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A False Headline About Free Tuition

Q: Is Western Kentucky University offering free tuition to black students because of slavery?

A: No. The school does not plan to adopt a resolution passed by the Student Government Association demanding “full and free access” for black students.

Playing the Race Card in Louisiana

A radio ad attacks Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy for endorsing “a documentary which claims slavery was better for black folks than welfare.” But the film didn’t make such a claim.

A Historian’s Perspective on Gingrich & Lincoln

Newt Gingrich wrongly claimed the Dred Scott decision “ruled that slavery extended to the whole country.” It did not. The ruling stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery in new territories, but it stopped short of applying the ruling to all states. Gingrich also claimed that President Lincoln “explicitly instructed his administration to not enforce Dred Scott.” But the research historian at the Lincoln presidential library knows of no such directive or any reason to issue one.

Slavery Reparations?

Q: Would a bill in Congress require looking into possible reparations for slavery?
A: Such a bill exists but President Obama has nothing to do with it, contrary to what a chain e-mail implies.

Presidents Who Owned Slaves

Q: Who was the last U.S. president to own slaves?
A: Zachary Taylor owned slaves while in office. U.S. Grant owned a slave he freed in 1859, long before becoming president.