It seems highly unnecessary for columnist Walter Williams to cherry-pick Abraham Lincoln's words to attempt to reduce the greatness of Lincoln's accomplishments. We have had presidents and other officials who have not measured up to Lincoln.
In his speeches, Lincoln was a politician; in his policies, he was a statesman. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves. He freed them in the states that were in rebellion; if he had freed them in the border states, he could easily have driven them into the Confederacy, making it harder to win the war.
The precedent was set and the rest of the slaves were freed later by amending the Constitution.
He issued the proclamation at the right time. It was a master stroke.
If we were to cherry-pick other columns by Mr. Williams, we could make the case he is not in favor of efforts to improve the condition of black people. If the condition of black people were improved, we would all live in a better world.