Bigotry

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Crimes have all had their defenses and apologies. Prejudice of race and color has been equally upheld. The two best arguments in the defense are, first, the worthlessness of the class against which it is directed; and, second, that the feeling itself is entirely natural. The way to overcome the first argument is to work for the elevation of those deemed worthless, and thus make them worthy of regard, and they will soon become worthy and not worthless. As to the natural argument, it may be said that nature has many sides. Many things are in a certain sense natural, which are neither wise nor best. It is natural to walk, but shall men therefore refuse to ride? It is natural to ride on horseback, shall men therefore refuse steam and rail? ~ Frederick Douglass
Sections and races should be forgotten and partisanship should be unknown. Let our people find a new meaning in the divine oracle which declares that 'a little child shall lead them', for our own little children will soon control the destinies. ~ James A. Garfield
Regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character. ~ Calvin Coolidge
There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one... ~ Galatians 3:28
The points of human difference, great as they, upon first sight, seem, are as nothing compared with the points of human agreement. ~ Frederick Douglass
All races and varieties of men are improvable. This is the grand distinguishing attribute of humanity, and separates man from all other animals. If it could be shown that any particular race of men are literally incapable of improvement, we might hesitate to welcome them here. But no such men are anywhere to be found. ~ Frederick Douglass
We have to live on this earth together. We cannot do without each other. ~ Floy J. Anderson
I believe these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Do you believe it? If aye, let us go into the battle, and God speed the right. ~ George William Curtis
I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe to go the side of humanity. ~ Frederick Douglass
The white soul of my race naturally loves the man, of whatever race or color, who bravely fights and gloriously dies for equal rights, and instinctively loathes every man who, saved by the blood of such heroes, deems himself made of choicer clay. ~ George William Curtis
We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition. ~ George Washington
We have seen the mere distinction of color made, in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man. ~ James Madison
They must be either for or against us. Distrust them and you make them your enemies, place confidence in them, and you engage them by every dear and honorable tie to the interest of the country, who extends to them equal rights and privileges. ~ Andrew Jackson
Every bigot was once a child without prejudice. ~ Elliott Ashby
Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal. ~ Abraham Lincoln
Stop trying to turn a man into a thing because he happens to be black, and you'll stop our mouths at the same time. But while you keep at your work, be perfectly sure that we shall keep at ours. ~ George William Curtis
We do not have to examine history very far before we see whole countries that have been blighted, whole civilizations that have been shattered by a spirit of intolerance. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Liberty and toleration and equality of rights. This principle is in accordance with the fundamental law of the land... We know that every argument of right and reason requires such action. Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury. ~ Calvin Coolidge
The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum. ~ Mark Twain
I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? ~ Abraham Lincoln
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy. ~ Abraham Lincoln
Racism is an essential ingredient in the alchemy of empire, and always has been. ~ Justin Raimondo
There are bad people in this world who are motivated by hate. There are real people out there who are organized to kill people in religion and based on race. But, it's 2015. ~ Lindsey Graham
It is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Some people are ignorant, hateful, stupid assholes, and you can't fix stupid. We've managed to make it socially unacceptable, but there are always going to be idiots who hold unjustified racist attitudes towards others. Such is life. ~ Brad Matthews
I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
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
It would be unadvised to attempt to set up any one race above another, or one religion above another, or prescribe any on account of race, color or creed. ~ Frederick Douglass
Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. ~ Thomas Jefferson
There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. ~ Earl Warren

Bigotry is the characteristic of a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from their own.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZSee also

Quotes[edit]

Sorted alphabetically by author or source

A[edit]

  • A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side.
  • Preserving outdated terms for the sake of questionable continuity is a disservice to the nation.
  • The concept of race has become thoroughly, and perniciously, woven into the cultural and political fabric of the United States. It has become an essential element of both individual identity and government policy. Because so much harm has been based on 'racial' distinctions over the years, correctives for such harm must also acknowledge the impact of 'racial' consciousness among the U.S. populace, regardless of the fact that 'race' has no scientific justification in human biology. Eventually, however, these classifications must be transcended and replaced.
  • Negroes are American citizens. First class taxpayers, but so often treated as second class citizens, if there is such. In our hearts, we would like to know what it is that the white man has against the negro. What can we do to make peace with the white man? We have to live on this earth together. We cannot do without each other. We as a group, want your friendship, won't you accept?
  • Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
    • Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993), p. 12.

