By Brian R. Dirck
Writing on the forefront of "whiteness studies," Brian Dirck considers Lincoln as a standard American white guy of his time who bore the a number of assumptions, prejudices, and boundaries of his personal racial identification. He exhibits us a Lincoln much less prepared or in a position to go beyond these boundaries than his extra heroic personality may possibly recommend but additionally contends that Lincoln's realizing and method of racial bigotry used to be extra enlightened than these of so much of his white contemporaries.
Blazing a brand new path in Lincoln experiences, Dirck finds that Lincoln was once good conscious of and sympathetic to white fears, specifically that of descending into "white trash," a idea that gnawed at a guy wanting to distance himself from his personal coarse origins. yet he additionally exhibits that once Lincoln crossed the Rubicon of black emancipation, he endured to develop past such cultural constraints, as noticeable in his seven recorded encounters with nonwhites.
Dirck probes extra deeply into what "white" intended in Lincoln's time and what it intended to Lincoln himself, and from this attitude he proposes a brand new realizing of ways Lincoln seen whiteness as a special racial type that stimulated his regulations. As Dirck ably demonstrates, Lincoln rose a long way adequate above the confines of his tradition to complete deeds nonetheless priceless of our admiration, and he demands a extra severely proficient admiration of Lincoln that permits us to have fun his substantial accomplishments whereas at the same time spotting his boundaries.
When Douglass saw that Lincoln used to be the white man's president, he would possibly not have meant it as a significant analytical class. yet, as Dirck indicates, maybe we must always do so—the greater to appreciate not only the Lincoln presidency, however the guy himself.
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