Race

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Race is a grouping of animals within a species, particularly humans, on the basis of heredity and stereotyped physical traits. Among humans race is often used as a basis for participation in or exclusion from social activities. The construction of racial groupings varies by culture and time, and is often influenced by political considerations.

Sourced[edit]

  • If somebody told me I only had an hour to live, I'd spend it choking a white man. I'd do it nice and slow.… The only white people I don't like are the prejudiced white people. Those the shoe don't fit, well, they don't wear it.
  • At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world.
  • For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
    • Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?", address delivered in Rochester, New York (July 5, 1852); in John W. Blassingame, ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers series 1, vol. 2 (1982), p. 371.
  • If you do not understand white supremacy (racism)—what it is and how it works—everything else you know will only confuse you.
    • Neely Fuller, Jr. in The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept (1984).
  • Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them.
    • Thomas Jefferson, "Autobiography", in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1 (1903), p. 72–73.
  • If you're a real American—that is, an American Indian—you're lucky to be alive. For whether he really believed it or not, the white man has acted on the principle that "The only good Indian is a dead one". This was certainly one of the foundation stones upon which the white European invaders of North America and their descendants established and built the republic of the U.S.A.
  • Most of the American laws defining race are not to be compared with those once enforced by Nazi Germany, the latter being relatively more liberal. In the view of the Nazis, persons having less than one fourth Jewish blood could qualify as Aryans, whereas many of the American laws specify that persons having one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or any ascertainable" Negro blood are Negroes in the eyes of the law and subject to all restrictions governing the conduct of Negroes.
  • I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream — a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.
    • Martin Luther King (11 May 1959), "Address at the Religious Leaders Conference"; Washington, D.C.
  • You have to look beyond race because as a human being you have to experience the person from the inside first.
    • Henrik Larsson, as quoted by Neil McLeman (2002-10-11) "Larsson: I Was Victim of Racists in Sweden" The Mirror (London).
  • The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it — whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.
    • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Pt. 2, ch. 23.
  • I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
  • [I]t would be a great mistake to look upon racism as an irrational doctrine: racism is not a doctrine of irrationalism, it is the very surging up of irrationalism as an elemental force, getting rid of all doctrine, truth and rational structure.
    • Jacques Maritain (1939), The Twilight of Civilization (La crépuscule de la civilisation), translated by Lionel Landry. London: Sheed & Ward, 1946, p. 21.
  • You guys have been practicing discrimination for years. Now it is our turn.
  • The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of "benign neglect". The subject has been too much talked about. The forum has been too much taken over to hysterics, paranoids, and boodlers on all sides. We may need a period in which Negro progress continues and racial rhetoric fades. The administration can help bring this about by paying close attention to such progress—as we are doing—while seeking to avoid situations in which extremists of either race are given opportunities for martyrdom, heroics, histrionics or whatever.
    • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, memorandum to President Nixon on the status of Negroes, as reported in The Evening Star, Washington, D.C. (March 2, 1970), p. A–5.
  • I don't care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.… This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be.
    • Ray Nagin (15 January 2006), speech commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.
  • I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.
    • Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country (1960), p. 40.
  • Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.
  • Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.
  • I need say hardly anything in favor of the Intellects of the Negroes, or of their capacities for virtue and happiness, although these have been supposed by some to be inferior to those of the inhabitants of Europe. The accounts which travelers give of their ingenuity, humanity and strong attachments to their parents, relations, friends and country, show us that they are equal to the Europeans.… All the vices which are charged upon the Negroes in the southern colonies, and the West Indies, such as Idleness, Treachery, Theft and the like, are the genuine offspring of slavery, and serve as an argument to prove, that they were not intended, by Providence, for it.
  • Yeah, it was wise. I mean, if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?… White people, this government and that mayor were well aware of the fact that black people were dying every day in Los Angeles under gang violence. So if you're a gang member and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person? Do you think that somebody thinks that white people are better, are above and beyond dying, when they would kill their own kind?
    • Sister Souljah, remarks to Washington Post reporter David Mills (April 1992) on the wisdom of black-on-white violence during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
  • There’s no genetic basis for any kind of rigid ethnic or racial classification. . . I’m always asked is there Greek DNA or an Italian gene, but, of course, there isn’t. . . . We’re very closely related.
  • Among these widely differing families of men, the first that attracts attention, the superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment, is the white, or European, the MAN pre-eminently so called, below him appear the Negro and the Indian.
  • The most formidable of all the ills that threaten the future of the Union arises from the presence of a black population upon its territory; and in contemplating the cause of the present embarrassments, or the future dangers of the United States, the observer is invariably led to this as a primary fact.
  • You may set the Negro free, but you cannot make him otherwise than an alien to the European. Nor is this all we scarcely acknowledge the common features of humanity in this stranger whom slavery has brought among us. His physiognomy is to our eyes hideous, his understanding weak, his tastes low; and we are almost inclined to look upon him as a being intermediate between man and the brutes.
  • Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare.
    • Mark Twain (1899), Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World.
  • The authority of science … promotes and encourages the activity of observing, comparing, measuring and ordering the physical characteristics of human bodies.… Cartesian epistemology and classical ideals produced forms of rationality, scientificity and objectivity that, though efficacious in the quest for truth and knowledge, prohibited the intelligibility and legitimacy of black equality…. In fact, to "think" such an idea was to be deemed irrational, barbaric or mad.
  • If you know the history of the whole concept of whiteness—if you know the history of the whole concept of the white race, where it came from and for what reason—you know that it was a trick, and it’s worked brilliantly. You see, prior to the mid to late 1600s, in the colonies of what would become the United States, there was no such thing as the white race. Those of us of European descent did not refer to ourselves by that term really ever before then.

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