Does Obama's Love of Lincoln Make Him an 'Uncle Tom'?


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December 24, 2008

Like many people, especially blacks, Barack Obama puts Abraham Lincoln on a pedestal. Most people overlook Lincoln's attacks on freedom by his suspension of the writ of habeas corpus-- which is essential to protect individuals from the government--as well as his decision to imprison 18,000 people (who were suspected but not proven to be Confederate sympathizers) without a trial, among other very questionable anti-freedom acts.

For Obama, who is being praised as the first black American to win the highest office in the land, it seems odd that he would hold Lincoln in such high regard. Regardless of what you think about Lincoln and race, it's very clear from Lincoln 's own speeches and writings that he did not believe in racial equality, which is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to be successful in politics today. If Lincoln were alive today, he would be dismissed by the media, religions and politicians as nothing but an ignorant, hateful, white racist. Every politician on earth would be trying to put great distance between themselves and Abe Lincoln!

On June 13, 1836 , Lincoln wrote a letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal that gives some insight into his views on race. In the letter he wrote, 'I go for all sharing the privileges of the government, who assist in bearing its burthens. Consequently I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage, who pay taxes or bear arms, (by no means excluding females.)' Based on this, Lincoln would object to Obama being able to simply vote, let alone run for the highest political office possible.

To look further into Lincoln 's ideas about race, there is this quote, which was made on September 18, 1858 in a speech during the famous Lincoln/Douglas debates. The quote can be found on page 145 of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.

'I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races--that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or 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 I believe will forever 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. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.]'

It's strange that a person with a white mother and a black father, as is the case of Obama, would virtually be a hero worshipper of Lincoln's, a white man who said he is against such a union.

In a speech in Clinton , Illinois on September 2, 1858 , Lincoln addresses the complaint of his opponent Stephen Douglas that a Lincoln/Republican victory will lead to mass race mixing. He points out that the charge is not true and that the slave States are the states that have the most amount of race mixing based on the number of mulattoes that are reported in the 1850 census to be in the slave States. Lincoln said, 'In the slave States there were, in 1850, three hundred and forty-eight thousand mulattoes ' all of home production; and in the free States there were less than sixty thousand mulattoes ' and a large number of them were imported from the South.' He clearly sees race mixing as wrong and the creation of mulattoes like Obama as something to be avoided.

It goes without saying that Obama, who feels so close to an historic figure like Lincoln , wants to emulate his political hero. In the case of Obama and his hero worshipping of Lincoln, that could include suspension of habeas corpus, the imprisonment of thousands of people who are suspected of but not proven to be in support of 'terrorism' as well as the shutting down of opposition media outlets as Lincoln did regarding the New York World and the Journal of Commerce newspapers with his order to General John Dix dated May 18, 1864, in which he ordered General Dix 'to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command, the editors, proprietors and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same, with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; - and you will hold the persons so arrested, in close custody, until they can be brought to trial before a military commission, for their offense. You will also take possession by military force, of the printing establishments of the New York World, and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further order, and prevent any further publication therefrom.'

The first conscription act in American history occurred on March 3, 1863 . Riots soon followed. In New York , the anti-draft riots were smashed by government troops and ended with 120 dead civilians and over 2,000 people injured. Following in his hero's footsteps, Obama may also want to use government troops to smash any resistance to a military draft the government may introduce in order to better fight the war on terrorism, or to his demands that college students give 100 hours to public/government service.

I know truth, reality and the appreciation of principles have as much place in politics as they do in religion. But I can't understand how a mulatto politician can sing the praises of a former politician who was so opposed to the existence in this country of mulattoes. It seems to go against the principle of being proud of who and what you are. Being a white person, I know I would never praise a politician who was as strongly anti-white as Lincoln was anti-black/mulatto. I guess politicians take the following quote of Groucho Marx very seriously: 'These are my principles and if you don't like them, I have others.'

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Robert L. Johnson's picture
Columns on STR: 94

Robert Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web site devoted to Deism,  He is listed in Who's Who in Hell and is the author of Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  He wrote the introduction to The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and also writes for