The Persistent Question of Race

Sunday, June 21, 2015 – The Persistent Question of Race

If I can send the flower of the German nation into the hell of war without the smallest pity for the shedding of precious German blood, then surely I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin. ~ Adolf Hitler

The difference of race is one of the reasons why I fear war may always exist; because race implies difference, difference implies superiority, and superiority leads to predominance. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it. ~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

It seems like such a terrible shame that innocent civilians have to get hurt in wars; otherwise combat would be such a wonderfully healthy way to rid the human race of unneeded trash. ~ Fred Woodworth

God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation. ~ John Calvin

Nature has color-coded groups of individuals so that statistically reliable predictions of their adaptability to intellectually rewarding and effective lives can easily be made and profitably be used by the pragmatic man in the street. ~ William Shockley

If this humor be the safety of our race, then it is due largely to the infusion into the American people of the Irish brain. ~ William Howard Taft

The time given to athletic contests and the injuries incurred on the playing field are part of the price which the English-speaking race has paid for being world conquerors. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge

Western civilization, Christianity and decency are struggling for their very lives. In this worldwide civil war, race prejudice is our most dangerous enemy, for it is a disease at the very root of our democratic life. ~ Mordecai Wyatt Johnson

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. ~ Charles Darwin

Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature. ~ Orson Welles

To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow. ~ William Faulkner

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. ~ Elie Wiesel

The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age. ~ W. H. Auden

It occurred to me that there was no difference between men, in intelligence or race, so profound as the difference between the sick and the well. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine. ~ Dick Gregory

I never thought much about race. ~ Thelonious Monk

To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships. ~ W. E. B. Du Bois

The way I was taught, being black was a plus, always. Being a human being, being in America, and being black, all three were the greatest things that could happen to you. The combination was unbeatable. ~ Leontyne Price

I look at an ant and I see myself: a native South African, endowed by nature with a strength much greater than my size so I might cope with the weight of a racism that crushes my spirit. ~ Miriam Makeba

I’m not trying to say that it never hurt or that I never felt its sting, but I can honestly say that I never blamed anybody for racism. I have considered it more of a manifestation of humanity’s problem rather than my personal problem. ~ Robert Guillaume

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon. ~ George Aiken

Emancipation came to the colored race in America as a war measure. It was an act of military necessity. Manifestly it would have come without war, in the slower process of humanitarian reform and social enlightenment. ~ Wendell Willkie

I have one criticism about the Negro troops who fought under my command in the Korean War. They didn’t send me enough of them. ~ Douglas MacArthur

I got nothing against no Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger. ~ Muhammad Ali, 1967

Everybody’s scared for their ass. There aren’t too many people ready to die for racism. They’ll kill for racism but they won’t die for racism. ~ Florynce R. Kennedy

But you know, my dad called me the laziest white kid he ever met. When I screamed back at him that he was putting down a race of people to call me lazy, his answer was that’s not what he was doing, and that I was also the dumbest white kid he ever met. ~ Norman Lear

I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white man would be coming into my neighborhood after dark. ~ Dick Gregory

If you wish to make a man look noble, your best course is to kill him. What superiority he may have inherited from his race, what superiority nature may have personally gifted him with, comes out in death. ~ Alexander Smith

At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being. ~ Friedrich Otto Hertz

Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. ~ Dennis Leary

Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate. ~ James Baldwin

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men. ~ Alice Walker

Yeah, I love being famous. It’s almost like being white, y’know? ~ Chris Rock

I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don’t know why I should be asked to explain your life to you. We have splendid writers to do that, but I am not one of them. It is that business of being universal, a word hopelessly stripped of meaning for me. Faulkner wrote what I suppose could be called regional literature and had it published all over the world. That’s what I wish to do. If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water. Behind this question is the suggestion that to write for black people is somehow to diminish the writing. From my perspective there are only black people. When I say ‘people,’ that’s what I mean. ~ Toni Morrison

Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps. ~ Tiger Woods

Okay listen, you think I’m so inconsequential? Then try this on for size. All those who see unworthiness when they look at me and are given thereby to denying me value – to you I say, I’m not talking about being AS GOOD as you. I hereby declare myself BETTER than you. ~ Sidney Poitier, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

I am pleased God made my skin black. I only wish He had made it thicker. ~ Curt Flood

The darkest secret of this country, I am afraid, is that too many of its citizens imagine that they belong to a much higher civilization somewhere else. That higher civilization doesn’t have to be another country. It can be the past instead – the United States as it was before it was spoiled by immigrants and the enfranchisement of the blacks. This state of mind allows too many of us to lie and cheat and steal from the rest of us, to sell us junk and addictive poisons and corrupting entertainments. What are the rest of us, after all, but sub-human aborigines? ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

I think you should know that real-life white people are not all as funny as the ones on Seinfeld. ~ Aaron McGruder

The greatest miracle Christianity has achieved in America is that the black man in white Christian hands has not grown violent. It is a miracle that 22 million black people have not risen up against their oppressors – in which they would have been justified by all moral criteria, and even by the democratic tradition! It is a miracle that a nation of black people has so fervently continued to believe in a turn-the-other-cheek and heaven-for-you-after-you-die philosophy! It is a miracle that the American black people have remained a peaceful people, while catching all the centuries of hell that they have caught, here in white man’s heaven! The miracle is that the white man’s puppet Negro ‘leaders’, his preachers and the educated Negroes laden with degrees, and others who have been allowed to wax fat off their black poor brothers, have been able to hold the black masses quiet until now. ~ Malcolm X

Never to have to think of yourself as white is a luxury that makes you deeply stupid. ~ Leonard Michaels

In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate. ~ Toni Morrison

Despite what some people have said, President Bush did not want black people to die in New Orleans. However, he did hope they would not relocate to any areas of Texas that he likes to frequent ~ Scott McClellan

It was awful to be Negro and have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to sit quietly and listen to charges brought against my color with no chance of defense. We should all be dead. I thought I should like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. A pyramid of flesh with the white folks on the bottom, as the broad base, then the Indians with their silly tomahawks and teepees and wigwams and treaties, the Negroes with their mops and recipes and cotton sacks and spirituals sticking out of their mouths. The Dutch children should all stumble in their wooden shoes and break their necks. The French should choke to death on the Louisiana Purchase (1803) while silkworms ate all the Chinese with their stupid pigtails. As a species, we were an abomination. All of us. ~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

One night, I was out driving with a few friends of mine when the police pulled us over. We were told we fit the description of someone who had committed a robbery or stolen a car, though I don’t really know what kind of description that could have been: three black kids in a Hyundai blasting U2’s Joshua Tree on their way back from Bible study? ~ Ahmir Questlove Thompson

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination – indeed, everything and anything except me. ~ Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. ~ Desmond Tutu

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