Today In History: Abraham Lincoln

1864- President Abraham Lincoln is re-elected in the first wartime election in the United States.

JamaalHappens
Posted on 11/8/2012

Today in history, November 8, 1864, Abraham Lincoln became the frist president to be re- elected in the United States's first wartime election.

The fact is interesting in itself, but what is more exciting is its relative meaning today. Two days after the historic re- election of America's first "Black" president, we are reminded of this extremely ironic event in history. (SN) The, very, possible misuse of "irony" can be a distraction to the point at hand, but I ask that you ignore obvious grammatical mistakes for the principal issue being dissected.

The highly praised honest Abe is often referred to as, not literally, the savior of Black Americans. The statement holds obvious truth, Abraham Lincoln did indeed draw up the Emancipation Proclomation which ended slavery in the U.S., but the object of concern is the widely taught half- truth. What is more problematic is the reinforcement of this idea.

The very prominnet and damn good Producer/ Director Steven Spilberg will release his new film Lincoln(2012) later this month on the 16th. No other medium has proven to reinforce ideologies and stereotypes on the scale that it does like that of television and film. Repeatedly in the trailer, which undoubtedly reveals Daniel Day- Lewis's breath taking acting abilities, Abraham Lincoln expresses strong feelings against the institution of slavery. If Spilberg and his well- trained team of filmmakers had done their homework, they would have come across this quote from Lincoln's Collected Works.

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Horace Greeley" (August 22, 1862), p. 388."

I am not anti- Abraham, I love him as much as the next American, but I am anti- misinterpretation. I am anti- Hollywood glamour. I am anti- "sweep the truth under the rug". Check out the trailer below. Despite the historical influence around the film, it IS Daniel Day- Lewis. *14 Year Old Girl Squeal*

 

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