“Reconstruction and Saving Democracy”

After the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln hoped to bind the nation’s wounds. “Let ‘em up easy,” he told the Union Army, trying to discourage retribution. But following the President’s assassination, the federal government, in alliance with formerly enslaved people, radically reconstructed the South, enfranchising and electing Black Americans. Then Congress lost interest in reconstruction, and democracy fell prey to unapologetic Southerners who created apartheid in America and a myth to justify it. Hugh will examine parallels between the counter-reconstruction of the late 19th century and the racist backlash over the Presidency of Barack Obama, as well as how false narratives about the 2020 election outraged extremists who rioted at the Capitol.

Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU).  Hugh taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership.  In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the AEU in 2010.

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