WASHINGTON, D.C. – CNN’s John Blake recently wrote an analysis titled, “Did Black lives matter to Abraham Lincoln? It’s complicated,” which poses the question: was the 16th President, the man credited with ending slavery in the United States, actually a racist?
“There is one image of Lincoln, examined in a new CNN documentary series, ‘Lincoln: Divided We Stand,’ that every serious student of his legacy must eventually address… was Lincoln a racist?” Blake said about the man known as the “Great Emancipator.”
Eric Foner, historian of Lincoln and the Civil War, was quoted in the article, conveying his belief that Lincoln was not a racist, but merely a product of the times he was brought up in.
“I have never called Lincoln a racist. He shared some of the prejudices of his time. Was Lincoln an anti-racist? No not really. Was he an egalitarian in the modern sense? No,” he said. “Race was not a major concern of Lincoln. He didn’t think about race very much. To ask if he’s a racist is the wrong question. And if you ask the wrong question, you’re going to get the wrong answer.”
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Despite that, Blake continued to drive home the point that some in today’s society are starting to consider the man who ended slavery by force of arms to actually be nothing more than a full-on racist.
“But in some circles, ‘Honest Abe’ is increasingly becoming Racist Abe,” he said. “Questions over Lincoln’s racial views have intensified over the years as historians, activists, and politicians question how Lincoln regarded Black people and Native Americans. If some of Lincoln’s public utterances about Blacks were retweeted today, he would have been canceled on social media and likely run out of office.”
Blake noted that Portland protesters recently vandalized a statue of Lincoln, and a school named after Lincoln in San Francisco changed its name due to the association.
Fox News conveyed the criticism that has been popping up regarding Blake’s article, especially from Political satirist Tim Young who accused CNN of delving into “clickbait conspiracy theories.”
“CNN, whose ratings have been tanking since President Trump has left office, apparently believes that it needs a new boogeyman in order for people to tune in, so why not take a stab at calling Lincoln a racist if it makes the operation money,” he said. “CNN is officially jumping the shark with this new take that Lincoln was a racist – which is the final nail in the coffin for them being able to call themselves a news organization – now they’re just clickbait conspiracy theories.”