Washington Post 'Perspective': Emancipation Memorial Paid For by Former Slaves Is...White Supremacy

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Posted: Jun 26, 2020 2:40 PM
Washington Post 'Perspective': Emancipation Memorial Paid For by Former Slaves Is...White Supremacy

Source: AP Photo/Seth Perlman

I mean for those who thought this was just about Confederate statues, I don’t know what to tell you. It was never about that—anyone could see this from miles away. The Left will bait the wider public with a carrot, like slamming Confederates because it’s not like they’re attacking the Founding Fathers, and then take a hard turn to…tearing down statues to the Founding Fathers. Right now, the lefty mob, which has marched unopposed for days, vowed to tear down the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park because it’s racist. It’s a statue of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, with a freed slave. It was commissioned by former slaves. How is this racist? I’m not kidding. We have one Ph.D. student wrote in The Washington Post that the monument of the president who spearheaded the 13th Amendment, which forever abolished slavery, is white supremacy

In the District of Columbia, there is no shortage of commemoration for Lincoln. There is perhaps no person (with the exception of George Washington) in the United States who has more memorials, buildings, roads, towns and counties named in his or her honor.

Of the major commemorative markers to Lincoln in D.C., the most troubling is the Emancipation Memorial (also known as the Freedmen’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln), which sits in Lincoln Park, steps away from the U.S. Capitol. The statue features a standing Abraham Lincoln with the Emancipation Proclamation in his hand over a kneeling newly freed African American man. But this monument has been the subject of some controversy since its unveiling in 1876 because of who originated the idea of the monument, who paid for it and who ultimately designed what it would look like.

The monument was paid for almost exclusively by formerly enslaved people, who from 1865 onward raised more than $16,000 for the building of the statue. According to the story told and retold in newspapers at the time, on the day after Lincoln’s assassination, Charlotte Scott, a formerly enslaved black woman living in Marietta, Ohio, gave her first earnings as a free woman to build a monument to Lincoln. From there, more donations grew and then became a national movement when the Western Sanitary Commission, the wartime relief agency, took control and publicized the idea of for a monument from the freedmen in honor of Lincoln. A New Orleans Tribune article from Aug. 10, 1865, proclaimed: “On the spot where Freedom’s ‘best defender fell,’ let his name and the cause for which he died be most highly honored.”

The men and women who raised the money, however, did not choose the design of the monument.

[…]

On the day of the dedication, Frederick Douglass, the African American civil rights advocate, gave a speech where he spoke of his ambivalence of a statue that solely praised Lincoln, and in an offhand remark said that the statue “showed the Negro on his knee when a more manly attitude would have been indicative of freedom.”

The statue fed a narrative that men like Lincoln led emancipation, rather than showing how the struggle for freedom was driven by the millions of African Americans who fought for their liberation from the institution of slavery.

[…]

While this doesn’t mean that we need to tear down the Emancipation Memorial, it does require that we recontextualize it to ensure that it gives voice to those who have been left out and acknowledges the very people who paid for it in the beginning.

Okay, well, at least there’s no call for it to be destroyed or so it seems. Former slaves paid for it, Frederick Douglass was there to dedicate it, and somehow, it’s white supremacy because it’s too focused on, I don’t know, the man who was president during our nation’s more dire and destructive crisis. Nuance cannot be afforded. It has to be what the woke crowd deems suitable now and retroactively applied…to late 19th Century America. That’s not how this works, but that’s also the point. It’s erasure. The Left hates this country and its history and in order to destroy the American cultural identity, it needs to be torn down, burned, and rewritten within the of this hyper-left-wing revisionist prism. To destroy one’s enemy, strip them of their cultural identity. That’s the long war the Left is waging. Luckily, authorities put barricades to protect the monument.