From Last Communion:
Pre-review of Spielberg’s “Lincoln”
I have not seen the latest big screen hit by Steven Spielberg, multi-millionaire gatekeeper of the popular American historical record. But I am sure it is filled to the scalp with good triumphing over evil, eventually, after evil gets its prime pick of the impoverished hoards.
Abraham Lincoln instigated the murder of 600,000 people. He and his war party wouldn’t just let the unhappy south go. Not because the majority of southern light skins feared out of their minds their dark skinned slaves (which they most certainly did), and Abe was going to punish their unchristianity with expensive artillery and boy meat in order to free their day and nightmares of slave revolt and retribution—No, honest Abe, like today’s trustworthy presidents, was a political tool of the establishment. He got his orders from private pressure. For whatever reasons, unknown today like droning babies in Pakistan will ever be known tomorrow, Abe set his mind to kill a bunch of politically ignorant farm boys to prove a point. He and his counterpart Jeff Davis executed about 500 of their own just to show that state business would always trump the harvest-or-starvation business of families.
The Emancipation Proclamation (as if an entire race of individuals had to wait for an unwashed, frontier lawyer to declare their freedom), was an inspiration for the masses, a war tactic, and maybe even a private joy for a closet abolitionist President, but it does not negate the reality of Abraham Lincoln as Ghengis Kahn-like slaughterer of innocents.
My ancestors in Hamilton, N.Y. hated slavery, preached abolition, and yet still sewed farm shirts with textiles grown by slave labor. Hypocrites yes, but not deserving to be conscripted to die while a President-king and his wife complained to the cook about too much salt in the sauce. Yet they were, and their friends and brothers died from battle or later from wounds and conditions caused by the war. I still hold the U.S. government accountable for their wrongful deaths. As should any person descended from that “peculiar institution” called the United States of America.
Oh yes, and the Santee Sioux have a right to desecrate the memorial to the “Great Emancipator” whenever on holiday in our nation’s lockdown capitol. As all American schoolchildren know, he, the great Abraham Lincoln, signed on to the largest mass execution in American history.
And then had some ex-slave cook his dinner.