Jack and Jill: In Iowa, there’s a social conservative pledge called “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” that is anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, anti-divorce etc etc that GOP candidates are being urged to sign. (It includes:)
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive … When will Republicans inquire with actual Black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points? It has to stop….
The UK Independent: The ocean views are stunning, but it’s the tragic past of Ghana’s rugged coast that is also drawing in visitors, thanks in part to America’s first black president.
Perched on the windswept edge of West Africa, the imposing whitewashed former slave trading fort known as Cape Coast Castle has seen a steady increase in visitors since US President Barack Obama and his family toured here in 2009.
The dark dungeons where untold numbers of people were kept before being shipped off as slaves serve as stark reminders of the brutality they endured – a point of view perhaps too often overlooked in the Western world.
….Obama, whose wife Michelle traces her ancestry to slaves, chose Ghana for his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as president in July 2009, and he and his family made sure to stop at Cape Coast Castle … A tour of the fort was “a moving moment”, Obama said then.
He added that “there is a special sense that on one hand this place was a place of profound sadness, on the other hand it is where the journey of much of African-American experience began.”
“Following President Obama’s visit we are seeing a consistent increase in international arrivals,” deputy Tourism Minister Kobby Akyeampong told AFP. Current arrivals are averaging 748,000 per year from 587,000 two years before and the aim is to hit a million thanks in part to the so-called “Obama effect”.
‘How did the University of Virginia come to publish a version of Lincoln’s inaugural speech that cut crucial words on slavery?’
Matt Seaton (The UK Guardian): ….I was preparing for publication Eric Foner’s article on the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration speech … I went searching for a transcript of the speech to link to. The results of a Google search took me to the site of the University of Virginia’s Miller Centre of Public Affairs; reckoning this a prestigious institution at a public university (founded by Thomas Jefferson, no less), I assumed this would be a reliable link to use …
Then I reached the passage quoted by Eric’s piece, where Lincoln flatly states: “One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.”
…I searched the transcript on the Miller Centre site for this sentence but could not find it…. I sent off an email to the Miller Centre staff, alerting them to the fact that they were publishing a misleading, redacted version of Lincoln’s address; and outlining my interpretation that it looked as though the speech had been cut to remove references to slavery… I received an immediate reply; and within an hour, the webpage had been amended and the full text restored.
Since then, I’ve done a full comparison of the cached version of the page and the amended one; at the foot of this article run all the passages that had been omitted from the original…
…the sum of the redactions appeared to have two key effects: first, of toning down or removing entirely Lincoln’s strong assertions of the legitimate authority of the Union before and above the Constitution; and second, as said, of shifting the emphasis away from slavery as the key point of dispute between North and South and towards differences over the precedence and prerogative of individual states v the Union in law-making and enforcement. It is difficult not to see a neo-Confederate agenda in this editing.
It is possible that the erroneous version of Lincoln’s address was published by accident or carelessness. But the alacrity with which a correction was made suggests that Miller Centre executives realised the potential damage to the institution’s reputation of hosting what might appear to be a politically tendentious, “doctored” version of the address.
Having had a polite note from them, thanking me for pointing out the error and confirming the correction, I wrote back saying I was considering writing about it and seeking their comment on several questions (see the questions here)
In contrast to the almost instantaneous earlier response, as yet, I have received no reply to these questions. So the Miller Centre would seem to wish to make no further comment. But given that its online database of the Scripps Library purports to be a vital resource for scholars of public policy, US government and presidential history, I certainly hope they are running some checks.