The following words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln at Charleston, Illinois in September of 1858 during a debate with Stephen A. Douglas.
“I am not, nor ever have I been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races ... I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negros, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarrying 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 forever 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.”
This attitude won Lincoln the presidential race. Years later, he supported the program to send blacks back to Africa. The opposition during the war against it in the north grew to riots where, blacks, both slaves and freemen, were murdered. The riots in New York City alone on July 13 through 16, 1863 burned down a black orphanage and murdered 119 blacks, which they hung from street lamp posts.
Now, in a recent Courier article, Cristin Embree was quoted as stating that Jefferson Davis openly believed black people are inferior, using that as sound reasoning to remove the Davis highway monument. (Editor’s note: Cristin Embree was quoted from her public comments during a city council meeting on November 5, published in the November 13 edition of the Elgin Courier. Embree did not ask that the marker be removed, but asked instead that historical information be placed with the marker in order to provide the full historical context. She also asked the city to seek more public comments from the community before removing or keeping the marker.) I must assume that Randy Krapf, who started this controversy, agrees with Embree.
So, if racism is a valid reason to remove history, will Embree, Krapf and the council members that sided with them prove that they are not hypocritical in their thinking and support a call for the removal of all the monuments of all historical racists, not just Southerners.