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Mr. Lee
04-21-2014, 01:35 PM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2014 01:37 PM by Linda Anderson.)
Post: #31
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-21-2014 02:56 AM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  The "n" word is just a word. It sounds very much like the word "niggardly", which I think I recall that some people were trying to get banned from the English language because it is apparently offensive to some people. I wonder if more of those offended people are white than black. I wouldn't mind having my own surname banned from usage because of the mess of unpleasant emotions and memories that it elicits (it having been used like a four-letter word, etc., etc.), but I'm not going to make a push for that to happen. I threw in the personal bit just in case anyone accuses me of being insensitive, to show that I know whereof I speak when I say it's pretty childish when we have to start banning words instead of realizing that we need to do something to change the way we react to them.

The "n" word is just a word like you say but it's the intent behind the way a person uses it which can be insulting and even dangerous. Any attribute that identifies a person such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic background etc. has a derogatory word to describe it.
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04-21-2014, 02:12 PM
Post: #32
RE: Mr. Lee
Linda, I think what Kate means is that by only banning the word you won't change the mindset (intent) of the people who use it. Changing this needs more than just banning a word.
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04-21-2014, 02:42 PM
Post: #33
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-21-2014 02:12 PM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  Linda, I think what Kate means is that by only banning the word you won't change the mindset (intent) of the people who use it. Changing this needs more than just banning a word.

You have to start somewhere and maybe those vile words won't be passed on to the next generation.

Also, people who don't use those words but are quiet when they hear them used, especially in the workplace, are complicit as far as I am concerned.
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04-21-2014, 02:54 PM
Post: #34
RE: Mr. Lee
My comment was directed at the people the vile words are aimed at, not to the people using them or the people who hear them being used but are not the recipient of the insult. The way to defuse the power a word has, is to change the way you react to it when it is used against you. That is all you have control over. Most people (in my experience) want to stay just the way they are, so there isn't much you can do about changing them. Ban one vile word and they will immediately come up with another one, but they will most likely make it more insidious and use it in a more underhanded way.
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04-21-2014, 02:55 PM (This post was last modified: 04-21-2014 02:59 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #35
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-21-2014 02:42 PM)Linda Anderson Wrote:  Also, people who don't use those words but are quiet when they hear them used, especially in the workplace, are complicit as far as I am concerned.
I totally agree on that. And yes, you are right, you have to start somewhere.
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04-22-2014, 12:10 AM (This post was last modified: 04-22-2014 01:27 AM by LincolnToddFan.)
Post: #36
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 04:30 PM)J. Beckert Wrote:  Lee did an honorable (and illegal at the time) thing by making sure his slaves had at least a rudimentary form of education before he freed them. I think that is most benevolent as compared to Lincoln's two choices - colonization or the "root hog or die" plan.

I think Laurie made an excellent point here :
Quote: the fanatic New England abolitionists were so perfectly mad on the subject of slavery that their whole soul was filled with burning gall, and they were ever seeking an opportunity to spit...venom on the South, for the purpose of withering down her institution, even at the very hazard of shivering into fragments, our glorious Union

Slavery always provokes an emotional response. It's always better to know all the facts and come up with a long range plan. I think that's the gist of Lee's 1856 letter.

The Abolitionist's emotional fervor and foaming at the mouth over this subject caused 600,000 Americans to perish in a vicious war. All other cultures that abolished slavery did it without a drop of blood. There's something very wrong with that.

I don't think I can agree with the idea that it was the Abolitionist "frothing" alone which caused 600,000 Americans to perish. As much or even more responsibility must be taken by men like the Southern so-called "Fire-Eaters"...Robert Barnwell Rhett, Louis Wigfall and William Yancey who had begun beating the drum for secession and even war as early as 1850, years before AL even took the oath of office. Edmund Ruffin, Fire-Eater extraordinaire, even left the Commonwealth of Virginia in disgust because he disliked the moderate approach to the issue of secession there. Ruffin moved further South to the Carolinas where the drumbeat for war and secession was louder and more to his liking.

