Character

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Abe Lincoln

Racism: Lincoln Speech, September 18, 1858

While I was at the hotel to—day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]—that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.] My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men...

I will also add to the remarks I have made (for I am not going to enter at large upon this subject), that I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry negroes if there was no law to keep them from it, [laughter] but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, [roars of laughter] I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.

- Quoted from here

Colonization Project

From roughly late 1861 onward, Lincoln was involved in some very serious policy discussions about what the post-slavery United States would look like, and one of his solutions that he offered, drawing on something that had long been a part of his political advocacy, was to colonize the slaves abroad. Historically, the most famous example of this is Liberia, which was founded in 1816 and over the course of the next 50 or 60 years, several thousand former slaves migrated to Liberia and colonized it.

Lincoln liked this model, but wanted to expand upon it, and he was willing to look in Central and South America, and across the Caribbean. He pursued this policy for the better part of his presidency, secured funding from Congress in 1862, and carried it out in conjunction with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

- Quoted from here


Dred Scott

Lincoln's Speech, June 26, 1857

...And now as to the Dred Scott decision. That decision declares two propositions—first, that a negro cannot sue in the U.S. Courts; and secondly, that Congress cannot prohibit slavery in the Territories. It was made by a divided court—dividing differently on the different points. Judge Douglas does not discuss the merits of the decision; and, in that respect, I shall follow his example, believing I could no more improve on McLean and Curtis, than he could on Taney.

He denounces all who question the correctness of that decision, as offering violent resistance to it. But who resists it? Who has, in spite of the decision, declared Dred Scott free, and resisted the authority of his master over him?

Judicial decisions have two uses—first, to absolutely determine the case decided, and secondly, to indicate to the public how other similar cases will be decided when they arise. For the latter use, they are called "precedents" and "authorities."

We believe, as much as Judge Douglas, (perhaps more) in obedience to, and respect for the judicial department of government. We think its decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled, should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the general policy of the country, subject to be disturbed only by amendments of the Constitution as provided in that instrument itself. More than this would be revolution. But we think the Dred Scott decision is erroneous. We know the court that made it, has often over-ruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we can to have it to over-rule this. We offer no resistance to it...

- Quoted from here and here

Summary

Lincoln’s position on slavery in the territories and the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott were in direct contradiction.  Today it seems clear that Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution was right and the Supreme Court’s interpretation was wrong — horribly, willfully wrong.  Yet, was Lincoln not bound to regard the Supreme Court’s decision against his position as deciding the matter?  Indeed, are not all public officials, and all citizens, obliged to treat the Court’s decisions as settling constitutional questions, whether they agree with those decisions or not?

That was Stephen Douglas’s position in the famous series of seven debates that he and Lincoln had in their 1858 election contest for the US Senate.  Opposing the Supreme Court’s decision, argued Douglas, was equivalent to opposing the Constitution itself.

Lincoln vigorously denied Douglas’s position.  Supreme Court opinions decide only the individual case before the court, Lincoln argued.  They do not bind members of Congress or the President in their political actions.  It was thus proper for the other branches of government — and for the people — to resist wrong and harmful decisions of the Supreme Court and to seek to have them reversed and overturned.  That was simply part of the Constitution’s system of checks and balances. …

Lincoln would remain remarkably consistent — and increasingly insistent — on the constitutional duty of elected officials to resist unlawful decision of the Supreme Court that they considered harmful to the nation as a whole and to its people.  The alternative, in Lincoln’s mind, was resignation of free, popular government under the Constitution into the hands of the Court, no matter how wrongheaded it’s decisions.

…

As President, Lincoln would on more than one occasion defy the supposed authority of “controlling” judicial interpretations of the Constitution.  Lincoln and the Civil War Congress disregarded the Dred Scott decision entirely in enacting laws that prohibited slavery in the territories — exactly what Dred Scott had said was unconstitutional.  In addition, as we shall see, Lincoln defied a judicial decision (Ex parte Merryman) purporting to limit his military authority to hold enemy prisoners in the course of his conduct of the Civil War.  And if the Supreme Court had ever had the audacity to hold the Emancipation Proclamation unconstitutional or, worse still, to hold that the South had a constitutional right to secede — neither issue ever came before the Court — it is almost certain that Lincoln would have refused to abide by such a decision.

