What History Remembers…

“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 for ever 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.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Obviously there are as many quotes which show his hatred for slavery and his belief that all men should have the freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, it should be noted that this quote comes from the context of his senatorial debates with Douglas, which he lost in part because of his ‘radical’ positions on slavery (e.g. the “House Divided” speech). Yet, he was also a member of the Colonization society for much of his political career. This society advocated both the emancipation and the transport of African Americans to a Caribbean island or to Africa. I posted this quote and these comments because I think it’s important to remember historical figures as they were, not as we wish they would have been.

Lewis on Humility

Thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools…God wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. God wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favor that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbor’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognize all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love—a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own.

C. S. Lewis (Screwtape Letters)