Abraham Lincoln: Not the Great Emancipator

Since the Civil War, many historians have regarded President Abraham Lincoln as the great emancipator of African American slaves. However, scholars like W.E.B. Dubois began to question this notion based on the character of Lincoln throughout his life.

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Since the Civil War, many historians have regarded President Abraham Lincoln as the great emancipator of African American slaves. However, scholars like W.E.B. Dubois began to question this notion based on the character of Lincoln throughout his life. Some have referred to him as a typical politician and accuse him of taking credit for the emancipation of African American slaves when he himself was against it altogether. Abraham Lincoln should not be regarded as the Great Emancipator of African Americans because he was not an abolitionist when he was elected president and because he did not choose to act on slavery until he was urged to by fellow Republicans in Congress at the time.

At the time Lincoln took the office of the presidency, he was not regarded as an abolitionist. Wilbert Jenkins argued in Climbing Up to Glory that “Lincoln held a mixed record on the issue of black freedom at the time he took office.” For example, while he disliked slavery, he represented a slaveholder in a case of a runaway slave, eventually, he lost the case. In his early years as a congressman, Lincoln drafted a bill that would end slavery in the District of Columbia but the bill was worded in a way not a offend slaveholders and only called for the gradual emancipation of slaves and not the immediate emancipation. Clearly, Lincoln was on the fence in regards to his own opinion on the institution of slavery as he did not want to damage his image in the mind of white slaveholders in an effort to not lose any votes. In addition to the particular wording of the bill, Lincoln also called the law to a referendum so that it would go into effect if a majority of voters supported the law. In doing this, Lincoln could not receive any political backlash and at the time, must have known that the law would not pass because only white men were allowed to vote. However, if it did, he could cash in on the success of the law but is not, his political career would not take a hit. Adding more mixed positions to Lincoln’s view of slavery is the fact that throughout the 1850’s, Lincoln was consistent in opposing the spread of slavery into the new territories but he never did anything to advocate for its abolition in the Southern states. Continue reading “Abraham Lincoln: Not the Great Emancipator”

Warren Buffett’s Surprise Take on President-elect Trump

This is definitely something that you will not hear often. Multi-billionaire and investment mogul Warren Buffett, a lifelong Democrat, is calling for the people of the United States to come together to support newly minted President-elect Donald Trump.

Speaking over the weekend, Buffett acknowledged the poor favorability ratings of both of the candidates and is called for the deeply divided electorate to “coalesce” around the new leader of the free world. Despite raising his disagreement with some of Trump’s policies, Buffett said it is important to come together. “That doesn’t mean they can’t criticize him or disagree with what he’s doing maybe, but we need a country unified [behind] the legitimacy of the president, said Buffett. This all comes at a time when anti-Trump protests rage throughout the country. Buffett added that Trump still “deserves everybody’s respect.”

Trump’s rise to power came on a wave of support from the working middle-class that resents free trade and the market economy. Buffett even went so far as to say the economic recovery is “softer than people think.” He added, “The market system works, but it doesn’t work for everybody. It works in the aggregate.”

Buffett is absolutely right. Most of the new wealth creation in the United States since the financial crisis of 2008 has been relegated to the top ten percent of the population. That does not sound like a system that is working for everyone. Trump’s ride to the White House was based on a rejection of this concept and his artful branding and marketing of himself as the one to change this system was a successful one. However, Buffett is also correct in his opinion on Trump. We must, as a nation, come together behind President-elect Donald Trump if we hope to continue economic growth in the United States. Even if you disagree with him, the President-elect still deserves respect as he is about to hold the most revered position in the land.

Response to a Baby Boomer

Millennials are constantly brow beaten by those of other Generations. Here is one Millennial’s Response.

Oh, dear, dear Baby Boomer, thank you so much for the backhanded apology for the current state of affairs in the country and the world that your generation has so generously handed to us. I agree that things did not go the way that your generation had intended but there is no one to blame but you.

The shortcoming of your generation to weed out systemic injustice and bigotry is direct result of complacency and an allowance for it to continue. This is the same type of blame and burden that you put on my generation later in your letter. Your delightful appeal for the Millennial Generation to “do the right thing” in this election is quite comical and downright naïve.

I know many in your generation still possess a large trust toward government as you maintain the belief that the President we are about to choose has the power to effect any positive change throughout the country. This is the same government that has yet to provide the lasting changes to the problems you outline including racism, class warfare, social injustice, and endless war. You claim that you thought your generation was going to change the world, but even if you did, the government that you chose was not interested in listening to the people’s voices.

The same can be said about today. Our voting for the President, regardless of who wins, will ultimately not affect real change around the nation. Racism, social injustice, and making the rich out to be bad people will all continue to exist. The President; one part of three very distinct branches of government will not bring about the needed change. Let’s not forget that there is always an exorbitant amount of money made in wars via the military industrial complex. An institution that has continued to grow since President Eisenhower ushered the first warning about it. Our vote will not get the government to submit to the will of the people as intended.

Continue reading “Response to a Baby Boomer”