US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST
US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

Simon Barber’s column refers (Trump driving racial tension in bid to provoke rivals, September 7). The teaching of American history has been dumbed down. The twists and turns of people and why they did what they did has been washed out to produce a colourless view of the world.

It can be easily stated that slavery was not the principal factor behind the American civil war … because Abraham Lincoln himself said so. When on March 2 1861 the northern states passed overwhelmingly the Corwin Amendment, which gave constitutional protection to slavery, Lincoln commented: "I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."

Lincoln stated at the outset of his first inaugural address that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

War is (almost) never fought over moral issues but rather over who is boss and reaps the rewards … and who is subservient.

Vladmir Lenin summarised the concept in the expression "Who-Whom".

Likewise, the move to take down any symbols of the Confederacy should be seen as part of the cultural revolution that has been going since the 1960s.

Even the Maoist cultural revolution was less about culture than Mao Tse Tung keeping competitors such as Deng Xiaoping in the communist party at bay.

By the way, Lincoln also said (quoting from the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln vol. III, page 16): "I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races … I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favour of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary."

John TaylorJohannesburg

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