B[edit]

  • I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise.
  • Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less–-the soft bigotry of low expectations.
  • Any suggestion that a segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong. Recent comments by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals, and the founding ideals of our nation, and in fact the founding ideals of the political party I represent, was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American.
  • The exercise of rights is ennobled by service and mercy and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.

C[edit]

  • I know a good many people, I think, who are bigots, and who know they are bigots, and are sorry for it, but they dare not be anything else.
  • There is no tariff so injurious as that with which sectarian bigotry guards its commodities. It dwarfs the soul by shutting out truths from other continents of thought, and checks the circulation of its own.
  • The difference between de jure and de facto segregation is the difference between open, forthright bigotry and the shamefaced kind that works through unwritten agreements between real estate dealers, school officials, and local politicians.
  • Something in all human beings makes them want to do the right thing. Not that this desire always prevails; oftentimes it is overcome and they turn towards evil. But some power is constantly calling them back. Ever there comes a resistance to wrongdoing. When bad conditions begun to accumulate, when the forces of darkness become prevalent, always they are ultimately doomed to fail, as the better angels of human nature are roused to resistance.
  • If we are to have that harmony and tranquility, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character. The same principle that it is necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among our own people it is also necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among the different nations.
  • The generally expressed desire of 'America first' can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people.
  • We are situated differently in this respect from any other country. All the other great powers have a comparatively homogeneous population, close kindred in race and blood and speech, and commonly little divided in religious beliefs. Our great Nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief. If any of these different peoples fall into disfavor among us, there comes a quick reaction against the rest of us from the relatives and friends in their place of origin which affects the public sentiment of that country, even though it may not be actually expressed in the official actions of their Government. Such misunderstandings interfere with our friendly relations, are harmful to our trade, and retard the general progress of civilization. We all subscribe to the principle of religious liberty and toleration and equality of rights. This principle is in accordance with the fundamental law of the land. It is the very spirit of the American Constitution. We all recognize and admit that it ought to be put into practical operation. We know that every argument of right and reason requires such action. Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury. We do not have to examine history very far before we see whole countries that have been blighted, whole civilizations that have been shattered by a spirit of intolerance. They are destructive of order and progress at home and a danger to peace and good will abroad. No better example exists of toleration than that which is exhibited by those who wore the blue toward those who wore the gray. Our condition today is not merely that of one people under one flag, but of a thoroughly united people who have seen bitterness and enmity which once threatened to sever them pass away, and a spirit of kindness and good will reign over them all.
  • You say you are tired of the eternal Negro. Very well, stop trying to turn a man into a thing because he happens to be black, and you'll stop our mouths at the same time. But while you keep at your work, be perfectly sure that we shall keep at ours. If you are up at five o'clock, we shall be up at four. We shall agitate, agitate, agitate, until the Supreme Court, obeying the popular will, proclaims that all men have original equal rights which government did not give and cannot justly take away.
  • Such is the present aspect of the slavery question. For myself, I believe that the faith in which the government was founded still survives. I believe that the spirit of despotism which now says to the country, 'I will rule or ruin', will hear the imperial voice of the conscience of the American people, recognizing that justice and prosperity walk hand in hand, saying, 'You will do neither'. I believe that God did not hide this continent through all time as the spot whereon a nation should be planted upon the only principle that can render a nation as permanent as the race, to suffer the experiment to fail within a century. I believe these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Do you believe it? If aye, let us go into the battle, and God speed the right.
  • The 'Good Fight of Man' is the total overthrow of the spirit of caste. Luther fought it in the form of ecclesiastical despotism; our fathers fought it as political tyranny; we have hitherto encountered it entrenched in a system of personal slavery. But in all these forms it is the same old spirit of the denial of equal rights. Martin Luther, the monk, had exactly the same right to his religious faith that Giovanni de' Medici, the pope, had to his. Galileo had the same right to hold and teach his scientific theories that the Church doctors had to teach theirs. Patrick Henry, a British subject, had the same right to refuse to be taxed without representation that Lord North, another British subject, had. Robert Small, one of the American people, had exactly the same right to vote upon the same qualifications with other citizens that the President has or the Chief Justice of the United States. The Inquisition in Italy, aristocratic privilege in England, chattel slavery or unfair political exclusion in the United States, are only fruits ripened upon the tree of caste. Our swords have cut off some of the fruit, but the tree and its roots remain, and now that our swords are turned into plough-shares and our Dahlgrens and Parrotts into axes and hoes, our business is to take care that the tree and all its roots are thoroughly cut down and dug up, and burned utterly away in the great blaze of equal rights.
