I was listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning and he had as a guest Lerone Bennett, historian and author of such books as "Before the Mayflower." He was discussing his book "Forced into Glory" which seems to say that Honest Abe was not only not so honest but he was a racist, as well.
Now, while some black folks will automatically burst into tears at the mere thought of the dude with the T-Pain hat whose picture used to hang over Grandma's bed next to the portraits of Martin Luther King and the white Jesus being a hata of black folks, it is important to define racism.
Racism is the power of one race to exert influence over another race. Closely related is white supremacy which is a social system that places persons of European descent socially and economically above other races.
So, racism is more than just wanting to lynch a black man just for being black. And white supremacy is about more than parading through town in a white sheet chanting anti-black slogans.
Many people are racists who don't even know that they are practicing white supremacy.
This is so even in regards to the Abolitionists of the 19th century. Just because they didn't believe in slavery as an institution for either economic or moral reasons did not mean that they thought that African people were their equals. (Read "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Lowen and "Black Labor/White Wealth" by Dr. Claude Anderson.)
So, it was with Abraham Lincoln.
But since we're supposed to be putting all of that race stuff behind us and moving forward as a nation, in the spirit of Brotherhood I say;
Happy Birthday President Lincoln....