PRESIDENT Obama will not attend the ceremonies commemorating the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg.
The cemetery is the site of the graves of many of the 7,863 Americans on both sides who died in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1-3, 1863.
That 7,863 eclipses the number of Americans killed in Iraq.
But Gettysburg is most famous for a short speech Lincoln gave that schoolkids used to memorize because it best encapsulated the spirit of America for the first two centuries of constitutional government.
Teachers no longer teach the Gettysburg address.
Perhaps it is for the better because the "government of the people, by the people, for the people" that Lincoln praised seems to have perished from if not the face of the earth, then at least from our swath of the North American continent.
Bureaucrats and elitists from the top schools in America now run a federal government that is hundreds of times larger than the one Lincoln ran, even in wartime.
Lincoln also poses a problem for some black intellectuals because who wants to be beholden to a man of another race liberating them?
Was Moses really Jewish?
Lerone Bennett Jr. is among those African-Americans who challenge the notion that the Civil War was about ending slavery.
In so doing, he joins apologists for the Confederacy who also say it was about state rights.
Bennett wrote an article for Ebony entitled, "Was Abe Lincoln a White Supremacist?" which impressed and disturbed Henry Louis Gates Jr. when Gates was a high school student at Piedmont High School in West Virginia.
Gates is the professor at Harvard whose accomplishments are astounding but who unfortunately is best known for his confrontation with a police officer that led to Obama's infamous "acted stupidly" comment.
In an article that commemorated the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, Gates grappled with Lincoln's racial attitudes.
"So, was Lincoln a racist?" Gates wrote.
"He certainly embraced anti-black attitudes and phobias in his early years and throughout his debates with Douglas in the 1858 Senate race (the seat that would become Barack Obama's), which he lost.