  • The spirit of caste, if naturally more malignant in a region where personal slavery has been abolished against the will of the dominant class, is not confined to it. We are apt to draw the line geographically, but it will not run so. They may be sad goats on the other side of the line, but we sheep may find an occasional speck in our virtuous wool.
  • The United States was made by men of all races and colors, not for white men, but for the refuge and defense of man. If it does not rest upon the natural rights of man, it rests nowhere. If it does not exist by the consent of governed then any exclusion is possible, and it is a shorter step from an exclusive white man's government to an exclusively rich white man's government, than it is from a system for mankind to one for white men. The spirit which excludes some men today because they are of a certain color, may exclude others tomorrow because they are of a certain poverty or a certain church or a certain birthplace. There is no safety, no guarantee, no security in a prejudice. If we build strong and long, we must build upon moral principle.
  • A white man's government? Not a government of intelligence, of justice, of virtue? Not a government by the consent of the governed, but a government of complexion? Where reason is skin deep? Who is a white man? Is a Spaniard? Is a Creole? Is an octoroon? Ohio says that a blood mixture of half-and-half will do for her. But if you have a qualification for the enjoyment of equal rights which vast numbers of our population cannot by nature satisfy, it is as if you made it depend upon a man's height or the color of his hair. You ask us to prefer a system of accidents to one of principles. You ask us to agree that a worthless, idle, drunken rascal, whose face might possibly be white if it could ever be washed clean enough, may be more safely trusted with political power, than an honest, intelligent, sober, industrious colored citizen.
  • A white man's government? Well, I am a white man, I believe. Will anybody undertake to teach me what are the antipathies and loathings of white men? What mean whites may or may not like is of small importance. But the generous soul of my race, which has led the van in the great march of liberty and civilization, and whose lofty path is marked by the broken chains of every form of slavery, has an instinctive hatred of injustice, of exclusive privilege, of arrogance, ignorance, and baseness, and an instinctive love of honor, magnanimity and justice. The white soul of my race naturally loves the man, of whatever race or color, who bravely fights and gloriously dies for equal rights, and instinctively loathes every man who, saved by the blood of such heroes, deems himself made of choicer clay. The spirit of caste asks us to believe the outraged race inferior. Inferior? Inferior in what? In sagacity? In fidelity? In nobility of soul? In the prime qualities of manhood? And who are asked to believe this? We? We, hot, panting, exhausted from a fight for our national life in a part of the country where every white face was probably that of an enemy, and every colored face was surely that of a friend. We are asked to say it — whose brothers and sons, escaping from horrible pens of torture and death hundreds of miles from our lines, made their way through swamps and forests, safe from hungry bloodhounds and fiercer men, back to our homes and hearts, only because the men whom in our triumphant fortune we are asked to betray, in our darkest hour of misfortune risked their lives to save ours.
  • Inferior race? Was it they who carved the skulls of our boys into drinking, cups and their bones into trinkets? Was it they who starved and froze our brothers into idiocy and madness at Andersonville and Belle-Isle ? Was it they who hunted our darlings with bloodhounds, or hung faithful Union men before the very eyes of their wives and children? Come! Come! Brothers of my race, whether at the north or south, these things which we all execrate and abhor were the work of men of our own color. Let us clasp hands in speechless shame, and confess that manhood in America is to be measured not by the color of the skin, but by the quality of the soul.
  • I know how subtle, elusive, apparently ineradicable, is the spirit of caste. But I remember that the English lords six centuries ago tore out the teeth of the Jew Isaac of York in the dungeon under the castle; and today he lives proudly in the castle, and the same lords come respectfully to his daughter's marriage, while the most brilliant Tory in the British Parliament proposes her health, and the Lord Chief Justice of England leads the hip-hip-hurrah at the wedding breakfast. Caste is very strong, but I remember that five years ago there were good men among us who said. If white hands can't win this fight let it be lost. I have seen the same men agreeing that black hands had even more at stake in it than we, giving them muskets, bidding them Godspeed in the Good Fight, and welcoming them with honor as they returned. Caste is very strong, but I remember that six years ago there was a Tennessee slave-holder, born in North Carolina, who had always acted with the slave interest, and was then earnestly endeavoring to elect John C. Breckenridge President of the United States.

