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"Lincoln" legal mistake
03-26-2013, 11:52 AM
Post: #39
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake
On Sunday, March 10, I forced myself to watch Bill Moyer's rerun interview with "Lincoln" movie playwright, Tony Kushner. Two days later, I sent by certified mail (so that I could track the receipt) a letter to him, at the best mailing address that I could find on the internet, on the subject of "'Lincoln' movie criticisms by Lincoln scholars and me." I believe that Bill Moyers was hoodwinked a number of times by Tony Kushner in that interview. Unfortunately, the message that I got back on the Post Office tracking was "Moved, left no address."

So, I went back to the program web site where I had been unable to find a mailing address for the program. The website did have one of those onsite email boxes and so I sent a somewhat abbreviated version of my letter in the email space. I did receive an acknowledgement that this email was received on March 20, but I have not received any response. The following is my email message that I sent that day.

Subject: “Lincoln” movie interview with playwright Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner made the following false claim:

“But the truth of the matter is, and I think that film is very honest about this, and many of these critics overlook this, Lincoln didn't know any black people, he really didn't.”

In 1885, in a book entitled “Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time,” Frederick Douglass wrote an eleven page chapter (pages 185 – 95) on his relationship with Lincoln:

“In all my interviews with Mr. Lincoln I was impressed with his entire freedom from popular prejudice against the colored race. He was the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely, who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color, and I thought that all the more remarkable because he came from a State where there were black laws. I account partially for his kindness to me because of the similarity with which I had fought my way up, we both starting at the lowest round of the ladder.” (Page 193)

“[T]here was another feeling that I had with reference to him, and that was that while I felt in his presence I was in the presence of a very great man, as great as the greatest, I felt as though I could go and put my hand on him if I wanted to, to put my hand on his shoulder. Of course I did not do it, but I felt that I could. I felt as though I was in the presence of a big brother, and that there was safety in his atmosphere.” (Page 195)

Bill, do you still believe that the statement “Lincoln didn't know any black people, he really didn't” is true?

In your interview with Tony Kushner, you ran a “Lincoln” clip of the Mary Todd Lincoln theater scene. At the end of which there was this discussion:

Bill Moyers: “You will answer to me.” Why did you put that scene in? For what reason?

Tony Kushner : “Well, you know, I mean, partly because I think it spoke a “provable truth” about their relationship which is that she, you know, he left her at the altar famously and went into what we think of as a great depression. My feeling was that he knew that if you married Mary Todd you weren’t going to stay a circuit lawyer in Illinois and that she was going to make him step into his role. . . .”

Bill, you are probably not aware that the wife of the President of the United States was adamantly opposed to Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier on January 1, 1863.

“On January 1, 1863, after Lincoln spent a sleepless night, his wife, who (according to her eldest son) ‘was very much opposed to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation,’ inquired ‘in her sharp way, “Well, what do you intend doing?”’ He replied: ‘I am under orders, I cannot do otherwise.’” (Professor Michael Burlingame’s Lincoln Prize winning work “Abraham Lincoln: A Life,” Volume Two, pages 468-69.)

Accordingly, I think Tony Kushner’s “provable truth” is “provably false.”

Late in the war, Robert Lincoln served on the staff of General Grant as a result of President Lincoln’s request to Grant, with Lincoln and not the government paying for his son’s service to the country. Presumably, Robert Lincoln was in no more danger than General Grant of being killed or injured in combat. Mary Todd Lincoln would not have granted her son’s request to serve his country otherwise.

Finally, if you have not done so, please read Maureen Dowd’s column in the New York Times on February 16, 2013 entitled “The Oscar for Best Fabrication.”

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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Messages In This Thread
"Lincoln" legal mistake - Lindsey - 02-05-2013, 09:52 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-06-2013, 05:17 AM
RE: "Lincoln" movie criticisms - Gene C - 03-01-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 02-06-2013, 08:51 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-06-2013, 09:33 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 02-06-2013, 09:43 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 02-06-2013, 04:19 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Rob Wick - 02-06-2013, 06:51 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-07-2013, 02:26 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 02-10-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Jim Garrett - 02-14-2013, 06:06 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - ELCore - 02-18-2013, 07:23 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 02-19-2013, 05:12 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 02-19-2013, 08:12 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 03-02-2013, 05:10 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - HerbS - 03-02-2013, 09:41 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 03-02-2013, 05:25 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - L Verge - 03-02-2013, 07:28 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 03-03-2013, 07:21 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Gene C - 03-03-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - LincolnMan - 03-03-2013, 09:42 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Jim Page - 03-03-2013, 11:08 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Gene C - 03-07-2013, 05:06 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - David Lockmiller - 03-26-2013 11:52 AM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 01-20-2014, 01:43 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - Anita - 01-20-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 01-20-2014, 03:06 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - L Verge - 01-20-2014, 02:36 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 01-20-2014, 04:14 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - L Verge - 01-20-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: "Lincoln" legal mistake - RJNorton - 01-21-2014, 07:46 AM

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