On MLK Day, it might be a good time to point out how Time magazine likes comparing President Obama to Lincoln and Harry Truman on racial matters. Near the front of the January 18 magazine, a “Brief History” article by Maya Rhodan explained Obama would take executive action to “combat gun violence, sidestepping a Congress that has thwarted his legislative attempts.” Then she compared it to “how similar situations played out in the past.”
That included not only Obama’s executive action on amnesty, but Abe Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Harry Truman desegregating the military:
IMMIGRATION REFORM After Congress failed to pass a comprehensive bill, Obama directed his Administration tin 2014 to grant temporary legal status and work permits to over 4 million undocumented immigrants who are the parents of legal residents.
Status: stalled. A judge issued an injunction on the order while most Republican-led states challenge it in court.
MILITARY DESEGREGATION After Southern Senators threatened to filibuster related bills, President Harry Truman on July 26, 1948, signed Executive Order 9981, which banned segregation in the U.S. armed forces.
Status: successful. Although the military initially resisted the change, it was mostly integrated by the end of the Korean War.
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY In direct defiance of the Confederate States, President Lincoln issued an order on Jan. 1, 1863, that emancipated slaves in the rebel territories and allowed blacks to serve alongside Union forces.
Status: successful. The move served as a prequel to eventual abolishment of slavery in the U.S.