Lincoln’s martyrdom enshrined his greatness in our collective memory. Less discussed is the epic tragedy caused by the loss of his singular wisdom, goodness, pragmatism and deft political hand at shaping the post Civil War world. The years that followed the Civil War are key
to understanding who we are as a nation and facing the great national myth that at long lasts demands a full reckoning. The American Civil War was the first industrialized war in history. It killed 2.5 percent of the population and if it was fought today, adjusted for population
It would have killed 7 million people. The war wasn’t just inevitable, it was predestined by the presence of the evil of human slavery on American soil. The war was just, necessary, brutal, tragic and unfinished. The idea of a separate slave nation in the Northern Hemisphere was
forever ended but the culture that held the ambition to create one was not defeated. With peace, a traumatized nation moved forward and tried to heal. It was this desire that fueled the great lie in our American story. The great lie was that there was honor and virtue
in the Southern cause and that the war was about things other than slavery. It was entirely about slavery. The eight times wounded, fighting professor from Maine who spoke seven languages, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, was given the honor of accepting the Confederate surrender.
He called the Union Army to attention as the vanquished Confederate soldiers lay down their battle flags and went home. Honor was a very different societal concept in 1865. The South lost the war but the victors allowed the fiction to root that the evil cause could accommodate
Honor and virtue within it. The Confederate Army went home, defeated, but carrying the racial malice of the Confederacy in their hearts. There were two racial massacres in 1866. One was in Memphis and the other in New Orleans. The Memphis massacre began when white cops and
Confederate veterans attacked freed slaves and Black Union Army veterans. The New Orleans massacre similarly was an attack by a white mob of Confederate soldiers against peaceful black citizens and Union Army veterans. These attacks were instrumental in helping pass Civil
Rights legislation in 1866, the 14th Amendment and the election of the self styled Radical Republicans who put the South under military occupation and sought to break the culture of the defeated slave nation. Reconstruction ended in 1877 with corrupt political horse trading.
Jim Crow followed and another 85 plus years of full on racial terror and injustice until the Jim Crow South fell. The truth is that the South needed another generation of occupation. The defeated South built their new Confederacy on the shattered dreams and hopes of freed slaves
Who saw slavery give way to a new tyranny. There are no virtues to celebrate in the life of Robert Lee of Virginia. He was a traitor and a cruel slave master. The Confederacy was an evil cause that blights us still. Whitewashed history weakens the nation. This argument about the
Past is important because the main point is that the same people who are fighting to restrict liberty, freedom and dignity for people on the basis of skin color today are the same people who venerate an evil cause with nostalgic delusions about its nobility. Freedom means freedom
For everyone. The Tulsa Massacre of 1921 and other white attacks should be used in gauging the intent behind the building of Confederate Memorials of that era. Most of the debates taking place around these monuments leave out the important context of their construction.
They weren’t built as symbols of remembrance to the awful price of war. They were mostly built in the 1920’s as symbols of white supremacy. They were markers of oppression and lighthouses in the night to remind Black Americans about their subjugation. The 100 plus years of
Racial terror that followed a war fought over slavery deserve a couple chapters in American History Class. We have nothing to fear by facing injustice. It is necessary and overdue. It will help us become what an embrace of our highest ideals tell us we can become.

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More from @SteveSchmidtSES

8 Jun
Governor, I know you to be a man of good will and I have long admired your steadfastness and refusal to submit to the Trump cult. What is happening in America is something we need to talk about. I think your arguments are ludicrous. Joe Manchin is no hero. He is a politician.
Using the moral examples of Dr. King, Natan Sharansky and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was incinerated in a Nazi oven, to contextualize the current unappreciated courage of Joe Manchin and worse to insinuate that as the American people continue to evolve, one day, with the wisdom
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Read 14 tweets
7 Jun
.@ProjectLincoln I’ll take a shot at answering this. It might be helpful to invite the eminence grise of America’s fair and balanced network @brithume into the conversation. Fox News is a corrupt organization. In fact, it is the most corrupt public company in America.
.@FoxNews has repeatedly argued in court that it is not a news organization. Fox is a propaganda network in the service of an authoritarian movement built on a foundation of lies. Here, @FoxNews acts with total predictability. They are trying to shield their audience from the
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7 Jun
History is not science, there are no algorithms or immutable laws. There is only memory and evidence. The history we all share and our understanding of it is highly variable and dependent on the story tellers. Where I grew up, everyone I ever met shared a story. (1)
It was shaped by the story of the largest migration in human history. Nearly 30 million Europeans came to America between 1870 and 1920. They came to a rapidly industrializing country that was exploding in size and wealth. By 1900 the United States (2)
was the richest country in the world with prosperity exploding everywhere except the South. The country had moved on from the Civil War and reconstruction. There were 9 million black Americans at the turn of the century and 90 percent of them lived in the South. They were (3)
Read 24 tweets
6 Jun
I like old quotes that stand the test of time and that can be applied to our current circumstances. I’ve always been fascinated by language and specifically the hinges where the language of one era and time gives way to another. Here is a quote👇 by Teddy Roosevelt to ponder 1/
2/ “ In facing the future and striving, each according to the measure of his individual capacity, to work out the salvation of our land, we should be neither timid pessimists or foolish optimists. We should recognize the dangers that exist and that threaten us:
3/ we should neither overestimate them nor shrink from them, but steadily fronting them should set to work to overcome and beat them down. Grave perils are yet to be encountered in the stormy course of the Republic-perils from political corruption, perils from individual laziness
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
Events build on each other. Actions cause reactions and shape what happens next. This will always be so. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Our present reality has been shaped by actions, decisions and events in the past. This is why it is important to understand History. 1/
.@JoeManchinWV has laid out an argument that is deeply untethered to the realities of our current national crisis. His words float upwards like puffs of smoke from an ivory tower before they evaporate into nothingness because they were released into a world that doesn’t exist. 2/
American democracy is in the greatest crisis we have faced since the Civil War. The Republican Party is controlled by Donald Trump and it is the malignant vessel by which Trump’s cult of personality metastasized into an autocratic movement. 3/
Read 13 tweets
4 Jun
Today is the third day of profoundly stupid media coverage around the demise of the Trump blog. How should we assess Trump in this moment and specifically how do we gauge his relative power and influence? Some have posited that Trump’s loss, social media bans, and inability
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name out loud, no problem. These people are fools and their delusions are dangerous for the survival of American democracy. We are at an hour that requires people to wake up. Trump is powerful and he is a clear and PRESENT danger to our democratic society and national stability.
Read 11 tweets

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