Many admire his music, more so probably today than when he was alive. If you follow his songs chronologicaly you can almost feel his life. Many of his early compositions deal with a happy quality of life and as he became older you can see the decline in his life by what he writes. His life was also the life of many others during those turbulent years in our history, therefore making his songs a sort of musical insight into the mid-nineteenth century. Yes, by today's standards they may be (and are) considered racist by some, but we must keep in mind that at the time he penned these thoughts there was a different style of life. We have to some degree overcome a lot of those mistakes, and we still have a long way to go, in my estimation, but if we continue to let every hack with an editing pencil rewrite our history and sweep the unsavory parts under the rug, what will prevent similar mistakes in the future? 'History books are wtitten by the victors', I've heard said and we have their slanted view, but music such as Foster's songs tell a much better story than any text ever could. We owe him and other composers of the time a great deal for writing as they did. Thank heaven all these idiot PC hawkers weren't around then!
(soapbox back in the corner)