Yeah--I was reading about some of the proposals to avoid war, such as the Federal government, in essence, "buying" the slaves from their owners so that the South wouldn't suffer such a huge economic crash were slavery to end. Of course, it would have cost billions, and so, was never seriously considered. And there was the Crittenden Compromise, which I think forbade slavery in those areas maintained by territorial government but also protected it in those states where it already existed. I think it also allowed for each state, whether north or south, once they had enough population to join the Union, to decide the slavery question for themselves. And it stated outright that Congress could not abolish slavery where it existed. It was rejected by both the House and the Senate.I agree with you, QB. The issue was state's rights, but the right the states wanted to implement was to continue slavery. And instead of trying to work things out once Lincoln was elected the South began to secede.
The thing is I think there may have been a better way to handle the issue rather than declaring war on our fellow citizens, who technically I feel were correct in that the federal government had no authority to abolish slavery.
Secession preceded the actual declaration of war though, right? And didn't the Confederates attack Fort Sumter a few weeks before Lincoln actually declared war? That's not to say that the Union was not preparing for war--I assume it was. And, as I have said, the South definitely felt threatened, and rightly so--it is clear that their entire economic structure was under threat, and there was the very valid question of whether or not the Federal government had the authority to end slavery.
I really do wonder how secession and or war could have been avoided... Even though I have been trained not to play the "what if" game, I cannot help but wonder what if the Union had allowed secession, or what if Lincoln had not presented himself as hostile to the institution of slavery...? I mean, would we still have slaves? Or, would we be a collection of tiny, independent nations, as in other parts of the world?
Pretty fascinating to ponder.
And it's not like Lincoln didn't harbor racist beliefs himself--it's pretty easy to find evidence of his own racist beliefs, like this 1858 speech:
“I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way 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.”
Also, I remember when I found out that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the Confederate States, not those in the Union or border states. It was more a war tactic than it was any kind of movement to free all slaves en masse, but that fact seems to have gotten lost with the passage of time...
Thank goodness, SS, that we can agree on something! Honestly, I really hate confrontation and disagreement, despite my willingness to throw my hat in the ring. I get kind of dizzy and nauseous, and I'm home all alone, with no one to bring me Canada Dry and saltines@ QB: Sorry to you & Jeanie for the accusation of projection, it wasn't my intent but that's how it came out.
What I'm complaining about is the use of the charge of racism as a default, to silence the opposition, to smear, to draw attention to ones-self or their cause.
There is real racism such as you have described. A lot of racism. I don't deny that and it is a real challenge, yet we have made much progress. Unfortunately, there are so many out there that seem to cheapen the reality of the problem by calling racism at every opportunity. People like this protester and the likes of Jackson & Sharpton who make a career of race. I think they do an injustice to improving the situation by their use of the charge of racism, for their personal benefit.
As you documented quite well above, there is a real issue with race and much still remains to be done. But these types of things like protesting an honor given to a local musician aren't helpful.
But, yes--I really do see your point. Many use racism as a weapon to gouge away with at the "other side", and I do not support that at all, because, as you said, it cheapens the reality of the problem. One example I will use is the Tea Party--I have friends who are members of the Tea Party who are nothing close to being racist; it really disturbs me that an entire movement has been branded as racist, as if there are not valid reasons to oppose the Obama Administration. I *do* believe there are racist Tea Party members, just as there are racist Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians, etc. But once the whole Tea Party movement got painted with the same, broad brushstrokes, it squelched real conversation and debate, which I think is not only deeply lamentable but also harms our country and smothers our progress.