until the American nation as a substantial whole repents and renounces these sins and their continuing deep racist and elitist class roots and their blatant current manifestations from the heart , forgiveness cannot be asked and given, and true healing cannot begin. The Southern myth of the noble “Lost Cause” must die. it remains a deep poison. Northern complicity in that myth must be repented. We could say the same about the terrible and repeated genocides of American First Nations.
Today, the US recognizes both these titans, wary allies and occasional opponents, as unquestionably great men. Both were necessary, and both fought the same battle, but from very different vantage points. As a young man of nineteen, Lincoln had already begun to abhor slavery and the oppression of ‘the African Race’ as an abomination. He had said, “If I ever get the opportunity, I will hit this thing hard.” This was long before he had any notion of becoming President. He was not yet even on the road to becoming a lawyer.