D[edit]

  • Overnight the world looked different. It wasn't one color any more. I could see the protection I'd gotten all my life from my father and Will. I appreciated their loving hope that I'd never need to know about prejudice and hate, but they were wrong. It was as if I'd walked through a swinging door for eighteen years, a door which they had always secretly held open.
  • Repugnance to the presence and influence of foreigners is an ancient feeling among men. It is peculiar to no particular race or nation. It is met with, not only in the conduct of one nation towards another, but in the conduct of the inhabitants of the different parts of the same country, some times of the same city, and even of the same village. 'Lands intersected by a narrow frith abhor each other. Mountains interposed, make enemies of nations'. To the Greek, every man not speaking Greek is a barbarian. To the Jew, everyone not circumcised is a gentile. To the Mohametan, everyone not believing in the Prophet is a kaffer. I need not repeat here the multitude of reproachful epithets expressive of the same sentiment among ourselves. All who are not to the manor born have been made to feel the lash and sting of these reproachful names.
  • For this feeling there are many apologies, for there was never yet an error, however flagrant and hurtful, for which some plausible defense could not be framed. Chattel slavery, king craft, priest craft, pious frauds, intolerance, persecution, suicide, assassination, repudiation, and a thousand other errors and crimes have all had their defenses and apologies. Prejudice of race and color has been equally upheld. The two best arguments in the defense are, first, the worthlessness of the class against which it is directed; and, second, that the feeling itself is entirely natural. The way to overcome the first argument is to work for the elevation of those deemed worthless, and thus make them worthy of regard, and they will soon become worthy and not worthless. As to the natural argument, it may be said that nature has many sides. Many things are in a certain sense natural, which are neither wise nor best. It is natural to walk, but shall men therefore refuse to ride? It is natural to ride on horseback, shall men therefore refuse steam and rail? Civilization is itself a constant war upon some forces in nature, shall we therefore abandon civilization and go back to savage life? Nature has two voices, the one high, the other low; one is in sweet accord with reason and justice, and the other apparently at war with both. The more men know of the essential nature of things, and of the true relation of mankind, the freer they are from prejudice of every kind. The child is afraid of the giant form of his own shadow. This is natural, but he will part with his fears when he is older and wiser. So ignorance is full of prejudice, but it will disappear with enlightenment. But I pass on.
  • Is there not such a law or principle as that of self-preservation? Does not every race owe something to itself? Should it not attend to the dictates of common sense? Should not a superior race protect itself from contact with inferior ones? Are not the white people the owners of this continent? Have they not the right to say what kind of people shall be allowed to come here and settle? Is there not such a thing as being more generous than wise? In the effort to promote civilization may we not corrupt and destroy what we have? Is it best to take on board more passengers than the ship will carry? To all this and more I have one among many answers, altogether satisfactory to me, though I cannot promise it will be entirely so to you. I submit that this question of Chinese immigration should be settled upon higher principles than those of a cold and selfish expediency. There are such things in the world as human rights. They rest upon no conventional foundation, but are eternal, universal and indestructible. Among these is the right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is this great right that I assert for the Chinese and the Japanese, and for all other varieties of men equally with yourselves, now and forever. I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe to go the side of humanity. I have great respect for the blue-eyed and light-haired races of America. They are a mighty people. In any struggle for the good things of this world, they need have no fear, they have no need to doubt that they will get their full share. But I reject the arrogant and scornful theory by which they would limit migratory rights, or any other essential human rights, to themselves, and which would make them the owners of this great continent to the exclusion of all other races of men. I want a home here not only for the negro, the mulatto and the Latin races, but I want the Asiatic to find a home here in the United States, and feel at home here, both for his sake and for ours.
  • Chinese children are in American schools in San Francisco. None of our children are in Chinese schools, and probably never will be, though in some things they might well teach us valuable lessons. Contact with these yellow children of the Celestial Empire would convince us that the points of human difference, great as they, upon first sight, seem, are as nothing compared with the points of human agreement. Such contact would remove mountains of prejudice.
  • It would be unwise to be found fighting against ourselves and among ourselves, it would be unadvised to attempt to set up any one race above another, or one religion above another, or prescribe any on account of race, color or creed.
  • All great qualities are never found in any one man or in any one race. The whole of humanity, like the whole of everything else, is ever greater than a part. Men only know themselves by knowing others, and contact is essential to this knowledge.
  • Not the least among the arguments whose consideration should dispose us to welcome among us the peoples of all countries, nationalities and colors, is the fact that all races and varieties of men are improvable. This is the grand distinguishing attribute of humanity, and separates man from all other animals. If it could be shown that any particular race of men are literally incapable of improvement, we might hesitate to welcome them here. But no such men are anywhere to be found, and if they were, it is not likely that they would ever trouble us with their presence. The fact that the Chinese and other nations desire to come and do come is a proof of their capacity for improvement and of their fitness to come.
  • All races and varieties of men are improvable. This is the grand distinguishing attribute of humanity, and separates man from all other animals. If it could be shown that any particular race of men are literally incapable of improvement, we might hesitate to welcome them here. But no such men are anywhere to be found, and if they were, it is not likely that they would ever trouble us with their presence. The fact that the Chinese and other nations desire to come and do come is a proof of their capacity for improvement and of their fitness to come.
  • They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me...
    • Frederick Douglass, upon being forced to leave a train car due to his color, as quoted in Up from Slavery (1901), Ch. VI: "Black Race And Red Race, the penalty of telling the truth, of telling the simple truth, in answer to a series of strange questions", by Booker T. Washington.

