(Article changed on April 1, 2013 at 08:01)
Abraham Lincoln memorial by Gage Skidmore
reparation for an offense or injury : satisfaction
( Merriam- Webster)
Turned out it was about me:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I am a naturalized citizen. The 14th Amendment was about me. It was and is also about ALL people of the US. It is about thousands of my fellow- immigrants from Russia who now are engaged in blatant racism and hate of minorities. It is about those shills who write in the US- based Russian- speaking newspapers denouncing Lincoln's role in it, and vehemently attacking any attempt to connect the problem of slavery with the current racism. They deny racism, although they reek of it. And that amendment protects them too. What a genius Honest Abe was!
It only dawned on me now after I saw the movie Lincoln although the movie itself was no biggie. There wasn't much of a story despite Spielberg's attempt to show the Amendment process as some kind of a gift to the black people from the allegedly enlightened whites. But thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis we see the real reason why Lincoln wanted it passed: it was an Atonement. The American people, the American Congress, had to pass that Amendment not because of the war and not because of the Emancipation Proclamation- they had to do it to save their souls. SOS was the signal and Lincoln responded.
Slavery corrupted everything. It corrupted white people because nothing corrupts more than the perpetual abuse of other human beings no matter what the premise. It corrupted the children because from childhood they saw, witnessed and participated in the atrocities against other people and they grew up accustomed to viewing people as property. Now a teenager puts a poster on the wall; then he could go and rape a negro girl whenever he so chose with total impunity and even with encouragement.
Slavery corrupted capitalism because people as property were treated as commodities and collateral, treating them as numbers only. It corrupted national security and national standing because in the new climate of enlightened Humanity the state which not only accepted slavery but invoked it as a part of the financial system would be considered as barbaric, on the same standing with the Ottoman Empire.
Slavery corrupted the US religious institutions because it was the "work of the Devil' per Harriett Beecher- Stowe. Craftily and elegantly she destroyed the foundation of US slavery- she created a portrait of the Christian Saint and that Saint was a black slave. Maybe she remembered at that time that Jesus Christ per old teachings was considered by Romans as a descendant of slaves.
Slavery corrupted education, arts, sciences and everyday life. It made all those activities evil, similar to deliberately eating in front of the starving person or denying water to the thirsty. It made it wrong to have fun, to make love, to have children, even to feel happy. It made it all a part of malice.
saw all that. Now I realize it. He understood that only an Atonement, the one accepted and perpetrated by the victorious Union could
literally save the nation from the
eternal damnation. He understood not
only that slavery had to be abolished; it had to be done by the American mechanism of power.
It was the only way to conclude the great work started by the Founding Fathers-
to show that the mechanism of democracy
was intact and could deal even with such a devilish thing as slavery.
He was a true visionary, a real new
Founding Father who dragged the nation kicking and screaming to unity
and enlightenment through Love and Respect,
once and for all showing to the world
that the American people were not barbarians after all and that they were worthy of being a part of Humanity.
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