This is a quote from a debate with Steven Douglas pre-election of 1860. This is important because at the time, Lincoln was being criticized for being a “negro-lover” and pro-abolitionist. His stance on having equal rights was way more vocal on a private level, as evidenced by his private letters and personal journal writings.
His condemnation of abolition was unnecessary for political gain. Perhaps that’s unethical, but Fredrick Douglass was not going to be elected President. The majority of the country was not progressively ready for the kind of things Lincoln might have personally believed it. Like when Obama was elected with Gay Marriage, he had to tone down his personal views.
Also important the part of this quote left unwarranted: “ I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone”
Later he added to this quote by saying (in reference to it): :intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal — equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness … They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all: constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even, though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people, of all colors, every where.”
Lincoln, with all his massive political faults, was a great man.
Hell yeah johnny, tell it like it is.