Did this make Abraham Lincoln a lawless president (as some have seriously argued)?  Was the South perhaps constitutionally justified in seceding, given Lincoln’s “unconstitutional” stance against the Supreme Court’s authority in matters of constitutional interpretation?  Or was Lincoln right that the Constitution itself is of superior authority to the Supreme Court?  History has vindicated Lincoln’s position in practical terms.  Ironically, however, most constitutional scholars today side with Douglas, against Lincoln.  The modern consensus favors judicial supremacy in constitutional interpretation: whatever the Supreme Court says, goes.

At the very least, it should give one pause that, on the judicial supremacist view — the view espoused by Douglas — Dred Scott was properly the law of the land; that Lincoln was wrong to resist it; that Lincoln’s election as President was indeed the election of a lawless man and an attack on the constitutional rights of the South; and that everything Lincoln did as President rested on an improper view of the Constitution and the authority of the Supreme Court.  In short, it is hard to accept modern notions of judicial supremacy without rejecting much of what Lincoln stood for, and much of what he did as President.

Lincoln’s view — not Douglas’s — seems more faithful to the Constitution itself.  The Constitution is “the supreme law of the land,” not the Supreme Court’s misinterpretations of it.  The logic of the Constitution’s separation-of-powers arrangement would seem to refute the notion that any one branch has supreme authority over its interpretation.  And the framers of the Constitution explicitly denied that the Constitution established judicial supremacy.  Lincoln, on the framers’ view, was right.

But that view did not command universal acceptance in Lincoln’s day (just as it does not today).   It was hated in the South and regarded with skepticism even by many in the North.  Thus, when Lincoln was elected President in 1860, his well-known views stirred a constitutional crisis that had long been brewing.

- Excerpt from here

Emancipation Proclamation, September 22 1862

Declared that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union "shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

Emancipation was a tool for war. Lincoln used it to further undermine the Confederacy while providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion.

Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union. Lincoln also exempted selected areas of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control in hopes of gaining the loyalty of whites in those states. In practice, then, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, as the only places it applied were places where the federal government had no control—the Southern states currently fighting against the Union.

- Quoted from here

Martin Luther King Jr.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
- MLK, Jr.

Planned Parenthood

On 5th May, 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Margaret Sanger Award.

His full acceptance speech is available online here.

Award Citation

This award is presented to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., for his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity.

Facing jail, abuse and physical danger, Dr. King's unceasing efforts - in behalf of all Americans - to win freedom for the Negro people parallel closely Mrs. Sanger's fight over the last half-century for the emancipation of women from the burdens of perpetual child-bearing and the emancipation of children from a future of poverty and hopelessness. Neither Mrs. Sanger nor Dr. King has hesitated to challenge unjust laws, cruel social customs and blind prejudice that hold people in ignorance and degradation. Our courts, our legislatures and - most of all - the human heart and mind have been the crucible in which they have forged a nobler history for all mankind.

In the tradition of all great humanitarians who have seen that human life and progress are indeed indivisible, Dr. King has lent his eloquent voice to the cause of world-wide voluntary family planning.

For Martin Luther King's unique qualities of understanding, compassion and bravery, and for his wise and unwavering leadership in securing for all people their basic human right to knowledge, dignity and opportunity that are the fount and principle of Margaret Sanger's life, this award is presented."

Excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.'s acceptance speech

There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.

What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims...

There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger's early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist - a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions. Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern.

Recently the subject of Negro family life has received extensive attention. Unfortunately, studies have overemphasized the problem of the Negro male ego and almost entirely ignored the most serious element - Negro migration. During the past half century Negroes have migrated on a massive scale, transplanting millions from rural communities to crammed urban ghettoes. In their migration, as with all migrants, they carried with them the folkways of the countryside into an inhospitable city slum. The size of family that may have been appropriate and tolerable on a manually cultivated farm was carried over to the jammed streets of the ghetto. In all respects Negroes were atomized, neglected and discriminated against. Yet, the worst omission was the absence of institutions to acclimate them to their new environment. Margaret Sanger, who offered an important institutional remedy, was unfortunately ignored by social and political leaders in this period. In consequence, Negro folkways in family size persisted. The problem was compounded when unrestrained exploitation and discrimination accented the bewilderment of the newcomer, and high rates of illegitimacy and fragile family relationships resulted.

For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command.

This is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood. His problems are far more complex, encompassing economic security, education, freedom from discrimination, decent housing and access to culture. Yet if family planning is sensible it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague him.

The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child...

