Why not? Even though he led the Union in a fight to abolish slavery, we all know that he was a racist at heart and ending slavery wasn't his purpose at all. It is Fred Kaplan's argument according to a book review by Manisha Sinha:
Unlike the abolitionists, Lincoln — in Kaplan’s telling — opposed emancipation and black rights through much of his life not because he was an anti-slavery moderate, as most historians have argued, but because he was an incorrigible racist and anti-abolitionist.
This isn't an isolated view, albeit a minority one. But the way that demands for the destruction of statues and other memorials of the
Confederacy, slave-holders and other notables in American history, I wouldn't be surprised if the wave eventually rolls over President Abraham Lincoln. Here is a summary of that growing wave: More states challenge display of Confederate monuments, symbols.
Lincoln can't be far behind after hearing the call by a Chicago pastor for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to scrub the names of presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson from the South Side parks bearing their names. Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, said he also wants a statue of Washington removed from the northwest entrance to Washington Park. It's wrong, he argues, to memorialize the slaveholder presidents in African-American neighborhoods where they would cause offense. I suppose that logic makes perfect sense to some.
Then there's the Confederate Mound in Oak Woods Cemetery at 1035 E.
67th St. where a mass grave holds the remains of more than 4,000 Confederate prisoners. They were reinterred from Camp Douglas on the south lakefront where masses died from horrific conditions. Should we now disinter their bodies and grind their bones into dust and scatter them on a dump because they fought on the side of the slave-holders?
Abraham Lincoln in his Second Inaugural Address called for reconciliation:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Where does it end? I understand the arguments from both sides, and can sympathize with each. But where is this drive to scrub history leading us? Should Washington D.C. be renamed? Should Lincoln, Illinois shed its shameful name in favor of a more fashionable moniker?
If we are to heal our wounds, it does little good to keep picking off their scabs.
Related: Tribune columnist John Kass makes a lot of sense: "Trump fails morality test on Charlottesville."
Related: Lincoln statue burned on South Side.