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Forum: Gouyave Talk
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Re: Whose interpretation? Ours or theirs?

T,

I have always known that some of the material (particularly History) that were being taught  in school, up to the time that I left were always suspect hence it never interested me and I paid it no mind. I found some to be laced with ambiguities and devoid of any context whatsoever; two of the main ingredients necessary to advance information forward in a manner that would be of any significance to students. I do not blame some of the Teachers for their efforts but more so, the intrenched, regurgitative method in which information was disseminated and regurgitated back in the form of an exam without any open discussions on the matter.

My combative nature--for which our education system was ill prepared to handle added fuel to the fire, causing a friend of mine with tongue in cheek to tease me years later saying," boi! you shudda learn the schupidness; now so we woodah be calling you Doctor Louison"......Lol
This was one of the reasons why I had to make a mad dash in my latter years to salvage an opportunity to obtain a "so-called education" and spare myself from ending up eating ripe fig from Dust Bins.

In this regard, The Mighty Sparrow was wrong and my friend was right.

But more to your point on Lincoln,

Bro, you would get quite a lot of aguement from many History buffs for taking any position that deminishes Lincoln's direct involvement in the Slave emancipation initiative. The many documentaries I have seen painted different pictures of Lincoln and the precarious position he was placed in, trying to hold the union together while placating the South into divestiture of their Slave holdings. But there is no question that the more pressing issue of the day was in fact, the continuation or abolition of Slavery and Lincoln was the chief architect of that initiative.
You see, the Antebellum Southerners made it their central focus because Slavery was inextricably linked to their economic survival hence providing "the context" of the Civil War. I am sure you will agree that without Slavery there would be no civil war.

From an economic point of view, Slavery (free labor) was seen as the third and major ingredient of the economic formula of its time (land, capital and labor) that drove the Southern economy. Lincoln was brilliant enough not to make it the central focus of his argument and instead, advanced the cause of "saving the union" but the South held his feet to the fire on that one issue giving Lincoln no room for maneuvering. Therefore from a Southerner point of view, one can conclude that they did not go to war against saving the union but for protecting their property (slaves) rights; the union being a byproduct and bargaining chip of their efforts.

But here is one of Lincoln's quotes that may help unravel the complexity in handling the Slave issue. It is important to note the oxymoron in Lincoln words where on the one hand he said >>>>>"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided"<<<<<

Contrast this with the one you highlighted by paraphrasing >>>>>...... I later came across Lincoln's own words saying if he could save the union by freeing the slaves he would, and if he could save the union without freeing the slaves, he would do that too, I was totally flabbergasted.<<<<<<

But then you asked,

>>>>>......how could any Black person continue to delude themselves into thinking that Lincoln's real interest was to emancipate Black people? Shouldn't our view of Lincoln be more realistic in recognizing him as the "Great Preserver" who went to war to prevent the United States from splitting into two nations, and in the process freed the slaves?<<<<<

It is my opinion that Lincoln may have had several "real interests", the two more pressing; saving the union and freeing the slaves were paramount; one of conscionable morality and the other, of union preservation. To refer to him as the 'great preserver' implies that the result of his efforts had only preserved the union which he "could have" done through expediency or capitulation to the South thus saving thousands of lives. But his moral commitment to the Slave issue were so strong that it could not be deterred by the inevitability of a civil war.

Conversely, if you had concluded that Dr. Eric Williams sentiments in his book "Capitalism and Slavery"  that it was the economic infesibility and not the conscience of the British Slave holders that was responsible for British Slavery eradication/emancipation you would be correct. The rationale here is there were no other driving force linked to the British decision other than economics.

But Lincoln's desire for a discontinuation of the Slave practice from "a conscionable point of view" is well documented. And I would give him full credit for its eradication regardless of the seemingly ambiguities in his statements.

Antonin Scalia (God rest his soul) is a horse of a different color. In my opinion he was just an overated windbag, echoing Founding Fathers garbiage. Another poor bloke seeking the interest of the Conservative Right at the expence of poor people.

We have to allow him to rest in peace.

VJL

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Re: Whose interpretation? Ours or theirs? - by Tony De - Feb 12, 2017 8:41am
Re: Whose interpretation? Ours or theirs? - by Tony De - Feb 12, 2017 11:49am