While listening to President Reagan give his reasons for not supporting sanctions against South Africa, I began to think of my great-great grandfather who was born a slave in Alabama nine years before the start of the Civil War.
I pictured in my mind the events surrounding President Abraham Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. What if Lincoln had decided that by issuing the proclamation it would greatly hurt the slaves because since they had never known freedom they would suffer because they could not take care of themselves in a free society. There was also the possibility that if he freed the slaves it could in some way give an advantage to the Confederates.
I'm sure Grandpa Marshall would have said to Lincoln, "To hell with your concerns for me, and to hell with the Confederates, give me liberty or give me death!"--or something like that.
As I sit here today a free man, a taxpayer, a registered voter and an important part of this great country, I am glad that Abraham Lincoln was President in 1863 and not Ronald Reagan.
GORDON E. MARBLE