Black lives matter. It must have been true for the over 2 million Union troops who fought in the Civil War to free the slaves. It must have been true for those who ran the Underground Railroad to free the slaves.

In 1860 there were 4 million men, women and children enslaved. By the end of the war, between 620,000 and 750,000 brave souls had lost their lives fighting for their cause.

It took a Republican president, Abe Lincoln, against fierce opposition from the Democratic Party, to gain enough support to end slavery, thus ending the war. To Abe, black lives mattered.

As slavery ended, Southern Democrats began segregation. It took another Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, to use his federal powers to begin to break the shackles of Southern segregation. To Dwight, black lives mattered – or was this just a flame that flickered and died out?

Strangely, the party of choice for the Ku Klux Klan was the Democratic Party. But it is now also the party of choice for black voters in the U.S.

Because of the baggage in the Democratic Party, I long ago became unaffiliated or independent. To me, a party affiliation is just another means of political enslavement.

Let’s ensure that all lives matter – and when at a cemetery, please thank Civil War veterans for their sacrifice.

Art Sears

Portland