For these reasons we are natural allies of those who seek to inject any form of planning in our society that enriches life and guarantees the right to exist in freedom and dignity...

Adultery

FBI

From December 1963 until his death in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was the target of an intensive campaign by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to 'neutralize' him as an effective civil rights leader. 
- Church Committee, a 1975 investigation by the U.S. Congress
A decision in a 1977 court case brought by Bernard Lee, one of King's associates, sealed the transcripts from those wiretaps until 2027 [Source]

In 1964, the FBI sent the FBI–King suicide letter to King, threatening to publicly reveal a tape of one of King's sexual escapades unless he killed himself. An excerpt from that letter follows:

...No person can overcome facts, not even a fraud like yourself. Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure. You will find yourself in all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk exposed on the record for all time. I repeat - no person can argue successfully against facts. You are finished. You will find on the record for all time your filthy, dirty, evil companions, male and female giving expression with you to your hidious abnormalities. And some of them to pretend to be ministers of the Gospel. Satan could not do more. What incredible evilness. It is all there on the record, your sexual orgies. Listen to yourself you filthy, abnormal animal. You are on the record. You have been on the record - all your adulterous acts, your sexual orgies extending far into the past. This one is but a tiny sample. You will understand this. Yes, from your various evil playmates on the east coast to [redacted] and others on the west coast and outside the country you are on the record...


Abernathy

Martin Luther King regularly had (paying or free) extramarital sex while he was on long road trips (according even to his closest confidant Ralph Abernathy and other friends, not just the FBI). What's more, he did these things not just in some remote past prior to being the nation's chief civil rights agent but (again, according to Abernathy) committed such immorality right up to the last night of his life (King tragically died at the age of 39) when he had sexual encounters not with one woman or even two but with three women (at different times). The third woman, upset with King's cheating on her with women other than his wife, got into such a heated argument with King that King "lost his temper and knocked her across the bed."... 

Distinguished historian of MLK, Taylor Branch, reports on FBI wiretapping of King’s hotel room in January 1964, in which King was recorded as shouting while having adulterous intercourse, “I’m f*****g for God! I’m not a negro tonight!” 

There are also credible reports from multiple sources of King on more than one occasion arranging or permitting drunken orgies at his workshops (and using funds donated to the civil rights cause), in which prostitutes were paid to put on a sex show. According to one account, "when one of the females shied away from engaging in an unnatural act [presumably, lesbian sex], King ... discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect.” King may even have fathered an illegitimate child through an adulterous affair with the wife of a prominent Black dentist in Los Angeles. 
- [Source]

Roy Moore

In 2017, Roy Moore ran for Senator as a Republican. A few weeks before the election, several accusations came out accusing Roy of sexual misconduct 40 years ago. Three accusations were of sexual assault (Beverly Nelson, Tina Johnson, and Leigh Corfman). Six other women recalled Moore pursued romantic relationships with them, while he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 16-22 (age of consent was 16).

Beverly Nelson

Nelson and her lawyer both say that Roy Moore wrote the entire entry in her yearbook:

"He wrote in my yearbook as follows: To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say 'Merry Christmas'. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore. Old Hickory House. And he signed it Roy Moore DA"
- Quoted from Beverly Nelson, in this interview, 11:38 to 12:08
"He says: To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say “Merry Christmas.” Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A.,12-22-77, Old Hickory House.'"
- Quoted from Gloria Allred (Beverly Nelson's lawyer), in this tweet's video

As pictures of the yearbook inscription were analyzed online, people called into question the authenticity, due to some of the writing being clearly a different style.

In response to the above controversy, Beverly has an interview with ABC News, where she admits she was being deceitful when she and her lawyer first read the inscription out loud and attributed the entire section to Roy Moore.

“Nelson admits she did make notes to the inscription,” ABC News tells us. “But the message was all Roy Moore.”

“Beverly, he signed your yearbook,” ABC News reporter Tom Llamas says.

“He did sign it,” she replies.

“And you made some notes underneath.”

“Yes,” Nelson says.

Tina Johnson

In an interview, Johnson indicates that the alleged incident occurred when she was with her mother in Moore's law office on legal business. She recounts that she sat next to her mother, across from Moore.

A Gadsden woman says Roy Moore groped her while she was in his law office on legal business with her mother in 1991. Moore was married at that time.

In interviews with AL.com, Tina Johnson recalls that in the fall of 1991 she sat in the law office of then-attorney Roy Moore on Third Street in Gadsden. Her mother, Mary Katherine Cofield, sat in the chair next to her. Moore sat behind his desk, across from them. 

