Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Emancipator and the Unificator”
City of publication: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 8
|“The Emancipator and the Unificator.” Afro-American-Ledger 28 Sept. 1901 v10n8: p. .|
|William McKinley (presidential policies); McKinley presidency.|
|Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.|
The Emancipator and the Unificator
Abraham Lincoln will always, to the end of time
be known and loved as the Emancipator. It was indeed a great work, a great honor
it was to be the instrument in the hands of the Almighty in bringing freedom
and liberty to millions of fellow citizens. But, as a matter of course, such
work, in its very nature, could hardly be accomplished without leaving behind
many scars and wounds and fermentation of strife, heart-burnings and misunderstandings.
And surely if the man is counted great who wrought such noble work as freeing
of the slave, at least some elements of greatness must mark the man who loving
the whole with more devotion than any one of its component parts, aspired to
weld together the disjointed sections and restore that visible oneness and beauty
so desirable and necessary in a government such as that under which we live.
The late President McKinley, at certain times in the past, was seriously criticized by some of ourselves. Many of us thought that his heart had ceased to beat with the struggles and trials of his Afro-American brethren, and that in order to raise himself in the estimation of the Southern white people, he had gone square-back upon us. Some of us thought that he did not exert himself on our behalf in putting a stop to Southern lynchings. And certainly from our point of view we were not far from the mark. But the trouble with us, our view was necessarily a narrow and very circumscribed one. Although we did not say as much, yet the inference was that he cared not a button about other necessary and important relations just so we get lynching stopped. A father, that is a proper father of a family, ought to love all of his children.
Very unpleasant disputes oftimes [sic] arise between children which cause the parents great pain. Now, it would be most unwise, however loth he might be so to do, for the father to show partiality because in the tangle one of the son’s [sic] seems to be less to blame. But he rather contents himself with general principles, and seeks rather to conform them all to the proper standard of righteousness, rather than, even seemingly, humiliate one at the expense of the other. Any fair-minded man who has sufficient training and breadth can see at a glance that the policy of the late president, in this particular, was the only dignified and correct one. It was not that he loved the Negro any the less, but that he did love the whole more than he did any of its parts,—the Negro part not excepted.
If the Southern people could see in Mr. McKinley a great and good man because of his anxiety to restore vital unity, taking large and comprehensive views of affairs, they would soon learn to love him, and of necessity it would re-act, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, they would find themselves becoming more and more friendly and interested in their colored fellow citizens. The sad death of our late president has at least revealed to public view one of the greatest accomplishments of his administration. He has brought closer together all parts of this great country than any person or any acts since the birth of the great Republican party. And thus, if we look upon Lincoln as the Emancipator, we also accord to our late President the honor which he has richly won, as the Unificator of the Republic. Long may he live in the memory of his united countrymen, for whose unification he lived the life, and died the death.