Lincoln the Racist by Thomas DiLorenzo
Recently by Thomas DiLorenzo: The Forgotten Men You Should Know About
“Who freed the slaves? To the extent that they were ever ‘freed,’ they were freed by the Thirteenth Amendment, which was authored and pressured into existence not by Lincoln but by the great emancipators nobody knows, the abolitionists and congressional leaders who created the climate and generated the pressure that goaded, prodded, drove, forced Lincoln into glory by associating him with a policy that he adamantly opposed for at least fifty-four of his fifty-six years of his life.”
Let me introduce you to Lerone Bennett, Jr. who was the executive editor of Ebony magazine for several decades (beginning in 1958) and the author of many books, including a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King) and Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream. Bennett is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta and authored hundreds of articles on African-American history and culture during his career at Ebony. He spent more than twenty years researching and writing Forced into Glory, a scathing critique of Abraham Lincoln based on mountains of truths.
Forced into Glory, published in 2000, was mostly ignored by the Lincoln cult, although there were a few timid “reviews” by reviewers that have never done one-thousandth of the research that Lerone Bennett did on the subject. As a black man, he was spared the mantra of being “linked to extremist hate groups” by the lily-white leftists at the Southern Poverty Law Center, the preeminent hate group of the hardcore Left. He was also spared that hate group’s normally automatic insinuation that any critic of Lincoln must secretly wish that slavery had never ended. They mostly sat back and hoped that he would go away.
Lerone Bennett, Jr. contends that it is almost impossible for the average citizen to know much of anything about Lincoln despite the fact that literally thousands of books have been written about him. “A century of lies” is how he describes Lincoln “scholarship.” He provides thousands of documented facts to make his case.
On the subject of Steven Spielberg’s new movie on Lincoln, which is entirely about Lincoln’s supposed role in lobbying for the Thirteenth Amendment that ended slavery, Bennett points out: “There is a pleasant fiction that Lincoln . . . became a flaming advocate of the amendment and used the power of his office to buy votes to ensure its passage. There is no evidence, as David H. Donald has noted, to support that fiction . . .” To the extent that Lincoln did finally and hesitatingly support the amendment, Bennett argues that it was he who was literally forced into it by other politicians, not the other way around as portrayed in the Spielberg film. (David Donald, by the way, is the preeminent Lincoln scholar of our day and Pulitzer prize-winning Lincoln biographer).
On the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, Bennett correctly points out that “J.G. Randall, who has been called ‘the greatest Lincoln scholar of all time,’ said the Proclamation itself did not free a single slave” since it only applied to rebel territory and specifically exempted areas of the U.S. such as the entire state of West Virginia where the U.S. Army was in control at the time. (James G. Randall was indeed the most prolific Lincoln scholar of all time and the academic mentor of David Donald at the University of Illinois).
Lerone Bennett is understandably outraged at how the Lincoln cult has covered up Lincoln’s racism for over a century, pretending that he was not a man of his time. He quotes Lincoln as saying in the first Lincoln-Douglas debate in Ottawa, Illinois, for example, that he denied “to set the niggers and white people to marrying together” (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 20). In Forced into Glory Bennett shows that Lincoln rather compulsively used the N-word; was a huge fan of “black face” minstrel shows; was famous for his racist jokes; and that many of his White House appointees were shocked at his racist language…………..