Skip to main content

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education

Share
Opinion

Nikki Haley had it right on slavery, Civil War

Share

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education

Share

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently made some contentious public comments on the causes of the U.S. Civil War — without mentioning slavery. While Haley’s critics are quick to accuse her of whitewashing the war, her supporters say her comments speak to something even deeper than the issue of slavery.

Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker thinks that Nikki Haley had it right. And as far as the slavery issue goes, Parker adds, the fight against slavery was always more fundamentally a fight for the ideal of freedom upon which our nation was founded.

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley has been fending off some flak pertaining to a response she gave to a question at a campaign event in New Hampshire. The question was about the cause of the Civil War.

Haley’s alleged great error was to say that the Civil War was about freedom. She didn’t say it was about slavery. Uh-oh.

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically about how government was going to run — the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.” That’s what she said.

After the barrage of attacks that came because of her omission of the word “slavery,” Haley subsequently qualified her remarks to say the Civil War was “of course about slavery,” but then she added the “bigger issue” was determining the role of government in people’s lives.

As someone who authored a book entitled “Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It” — yeah, that’s me — and whose ancestors were slaves — yeah, that’s me — I must say I believe Haley was exactly right in her first response.

Presidential candidate Nikki Hale has been fending off some flak pertaining to her response to a question at a campaign event in New Hampshire about the cause of the Civil War.

 

Haley’s alleged great error was to say that the Civil War was about freedom and not mention slavery.

 

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically about how government was going to run – the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do…” said Haley.

 

After the barrage of attacks that came because of her omission of mentioning “slavery”, Haley subsequently qualified her remarks to say the Civil War was “of course about slavery”, but added the “bigger issue” was determining the role of government in people’s lives.

 

As someone who authored a book entitled “Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It”, and whose ancestors were slaves, I must say I believe Haley was exactly right in her first response.

 

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Abraham Lincoln said it in his historic address in November 1863 at the bloody battlefield of Gettysburg:

 

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure…”

 

Sounds like the bigger story surrounding the question of slavery to me.

 

Haley seems to be in good company when she went straight to the bottom line although others expected her to first state the obvious.

 

So, while her opponents are hammering her first response to be a political no-no with some even opining that in today’s environment of political correctness and identity politics this should cost her votes, let’s keep in mind the conclusion of the Lincoln address at Gettysburg:

 

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Look. As human beings, we struggle always with good and evil. Thus our fight against evil is won by struggling for the good.

 

Our fight against slavery was about struggling to realize the freedom that defines our great nation.

 

Thank you, Nikki Haley, for getting it right to point us towards the bigger truth regarding the civil war: The importance of moral clarity and a limited government to insure freedom for all.

 

More from Star Parker

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion