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There’s a story that Abraham Lincoln went to a slave market one time, and was moved with compassion to place a bid on a young black girl. He won the bid and walked away with his “property.” There was a sullen, angry expression on the girl’s face, because she knew that here was another white man who had bought her and would abuse her. As they walked away from the slave block, however, Lincoln told the girl, “You are free.” “What does that mean?” she demanded. “It means, you are free.” “Does that mean that I can be what I want to be?” “Yes--you can be whatever you want to be.” “Does that mean that I can say what I want to say?” “Yes--you can say whatever you want to say.” “Does that mean that I can go where I want to go?” “Yes--you can go wherever you want to go.” “Then ...” said the girl, “... I’ll go with you.”

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