Saturday, March 05, 2011

Lovecraft in Context

Lovecraft has been roundly criticized for his negative ethnic beliefs. As should we all.

However, we must continue to place hPL in context, and as a child of the Phillips family. HPL was born in 1890, and his family came from western Rhode Island. His grandfather, Whipple, once met Abraham Lincoln, and the entire family was staunchly Republican - as a time when Republicans were just beginning to be a party.

A new book clearly states Lincoln's early beliefs - sentiments that ran deep in many white families in the United States. This is not to take away any proactive or positive attributes of Lincoln, the Phillips family, or even Lovecraft. It is what it is, and people are products of our times. Beware throwing stones in a glass house. The news article states Lincoln spoke thusly:

"For the sake of your race, you should sacrifice something of your present comfort for the purpose of being as grand in that respect as the white people," Lincoln said, promoting his idea of colonization: resettling blacks in foreign countries on the belief that whites and blacks could not coexist in the same nation.

Lincoln went on to say that free blacks who envisioned a permanent life in the United States were being "selfish" and he promoted Central America as an ideal location "especially because of the similarity of climate with your native land — thus being suited to your physical condition."

As the nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's first inauguration Friday, a new book by a researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax makes the case that Lincoln was even more committed to colonizing blacks than previously known.

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