Abraham Lincoln facedown

By Edward Achorn

Abraham Lincoln’s statues dot the landscape for a reason that is well-understood: He is a symbol of wisdom, decency, sacrifice, and perseverance in defeating slavery and liberating millions of black Americans.

Antifa rioters knocked down his statue in Portland during a self-proclaimed “Day of Rage” on the eve of Columbus Day.

They also trashed the Oregon Historical Society, which preserves treasures of the past so that people of succeeding generations may understand their culture and history.

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The outrage of the week

By Edward Achorn

I appear from time to time on a public television show in Rhode Island called “A Lively Experiment.” Each episode concludes with an outrage or kudo of the week from each guest.

My outrage this week was the attempted assassination of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in Compton, California. A suspect approached their car and shot them in the face.

Outside the hospital where they were taken, protesters (how quickly they are dispatched!) chanted, “Let them die!”

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I condemn the mob

By Edward Achorn

Attacks on Americans, such as we saw Thursday night, will not play well with most voters. I condemn such actions and call on the government to protect our civil liberties.

I wish Democratic leaders would, too.

America is not America without free speech. Each of us has a right to engage in political activity without being violently assaulted or targeted for politicized prosecution by the other side.

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‘Stop the violence and looting’

By Edward Achorn

The riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin are not protests. They are attempts — quite evidently organized — to stoke violence and hatred in America.

They are succeeding at that mission.

In recent days, an armed teenager who claimed to be at the riots to defend property can be seen on a cell phone video getting knocked to the ground. In many of the riots, the mob severely beats those it manages to bring down. The prone teenager in this case fired his weapon. He has been charged with first-degree murder in two deaths.

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Cities mugged by reality

By Edward Achorn

Is it possible that politicians, after stoking hatred and division, are having second thoughts about rioting in their cities?

Months of massive Black Lives Matter protests — threatening police (“pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”) and calling for their defunding — have spun off rioting and looting. Neighborhoods have been wrecked, with billions of dollars of investment in cities destroyed. Black businesses have been wiped out, and black people killed.

As residents with money flee for safer places, some leaders fear their cities may never recover.

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Americans oppose the riots

 By Edward Achorn

 The Summer of Hate shows no signs of abating. Night after night, people are being injured or killed and property destroyed. Thousands of young Americans, after being locked down for months, are erupting with savagery and destruction.

This has gone on for two months now.

As a historian of the Civil War, I can see where it leads.

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Return to the fountain of freedom

By Edward Achorn

Every American would benefit by reading Frederick Douglass’s gut-wrenching address on the Declaration of Independence, which he delivered on July 5, 1852, at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. That was more than ten years before Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation and 13 years before slavery was finally abolished.

It is a scathing denunciation of America’s hypocrisy in perpetuating slavery while celebrating the signing of the Declaration, which declared that “all men are created equal” and that all are endowed with rights no man or government could justly take away.

I write about this speech in my new book, Every Drop of Blood.

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” the great black leader and former slave asked.

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John Lennon’s revolution

By Edward Achorn

John Lennon was an artist — specifically, a great rock ‘n’ roll musician and singer — and not a nuanced political thinker. Critics, then and now, might be inclined to tell him to shut up and sing.

But he was a brilliant and witty lyricist who wanted to speak out. One of the things I always liked about him and his fellow Beatles was that they advocated through their beautiful art values I admire: love, peace, freedom, laughter and treating each other as equals. (I had the poster above, from his “Imagine” album, on my bedroom wall as a teenager.)

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Marcia Cole stands up for Lincoln Park Statue

By Edward Achorn

God bless Marcia Cole. She had the courage to show up, wearing nineteenth century garb, at a protest over a monument in Washington, D.C., that honors Abraham Lincoln for his role in emancipating four million enslaved Americans.

 Ms. Cole, a member of the African American Civil War Museum’s Female RE-Enactors of Distinction (FREED) program, spoke up for the ex-slaves who funded the statue.

The statue has been targeted for destruction or removal by the same forces that are trying to destroy or erase many symbols of American freedom and courage across the country. A copy in Boston is also at grave risk of being removed. Many of those determined to eradicate the ex-slaves’ tribute to Lincoln are white.

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Vandals vs. ex-slaves

By Edward Achorn

As expected, rioters have quickly moved on from tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus to those honoring such icons of freedom as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ulysses Grant. Some radicals have even called for the elimination of depictions of Jesus.

Once authorities have begun permitting violent attacks on America’s symbols and history, it is hard to see where the destruction will end.

And, of course, the vandals have turned against Abraham Lincoln — the great president who saved this country and, in doing so, freed four million enslaved African Americans.

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