Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lincoln's Assassination ... 150th 'Anniversary' of His Second Inaugural Address Is Today ... Ironically, Today Is Also the Release of the Justice Department's Report on the Alleged Racial Bias of Police in Ferguson, Missouri

Our nation's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865.

Shortly before then and 150 years ago today, at the conclusion of the Civil War, Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address. Booth was an invited guest and in attendance. After hearing what Lincoln had to say that day, Booth decided to kill him, and that he did.

In my view, relevant comments in Lincoln's Second Inaugural address are worth reflecting upon on this 150th 'anniversary' of his assassination, particularly as we also consider police actions and race related matters concerning the investigation into the recent Ferguson, Missouri police shooting of Michael Brown (See U.S. Won't Charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and Ferguson Police, Courts Accused of Racial Bias by Justice Department Probe):

"From President Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered 150 years ago on March 4, 1865:

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. . . . Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Summing Up

Let's all resolve to continue the still unfinished work of healing the nation's wounds.

Let's make equal opportunity, truth telling and fair dealing realities throughout this wonderful nation.

And let's endeavor to do all this "With malice toward none, with charity toward all," accepting the unassailable fact that we're all imperfect human beings with lots of failings.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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