E[edit]

  • A man may die by a fever as well as by consumption, and religion is as effectually destroyed by bigotry as by indifference.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, journal entry (20 June 1831); reported in the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1909), p. 386.

F[edit]

  • Vibrant human diversity is now commonplace in major cities throughout the world. Some celebrate such a mix of human diversity. Others deplore it, preferring that so-called races be separated both geographically and reproductively. Even today, some people retain the once-popular belief that the 'white' race is superior in intellect, health, and other attributes. Although far more people reject the notion of white supremacy today than in the past, its legacy remains, as evidenced by economic stratification, ongoing segregation, and classification by racial categories. Even among those who reject the supposed superiority of a particular ethnicity over any other, the perception of distinct, genetically determined human races often persists.
  • Show me the man who would go to heaven alone if he could, and in that man I will show you one who will never be admitted into heaven.
    • Owen Feltham, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers: A Cyclopædia of Quotations (1895) p. 535.

G[edit]

  • Sections and races should be forgotten and partisanship should be unknown. Let our people find a new meaning in the divine oracle which declares that 'a little child shall lead them', for our own little children will soon control the destinies of the Republic.
  • Corps, division, and post commanders will afford all facilities for the completion of the Negro regiments now organizing in this department. Commissioners will issue supplies, and quarter-masters will furnish stores, on the same requisitions and returns as are required for other troops. It is expected that all commanders will especially exert themselves in carrying out the policy of the Administration, not only in organizing colored regiments and rendering them efficient, but also in removing prejudices against them.
  • The copperheads of the north need not complain of them being placed on an equal footing with the white soldiers, since the white soldier himself does not complain. After a man has fought two years, he is willing that any thing shall fight for the purpose of ending the war. We have become too familiar with hardships to refuse to see men fight merely because their color is black.

H[edit]

  • From Greenland's icy mountains,
    From India's coral strand,
    Where Afric's sunny fountains
    Roll down their golden sand;
    From many an ancient river,
    From many a palmy plain,
    They call us to deliver
    Their land from error's chain.
  • τήν τε οἴησιν ἱερὰν νόσον ἔλεγε καὶ τὴν ὅρασιν ψεύδεσθαι. (Original: Greek)
  • κύνες γὰρ καὶ βαΰζουσιν ὃν, ἂν µὴ γινώσκωσι. (Original: Greek)
  • I made a comparison at table some time since, which has often been quoted, and received many compliments. It was that of the mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858) p. 128.
    • Note: This quote is frequently attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who did use it from time to time, but was not its author.