Why are the Northern Abolitionists more culpable than the Southern Fire-Eaters for starting the war?

As for AL, it's not as if he or anyone else knew that the repercussions of holding on to Fort Sumter would lead to a Civil War that would drag on for four years and cost so much in blood. He was not raring to go to war and spill blood just on a trifle. I am not 100% sure he would have committed himself to war if he had known, but he did feel for better or worse that keeping America as one Nation was at least worth the risk. Once he was in it, he was REALLY in it, and other than complete capitulation to the Confederates there was no way out for him other than the political tightrope that he(brilliantly imo) walked for four nightmarish years.

My personal opinion, in view of the threat faced by America and the world in 1914 and especially later in 1938 is that history has more than vindicated Abraham Lincoln.

As for the Southern emancipation of slaves being imminent(without war), the reading of Prof. Bruce Levine's "Fall Of the House of Dixie"(2012) put the lie to that for once and for all and has convinced me that the Civil War was all but inevitable. The North was certainly no Promised Land of milk and honey for African Americans, but the South was no where close to abolishing slavery before 1861. The institution was at the very core of every part of Southern life and culture and most likely would have remained so for generations to come. One of the great ironies of the Civil War is that by pushing the issue of secession by war if necessary, it is men like Ruffin and Rhett who ultimately became the TRUE great emancipators and guaranteed the end of their cherished way of life, much more quickly than what would have happened if they had not instigated secession and the breakup of the country. Lincoln had no desire to destroy slavery in the South when he was elected in 1860, much less commit the country to war over it.
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04-22-2014, 09:49 AM
Post: #37
RE: Mr. Lee
I agree completely that there is enough blame to go around on all sides. I would like to emphasize, however, that quote above about Abolitionists frothing at the mount did not come from me. It was made by author J.C. Myers in 1849, and quoted later by the great black historian John Hope Franklin.
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04-22-2014, 10:45 AM
Post: #38
RE: Mr. Lee
You people need to read James Oaks, Freedom National:The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 (New York: Norton, 2013).

He is a credible historian recognized in the profession and he writes about how and why Lincoln and Seward wanted a war and started one intentionally to solve the slavery problem.

I have a 45 page paper on this topic, but I doubt it will see the light of day any time soon if ever. It is all a matter of taking political power from the South and giving it to the North. This is why the Constitution had to be amended 3 times after the war. Whether or not we like it, the original document was biased toward the South and slavery.

BTW, this book was referred to this book list some time back by Rob Wick, if I remember correctly. Amazing that he and I can agree on anything concerning the war. . . .
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04-22-2014, 10:49 AM
Post: #39
RE: Mr. Lee
(04-18-2014 10:58 PM)Rick Smith Wrote:  Mr. Lincoln's stance on slavery is confusing.

Early on in his political career, he is not bothered by it, but later, seemingly to advance himself politically, he seems not to care for it.

His statements regarding blacks and his plans to solve the "Negro Question," as it was called, included such brilliant ideas as the re-colonization of Africa. That worked out pretty well, with scores dying on the journey there and then more being slaughtered by indigenous Africans.

Oh, yes, let's not forget the Emancipation Proclamation, designed to set all slaves free? Wrong. Designed to keep Great Britain from entering the War on the side of the Confederacy.

Another of his ideas was to give the vote to blacks; fine, no problem in that; but only to those who fought for the Union cause and the very intelligent. Who decides who the very intelligent are? Shouldn't all free people have the vote? Enfranchise some, keep others disenfranchised. Sounds like more big government control in action.

The best illustration as to how Mr. Lincoln felt about African Americans are the negro jokes he delighted in telling his pals.

Sounds like typical politics to me.

