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No Man Can Own Another

Calhoun County Democrat Jim Wakefield wrote this article and it was published in the Anniston Star on May 1, 2022.

The latest letter to the editor on slavery was from the Confederate Heritage Fund president (The Anniston Sar, Opinion, April 23).

He cited President Lincoln's first inaugural address, where the president said that the Civil War was fought over taxes rather than slavery.

Friends of mine have argued that state's rights and/or Northern power grabs were the real reason for the war.

Lincoln was a politician and he had to drag his own northern Republican constituents along to keep the Southern states from secession. He went so far as to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves only in the Confederate states. Many Yankees also owned slaves.

Back then, the Constitution said "three fifths of all other persons" were counted when determining the allocation of representatives among the states. These three fifths of a person were slaves or indentured people. The planters got to have part of their slaves counted, but the slaves had no vote.

If you want to dismiss me as a carpetbagger, you must know that my Confederate ancestors are buried in at least three states. In Madison County, where my great grandfather is buried, his Confederate unit number is on the tombstone.

When I registered to vote in 1965, I had to take a literacy test. The ladies at the courthouse were friends of my parents. I knew I would pass no matter what my score was. At that time, there were less than 10 percent of black people allowed to vote in Alabama. This is the legacy of slavery.

The correct answer to the question, "What was the reason for the Civil War?" is NO MAN CAN OWN ANOTHER MAN.

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