Friday, September 5, 2008

The Party of Lincoln?

Lincoln and the Emancipation of the Slave

I try to avoid being political on this blog, because I want to show people Washington as more than just the partisan, political city it is reported and perceived as in the media. True, our nation's government resides here and history happens in this place on an hourly basis, but Washington, D.C. is more than the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. It is also a place where people live and work and a city where people from all over the country and the world come to be inspired.

This quiet park is located about a mile east of the U.S. Capitol

Part of Washington's inspiration is the legacy of one of America's greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln. There are several monuments and memorials to Lincoln. Some of them are better known and recognized. Others are off the beaten path and little seen, except by those who live or work in their vicinity. One of these memorials is east of the capitol in a little urban oasis aptly named Lincoln Park. This statue of Lincoln depicts him as the author of the Emancipation Proclamation--an epic, pivotal document which ended slavery in the United States in 1863--and includes a slave being freed from his shackles.

Emancipation

In yesterday's Washington Post, an article on the recently adjourned Republican National Convention reported that the Republican Party--the party of Lincoln--has failed to diversify and remains a party of mostly white, upper and upper-middle class Americans. Out of nearly 2,400 delegates at the RNC, only 36 were black. That's less than 2% of all delegates. By contrast, 24% of the delegates at the DNC convention were black. Now granted, I know that number is up probably because the DNC's candidate is black, but that doesn't take away from the appallingly low numbers in the RNC (and, even without that as a factor, DNC representation by blacks still remains around 20%.) I don't think it's much of a stretch to say, if Lincoln was alive today and participating in the party he represented nearly 150 years ago as a candidate for president, he'd be appalled, too!

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 09/08

6 comments:

Virginia said...

You can say that again! And your photographs aptly illustrates that. Sorry I missed yet another site. Wish I had known about your blog before my last visit to DC.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I must say I admire you your post. I also agree with you about the Republican Party. I was and my whole family were Republicans for many years (some of it due to our relationship to the president) but we switched parties after this Bush was elected the second time. I don't have anything good to say about the party.

Sakiwi said...

Very interesting information about Lincoln! Speaking as a foreigner, I think that this election is the Democrats' to lose. McCain & Palin? I just can't see it happening.

Bernie said...

East of the Capitol? Where? Still on the Hill or near Eastern Market? Near RFK Stadium? I can't believe I've never seen it.

Good photos, good commentary.

Maya said...

Politics is an interesting thing, isn't it? The parties certainly have changed haven't they from what you are portraying here. You don't see too many republicans running around taking up the cases of the downtrodden (immigrants anyone?). OK, getting off my high horse now...

D.C. Confidential said...

VJ: I guess you'll just have to make another trip up here! ;-)


Abraham: Thank you. I'm glad I'm not far off in my beliefs about your distinguished ancestor.


Sakiwi: I hope you're right. I think you are. But after the last two elections, I don't count my chickens until all the eggs are laid and accounted for.


Bernie: It's half way between the Capitol and RFK Stadium. If you take East Capitol Street out to RFK, you drive right around it. It's the only park on East Cap.


Maya: AMEN! And so ironic. I love how the Republicans like to lay claim to Lincoln, but if slavery was still in force today, they wouldn't be the ones penning the writs of emancipation.