It's not true that Lincoln had no interest in the slavery question - or that he didn't have negative views on slavery - early in his political career. As early as 1837, he went on the record with one Illinois legislative colleague of his to declare slavery "founded on injustice as well as bad policy" in response to a resolution voted on by the Legislature roundly denouncing abolitionists.

As a Congressman in the late 1840s, he looked into introducing legislation that would have abolished slavery in Washington DC, so long as the voters of the nation's capital approved. Apparently, he didn't introduce it when it looked like it would go nowhere.

And when Lincoln made opposition to the extension of slavery his cause celebre beginning in 1854, after Senator Stephen Douglas's legislation repealing the Missouri Compromise had been enacted, he wasn't in the least bit mealy-mouthed about his views on slavery. He didn't just "kinda" dislike it. He said he "hated" it. Multiple times. Publicly and vociferously. And he explained why. It was pretty simply, really. A human being who engages in labor should be paid for his labor. It was wrong that someone could earn his bread "by the sweat of other men's faces."

The reasons for Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation are manifold. While foreign policy was a consideration, it was certainly not the only thing Lincoln was looking at when he decided to issue the Proclamation. There was this little thing called "military necessity," the Constitutional buttress Lincoln needed to make the Proclamation valid. He needed to deprive the South of its labor, which was fueling their war effort, and put the freed slaves to work - with pay - on behalf of the Union, including serving in Union forces.

But the Proclamation wasn't limited to just able-bodied men. It freed *all* slaves in states and parts of states that were still in rebellion. The Proclamation also applied to women, the old and infirm, and children - i.e., without regard to whether they were physically capable of serving the Union cause. So the Proclamation wasn't only about "military necessity," either.

Moreover, from the beginning of the war till the very end, Lincoln was quietly working behind the scenes to get the border states to abolish slavery through the legislative process. And, as it turned out, by 1865, with Lincoln's consistent prodding, the border states had finally done it. (Lincoln didn't believe he had the Constitutional authority to simply decree it in the states not in rebellion.)

Also, let's not forget Lincoln's vigorous support of the 13th Amendment - which abolished slavery everywhere, for all time. In the wake of his issuance of the Proclamation, he was worried that, at any moment, a court might overturn it... especially at war's end, when "military necessity" could not be said to still exist. As Lincoln put it in January 1865, the 13th Amendment was the "king's cure" for slavery, and for the war itself.

With regard to use of the "n" word and telling racist jokes - sure, Lincoln was guilty of being like everybody else he knew in that regard. But actions speak louder than words, and what he did is much more important than the nouns he used or his brand of humor. Take a 20th century example as an illustration of my point. For most of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt was an anti-Semite, even during the early days of her husband's presidency; she would privately express disdain for FDR's Jewish friends and advisers. Somewhat paradoxically, as a young woman, she had spent a great deal of time working in a settlement house for immigrants in New York City, and, despite her personal prejudices, aided many Jewish immigrants. But whatever lingering prejudices she possessed totally disappeared with the Holocaust. She became a supporter of the founding of Israel, formed strong friendships with Jews, and was as wonderful an ex-First Lady as she had been a First Lady. The fact that she harbored a prejudice shared by most other Americans is overshadowed by her personal growth and the fact that, for her entire life, she dedicated her existence to being an advocate for the downtrodden, whether it was immigrants (including Jews), the poor, laborers, and the people who used to be known as "Negroes."

In conclusion, I'd say that focusing on Lincoln's use of the "n" word and his penchant for telling jokes that would now be considered racist is misguided in light of Lincoln's deeds.

But General Lee was the true Great Emancipator?

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04-22-2014, 11:01 AM
Post: #40
RE: Mr. Lee
Both men had their virtues and both had their faults.
I am not singleing out any one person, but let's be careful with the words we use to express our thoughts, and the direction we take this discussion.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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04-22-2014, 11:06 AM
Post: #41
RE: Mr. Lee
Agreed, Gene. I am going to close it here.
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