LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Stop, look and listen

Stop, Look and Listen


R. M. Wanamaker, Superior Court Judge of Ohio wrote a book titled The Voice of Lincoln. The book was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons and copyrighted in 1918. The book contains many writings and speeches by Abraham Lincoln. As I look at what is taking place in our Nation, I wondered what Lincoln would have to say about it. He had a lot to say about the government and the rule of law. What we have taking place in some areas of this nation is a form of mob violence. Sure-people want to clean it up by calling it gang violence. A mob and a gang are one in the same. Both have little regard for the rule of law.

In his writings, Lincoln was speaking of a form of lawbreakers no longer prevalent in these United States. However, the gangs that exist in our nation use the same tactics used years ago-intimidation and violence.  Turn your TV or radio to any station and the news will usually contain one or more stories of mob/gang actions in this country.

On the subject of mob violence, Lincoln coined the following: “I hope I am not over wary; but if I am not there is even something of ill omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country-the growing  disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times….whatever then their cause may be, it is common to the whole country.

Lincoln went on to talk about how much patient Americans have with their government, but stated that if people begin to feel that laws designed to make people feel safe and their property secure are continually disregarded and despised,  the alienation of affection of people towards the government is the natural consequence, and sooner or later it must come.

Lincoln solution for fixing the problem was straightforward. He coined the following: “Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be written in primers, spelling books and almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and young, the rich and poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its alters.”

Somewhere, somehow, and someway we, as a nation have lost our moral compass that guides us. The compass that guides us towards right thinking, right action and justice has been buried in our past along with other guide post that keeps us morally grounded and seeking the right things and getting them the right way-honestly.

The actions of our young men are extremely distressing.  The gang/mob mentality has overtaken entirely too many of them. One wonders if they will ever change. People are talking about arming themselves against our youngsters-our own children. How in the world did we get to this? It is time we woke up and stopped what we are doing, listen what is being, said and take a hard look at what is happening to our children, homes, communities and this nation.



April 16, 2008 - Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Uncategorized

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