"Lincoln" Was Far More Than Just a Movie!

The Movie "Lincoln" was far more than just a movie!

Like many of you, I went to see the movie Lincoln. I went with my wife and two of my sons Oliver and Ben. After watching it I firmly believe this is a movie that every child starting in fifth grade should be taken to. It should be played in schools then discussed openly and often.

At the end of the movie, when the credits started to roll, both my kids got up and had to quickly go use the bathroom (as is always the case with kids lol). I sat there and could not get up, I did in fact uncontrollably begin to cry. It came over me in waves. Let me first say I am not a big crier. It's not because of anything particular, I have, over the years just not been a big spiller of tears, so when it does happen it tends to be hard to stop, as was the case here.

Many thoughts were racing through my head, the images of the dead, various lines from the movie but one line really stood out and and kept twisting inside me. The line was when Lincoln had been asked why do you continue to force forward with the 13th Amendment. His answer was that it would free millions of slaves but he added, "and millions not born yet". Millions not born yet, well this kept running through my mind, heart and spirit. This line was tearing me up from the inside out. Maybe because we had just gone through such a gut wrenching election ourselves, having to put up and listen to evil, horrible rhetoric that was beyond racism. Maybe it was last years trip to D.C. that came into play, I'm not really sure even now as I write this, but that line, millions yet to be born still rings on in my head like a ghost that refuses to go away.

  We really take for granted what we have, people at the time were actually standing up and saying, "who are we to judge god's will or his plan when he has said these Negro's are inferior to us". You know, they are lucky I didn't live back then, they really really would have not liked me very much. Yes, I take issue with any god or man that condones, permits or endorses slavery of any kind or the belittling of another human being based on race, sex, creed or religion. Funny how we turned right around and replaced slavery in the cotton fields with slavery via the prison system or WalMart! Yes, uncle Sam Walton you are a slave trader, a dealer in bodies not minds. You remind me of the letters between Washington and Jefferson when Washington told Jefferson he was going to free all his slaves and Jefferson replied "but what about the bottom line". As for Jefferson's bottom line, he did NOT die a rich man and I hope with all due respect, Mr.Walton if you do not change your ways, that you too die broke because as of today your hands are soaked with the blood of others.

It is estimated that between 1750 and 1900, 30 million Black Americans were killed, mostly at the hand of their masters and that's just a low estimate. When our sacred Constitution was being signed 1/5 (or 20 percent) of the population of our new country was black, today that number is around 12 percent or 42 million, now think that through for a minute. So when President Lincoln spoke of millions yet to be born that he would help, somehow I don't think our behavior today is fitting toward his lofty goal. Although I think he would be proud that we broke the chain of white men being President with a black man, I think he would have a grin on his face if he could see that.

So finally, after trying to stop crying I gave up, stood and walked out only to see that others had been brought to tears too. My kids wanted to know why it affected me like this and we had a great conversation during the ride home which was just as important, if not more important as seeing the movie itself. So when the task of changing the impossible seems just that, impossible, remember the old phrase, "how does one care for a million kittens" and the answer is...........one kitten at a time. Never give up! Never stop trying and always move forward together!

But Hey! What do I know! I'm just a plumber!

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-Ed Harris- December 27, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Maryellen, I was going to post the same thing in my blog but thought it would be to much. Thank you for proving my point. This is exactly what Wal-Mart and others do. I'm sorry you are unfamiliar with the fact that slave ships were traded in long ago for buses from Mexico and sweat shops with no exits right here in America. I'm sorry you are unfamiliar with how the law continues to subject so many to no chance at the American dream and punishes citizens differently depending on where you live, what race or sex you are and locks you away because you don't have the proper means to defend yourself. Don't you just love that line from Scrooge, how does it go?......are their no prisons no workhouses? Just food for thought.
Joey Saltzburg December 27, 2012 at 09:26 PM
So I guess when my family members were at Auschwitz they were there for spa treatments? They were transported there against there will, held and made to work against their will and killed. Maryellen your idea of slavery is way off base. I make over $250,000 a year with a degree, my nephew makes over $500,000.00 a year and he only finished the 11th grade so no, education does not dictate low pay. Poor people can and do think too. Education is no excuse for treating someone poorly. Wal-Mart employees are treated like slaves and their products are made by slaves labor. Please stop making excuses for the horrid behavior of greedy corporations.
Dunedin Observer December 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
So now Walmart is slavery? I didn't realize people were forced to work there.. Everyone can't work for the government can they? Somehow profit and a capitalistic society really bothers the liberal folks who want everyone to win, live in the same type house, and all get the same paycheck. America was made greaT by competition. Let the government run things and we overpay for everything. Walmart is fine. If you don't like it, don;t work or shop there. It is called freedom of choice.
-Ed Harris- December 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I beg to differ with you Dunedin Observer, America was made great by individuals using their talents and working together to make this country great, case in point, "The Greatest Generation" was my grandfather's when the country set aside it's differences and helped win a world war. When we come together there is nothing we cannot accomplish but when we choose to push each other away there is nothing we will accomplish but discord. We are not conservatives or liberals we are Americans. The government is run by those we elect so we run the government. Our government at times needs to be large and at other times it needs to be small. Being American is far more important than being rich or turning a profit. Equality, in this context, does not mean having the same things and has nothing to do with material goods, but has everything to do with being American. I believe in America, and I always will. Freedom and equality are worthless without each other.
Janet Mixon April 07, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Mr. Harris: If you have not already done so, I would like to suggest a book for you to read entitled "Strange Fruit". It was written by Lillian Smith, an author from a small town in Florida, Jasper. The book was banned for about 30 years because of its content. Billie Holiday recorded the song, Strange Fruit, which won a Grammy Award, and in her later years it was said she became increasingly depressed and soulful. The Smith family originally owned the large cracker mansion across the street from the historic Methodist Church in Jasper. You, Mr. Harris are from a family of true capitalists. Your grandfather amassed his wealth through hard work and honesty and a belief in the American enterprise. My grandfather and grandmother were strong parental influences in their childrens' lives. I am a byproduct of their value system. Florida by birth; southern by the Grace of God! Happy reading. Till we meet again...Ciao


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