Jimmer Fredette is hoping for another crack at an NBA roster spot.
Di: Abraham Lincoln believed that slavery was morally wrong, but it was sanctioned by the highest law in the land, the Constitution. He and our founding fathers, struggled with how to address slavery, but did not explicitly write the word “slavery” in the Constitution. Instead, they included key clauses protecting the institution of slavery, including a fugitive slave clause and the three-fifths clause, which allowed Southern states to count slaves for the purposes of representation in the federal government. Even though he opposed slavery, Lincoln didn’t believe blacks should have the same rights as whites. Though Lincoln argued that the founding fathers’ phrase “All men are created equal” applied to blacks and whites alike, this did not mean he thought they should have the same social and political rights and so stated during 1858 in a series of debates, “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,” he began, going on to say that he opposed blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office and to intermarry with whites. What he did believe was that, like all men, blacks had the right to improve their condition in society and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In this way they were equal to white men, and for this reason slavery was inherently unjust. Like his views on emancipation, Lincoln’s position on social and political equality for African-Americans would evolve over the course of his presidency. In the last speech of his life, delivered on April 11, 1865, he argued for limited black suffrage, saying that any black man who had served the Union during the Civil War should have the right to vote. Lincoln thought colonization could resolve the issue of slavery. For much of his career, Lincoln believed that colonization—or the idea that a majority of the African-American population should leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America—was the best way to confront the problem of slavery. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852, and in 1854 said that his first instinct would be “to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia” (the African state founded by the American Colonization Society in 1821). He even supported a plan for colonization in Central America “given the “differences” between the two races and the hostile attitudes of whites towards blacks,” Lincoln argued, it would be “better for us both, therefore, to be separated.” Emancipation was a military policy. As much as he hated the institution of slavery, Lincoln didn’t see the Civil War as a struggle to free the nation’s 4 million slaves from bondage. Emancipation, when it came, would have to be gradual, and the important thing to do was to prevent the Southern rebellion from severing the Union permanently in two. But as the Civil War entered its second summer in 1862, thousands of slaves had fled Southern plantations to Union lines, and the federal government didn’t have a clear policy on how to deal with them. Emancipation, Lincoln saw, would further undermine the Confederacy while providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion. In 1862, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation saying “I can only trust in God I have made no mistake … It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it.” The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually free all of the slaves. Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which were loyal to the Union. Lincoln also exempted selected areas of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control in hopes of gaining the loyalty of whites in those states. In practice, then, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, as the only places it applied were places where the federal government had no control—the Southern states currently fighting against the Union. The important take-aways from history is that (1) Lincoln believed that, like all men, blacks had the right to IMPROVE THEIR CONDITION IN SOCIETY AND TO ENJOY THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR. (2) The Emancipation Proclamation was a MILITARY MEASURE and it did not apply to all slaves. (3) Lincoln had doubts about blacks and whites having the ability to co-exist peacefully.