J[edit]

  • They must be either for or against us. Distrust them and you make them your enemies, place confidence in them, and you engage them by every dear and honorable tie to the interest of the country, who extends to them equal rights and privileges.
  • Oh, do not cry. Be good children, and we shall all meet in Heaven … I want to meet you all, white and black, in Heaven.
    • Andrew Jackson, last recorded words, to his grand-children and his servants, as quoted in The National Preacher (1845) by Austin Dickinson, p. 192.
  • Knowing that religion does not furnish grosser bigots than law, I expect little from old judges.
  • Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both.
  • In these times as in times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of faction, of party, of region, of religion, of race, is a house that cannot stand.

K[edit]

  • Racial segregation must be seen for what it is, and that is an evil system, a new form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity.
  • Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.

L[edit]

  • 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.
  • You enquire where I now stand. That is a disputed point. I think I am a whig; but others say there are no whigs, and that I am an abolitionist. When I was at Washington I voted for the Wilmot Proviso as good as forty times, and I never heard of any one attempting to unwhig me for that. I now do more than oppose the extension of slavery.
    I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].
    • Abraham Lincoln, letter to longtime friend and slave-holder Joshua F. Speed, Esq., (24 August 1855).
  • Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.
  • My friend has said to me that I am a poor hand to quote Scripture. I will try it again, however. It is said in one of the admonitions of our Lord, "As your Father in Heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect." The Saviour, I suppose, did not expect that any human creature could be perfect as the Father in Heaven; but He said, "As your Father in Heaven is perfect, be ye also perfect." He set that up as a standard; and he who did most toward reaching that standard, attained the highest degree of moral perfection. So I say in relation to the principle that all men are created equal, let it be as nearly reached as we can. If we cannot give freedom to every creature, let us do nothing that will impose slavery upon any other creature. Let us then turn this Government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it. Let us stand firmly by each other. If we do not do so we are turning in the contrary direction, that our friend Judge Douglas proposes — not intentionally — as working in the traces tend to make this one universal slave nation. He is one that runs in that direction, and as such I resist him. My friends, I have detained you about as long as I desired to do, and I have only to say, let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man; this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position; discarding our standard that we have left us. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal. My friends, I could not, without launching off upon some new topic, which would detain you too long, continue to-night. I thank you for this most extensive audience that you have furnished me to-night. I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.

M[edit]

  • The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me, for it is your duty to tolerate truth; but when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you, for it is my duty to persecute error.
  • Some people are ignorant, hateful, stupid assholes, and you can't fix stupid. We've managed to make it socially unacceptable, but there are always going to be idiots who hold unjustified racist attitudes towards others. Such is life.
  • Gun control has always been racist and discriminatory. The ultimate objective of gun control is to control an unarmed people by an armed oppressor.

P[edit]

  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • All seems Infected that th' Infected spy,
    As all looks yellow to the Jaundic'd Eye.

R[edit]

  • Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.  It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry.  Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
    • Ayn Rand, "Racism", The Virtue of Selfishness (1964).
Racism claims that the content of a man's mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man's convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical forces beyond his control.  This is the caveman's version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science.  Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes.  It is a barnyard or stock-farm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.[1]
    • Ayn Rand, "Racism", The Virtue of Selfishness (1964).
  • The Republican Party reaffirms its support of the pluralism and freedom that have been part and parcel of this great country. In so doing, it repudiates and completely disassociates itself from people, organizations, publications, and entities which promulgate the practice of any form of bigotry, racism, antisemitism, or religious intolerance.
  • Since its inception, the Republican Party has stood for the worth of every person. On that ground, we support the pluralism and diversity that have been part of our country's greatness. Deep in our hearts, we do believe that bigotry has no place in American life. We denounce those persons, organizations, publications, and movements which practice or promote racism, antisemitism or religious intolerance.
  • The protection of individual rights is the foundation for opportunity and security. The Republican Party is unique in this regard. Since its inception, it has respected every person, even when that proposition was not universally popular. Today, as in the day of Lincoln, we insist that no American's rights are negotiable. That is why we declare that bigotry and prejudice have no place in American life. We denounce all who practice or promote racism, antisemitism, or religious intolerance.
  • We are the party of individual Americans, whose rights we protect and defend as the foundation for opportunity and security for all. Today, as at our founding in the day of Lincoln, we insist no one's rights are negotiable. As we strive to forge a national consensus on the divisive issues of our time, we call on all Republicans and all Americans to reject the forces of hatred and bigotry. Accordingly, we denounce all who practice or promote racism, antisemitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance.
  • Equality of individuals before the law has always been a cornerstone of our party. We therefore oppose discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and will vigorously enforce anti-discrimination statutes. As we strive to forge a national consensus on the crucial issues of our time, we call on all Americans to reject the forces of hatred and bigotry. Accordingly, we denounce all who practice or promote racism, antisemitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance. Our country was founded in faith and upon the truth that self-government is rooted.
  • Individual rights, and the responsibilities that go with them, are the foundation of a free society. From the time of Lincoln, equality of individuals has been a cornerstone of the Republican Party. Our commitment to equal opportunity extends from landmark school-choice legislation for the students of Washington, D.C. to historic appointments at the highest levels of government. We consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin to be immoral, and we will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes. We ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, antisemitism, ethnic prejudice, or religious intolerance. As a matter of principle, Republicans oppose any attempts to create race-based governments within the United States, as well as any domestic governments not bound by the constitution or the Bill of Rights. Precisely because we oppose discrimination, we reject preferences, quotas, and set-asides, whether in education or in corporate boardrooms. The government should not make contracts on this basis, and neither should corporations.
  • All Americans stand equal before the law. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity. In the spirit of the constitution, we consider discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, creed, disability, or national origin unacceptable and immoral. We will strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes and ask all to join us in rejecting the forces of hatred and bigotry and in denouncing all who practice or promote racism, antisemitism, ethnic prejudice, or religious intolerance.
  • The idea that a culture can preserve its originality by barricading itself against foreign influences is an old illusion that has always produced the opposite of the desired result. Isolation breeds sterility. It is the free circulation of cultural products and talents that allows each society to perpetuate and renew itself.
  • We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions—bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality. Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities. Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another, seeks to destroy all religion.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaign address, Brooklyn, New York (November 1, 1940); The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940 (1941), p. 53.
  • I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope — the door of opportunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong.
  • There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing.
  • It is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
  • The only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted in Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (2008), by Gail Bederman, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 198.

S[edit]

  • It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.
    • Rod Serling, Commencement Address at the University of Southern California; March 17, 1970

T[edit]

  • Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand
    With a grip that kills it.
  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
    • Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad (1869), Ch. LXII (Conclusion).
  • No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum, there as well as elsewhere in America.
  • I have no race prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.
    • Mark Twain, Concerning the Jews (September 1899), Harper's Magazine.

W[edit]

  • I have learned what suffering means. In a way that was impossible, I think I can understand something of the pain black people have come to endure. I know I contributed to that pain, and I can only ask your forgiveness.
    • George Wallace, address to the Montgomery Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (1979), as quoted in "George Wallace – From the Heart" (17 March 1995), The Washington Post.
  • I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over.
    • George Wallace, speech (1979), as quoted in Government in America: people, politics, and policy (2009), by George C. Edwards, Pearson Education, p. 80.
  • There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.
  • The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
    May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.
    • George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island (1790).
  • We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, and in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining & holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.
  • Racist consider themselves superior beings and are not willing to exchange their superior lives for our inferior ones. They are most vicious and violent when they can practice violence with impunity.
  • The church has stood, a rock colossus of bigotry, in the path of ten thousand proposed reforms. Sane efforts to legalize birth control information, the manufacture of proper birth control appliances, appliances for the inhibition of the spread of venereal disease, public instruction in sex hygiene, free clinics for the treatment of venereal disease, the inspection and treatment of prostitutes, controlled prostitution itself, the publication of psychological and physical sex information, aid for unwed mothers—myriad attempts by sane men acting sanely on real problems—have been fought down by church-frightened legislatures and church-dominated courts.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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