Abraham Lincoln on inequality of races

Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln in November 1863Abraham Lincoln is portrayed by mass media in a completely different light than he actually was. I think his original works should be compulsory reading for all Americans at school. They will serve as a good point of reference for their future life. Look at this:

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, [applause]—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. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.

Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3. Speech on September 18, 1858.

And compare this to the official history:

Lincoln disapproved of slavery, and the spread of slavery to new U.S. territory in the west. … Lincoln was a moderate in the middle, opposing slavery primarily because it violated the republicanism principles of the Founding Fathers, especially the equality of all men and democratic self-government as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. … On October 16, 1854, in his “Peoria Speech”, Lincoln declared his opposition to slavery, which he repeated en route to the presidency.

Wikipedia, Abraham Lincoln.

And I cannot help but finish with a very suitable quote from George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”


2 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln on inequality of races

  1. These statements are well-know in the US, see the “Lincoln–Douglas debates” in seperate Wikipedia article. This particular part of a debate with an opponent who also ran for office is often used for exercises to discuss Lincoln’s political views and tactics.

    Why haven’t you mentioned that historians acknowledge this speed as difficult to analyze through the lens of the 21th century and without any knowledge of its context (the speech was given in Charleston IL, Illionois was the Union’s racist capitol). By the way, the speed is cited incompletely.

    See also:


  2. This statement/speech is as relevant today as it was in 1858. Blacks have an average IQ of 80, Hispanics 85 and Whites 100. This is the reason that there was segregation. Blacks,then and now,cannot compete with Whites in intelligence. Hence, rather than having their own schools, they have to compete in the same schools and grades as whites. They become angry, turn to sports as a counter-balance to their intellectual inferiority. We need to re-instate segregation in the schools to stop the drug abuse, crime, and poverty so we can help the blacks achieve. I don’t want crime and anger, I want to help them to be better people.

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