day when the redemption of the destiny of our people begins.

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