Johnson was 28 years old, in a difficult marriage headed toward divorce, and unemployed. She was at the office to sign over custody of her 12-year-old son to her mother, with whom he'd been living. Her mother had hired Moore to handle the custody petition.
- Tina's interview with AL.com

In court documents pulled up by Breitbart, we see that the custody case was a nasty battle, with Moore representing Johnson's mother. Johnson's mother repeatedly painted Johnson as unfit, absent, and unstable, with a violent nature.

The documents, reviewed by Breitbart News, show that Moore represented Johnson’s mother in a nasty custody case for Johnson’s then 12-year-old son, Daniel Sitz. In the case, Johnson was repeatedly painted by Moore’s client as an unfit, absent, and unstable mother and was accused of taking her son from his elementary school against his will. Johnson’s mother was ultimately awarded custody in the case.

One affidavit signed by Johnson’s mother while she was represented by Moore accused Johnson of having a “violent nature” and noted that she “has been treated by a psychiatrist when she was approximately 15 years of age.” Johnson was a teenage mother.

Separate criminal documents show that, as late as 2010, Johnson was arrested and pled guilty to felony fraud charges related to checks belonging to a family member. She also entered a court drug program.

- Breitbart Article

The picture portrayed by the court documents gives a different setting than the one outlined by Johnson in Moore's office.

Leigh Corfman

Leigh blames Moore for pushing her into "bad things", such as drinking, drugs, and a suicide attempt.

After talking to her friends, Corfman says, she began to feel that she had done something wrong and kept it a secret for years.

“I felt responsible,” she says. “I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad.”

She says that her teenage life became increasingly reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16.
- Washington Post Article


And yet... according to court documents, Leigh had behavioral problems before the alleged encounters with Moore took place, and her behavior improved in the following year which caused the judge to grant custody to Wells.

The Post failed to mention that the very reason for the February 21, 1979, court hearing where Moore allegedly met Corfman was because, according to the court documents, Corfman had exhibited “certain disciplinary and behavioral problems.” In other words, Corfman evidence behavioral problems prior to the alleged encounters with Moore.

Indeed, those stated “disciplinary and behavioral problems” were cited in the joint petition to change custody as the cause for both Wells and Corfman’s father agreeing that Corfman would be better served living with her father.  The parents signed a “consent decree” going along with the change in custody.

Over one year later, on May 5, 1980, which would have been after any alleged encounters with Moore, Wells filed a new petition to take back custody of her daughter. That petition stated that Corfman’s “disciplinary problem has improved greatly.”  The stated change in behavior is important since Corfman’s “disciplinary and behavioral problems” were cited as the reason for the father taking custody.

The improvement in behavior described by Wells seems to conflict with Corfman’s claim to the Post that after the 1979 encounter her “life became increasingly reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16.”

The judge apparently agreed with Wells’ assessment of Corfman’s improved behavior and granted Wells custody on October 15, 1980.
- Breitbart Article

So was her memory fallible, or she was lying?


Dating Teenagers

Roy Moore: "With regard to the other girls, you understand this is forty years ago, and after my return from the military I dated a lot of young ladies."

Hannity: "Debbie Wesson Gibson said she was 17... when you asked her out on several dates and it did not progress - her words - beyond kissing."

Roy Moore: "I don't remember that. I seemed to know her, remember knowing her parents. That they were friends. I can't recall specific dates because that's been forty years, but I remember her as a good girl, um, but neither of them have ever stated any inappropriate behavior [legal age was 16]... I know her but I don't remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates then we did. But I do not remember that."

Hannity: "What about Gloria Thacker Deason? She says she was an 18 year old cheerleader when you began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rose wine. She's 18 at the time. The Alabama drinking age at the time is 19. Did that ever happen?"

Roy Moore: "No, because in this county it's a dry county... I never provided alcohol, beer, or intoxicating liquors to a minor. That would be against the law, against anything I've ever done. And I seem to remember her as a good girl."

Hannity: "Would it be unusual for you as a 32-year-old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? [...] Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?"

Roy Moore: "...I don't remember that and I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother."

Hannity: "...You have pretty much been convicted in the court of public opinion..."

Roy Moore: "...you are innocent until proven guilty. In this case, this woman has waited over 40 years to bring a complaint 4 weeks out of an election."

- Fox News Interview