Best 292 quotes in «civil rights quotes» category

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    The day for the Negro man being a coward is over.

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    The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die

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    The failures of the past must not be an excuse for the inaction of the present and the future.

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    The flames kindled on the Fourth of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.

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    The greatest right of a civilized person is to be left alone, unless he does harm to others or is threatening to do harm to himself.

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    The Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume.

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    The minorities have been confined to the city by a moat of bigotry.

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    The merchants will manage [commerce] the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves.

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    The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.

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    There was no miracle that night.

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    The prison guards are capable of committing daily atrocities and obscenities, smiling the smile of the angels all the while.

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    There are no 'white' or 'coloured' signs on the foxholes or graveyards of battle.

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    Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable.

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    Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor.

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    To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.

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    We are not makers of history. We are made by history.

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    Under the privilege of the First Amendment many, many ridiculous things are said.

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    We must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation.

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    We don't go for segregation. We go for separation. Separation is when you have your own. You control your own economy; you control your own politics; you control your own society; you control your own everything.

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    We must protect the right of our opponents to speak because we must hear what they have to say.

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    We wanted black power to be all things to all people.

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    When people are forced to interact to survive, their prejudices diminish.

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    What is interesting is that John Lewis actually got interested initially in the civil rights movement because of a comic book. So part of it, he's paying homage to this tradition that you can tell serious stories and talk about serious issues in graphic form.

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    We, who are the living, possess the past. Tomorrow is for our martyrs.

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    Would America have been America without her Negro people?

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    You are losing because blacks are getting their civil rights in the cities.

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    You've got the whole civil rights movements emanating from the south, you've got the music that came out of the south that is the core of our current music, so for me that thinking comes out of having Dukes of Hazzard thrown in your face: that the south is a bunch of twangy people that I can't understand. So this is, hopefully, part of the movement to restore the south to its proper and rightful place in our nation... which is huge and pervasive. It's not about Texas - I'm not saying Texas doesn't have it's own unique history - but the south has this at its core.

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    Adoptees deserve open records because deception and partial truths do not set us free.

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    A Black church that isn't inherently revolutionary is irrelevant.

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    According to court records, during the siege at Wounded Knee, more than two hundred and fifty thousand rounds were fired at our people by U.S. marshalls, FBI agents, the tribal police, the GOONs, and white vigilantes. These boys weren't kidding. And neither were we.

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    Adoptee rights are everyone's rights, and they deserve to be protected.

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    A final victory is an accumulation of many short-term encounters. To lightly dismiss a success because it does not usher in a complete order of justice is to fail to comprehend the process of full victory. It underestimates the value of confrontation and dissolves the confidence born of partial victory by which new efforts are powered.

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    Are you going to cater to the whims and prejudices of people who have no intelligent knowledge of what they condemn?

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    A leader is a planter—a planter of ideas, seeds of change, and a vision for justice

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    A man with a rifle or a club can only be stopped by a person who defends himself with a rifle or a club. That's equality. If the United States government doesn't want you and me to have rifles, then take the rifles away from those racists. If they don't want you and me to use clubs, take the clubs away from the racists. If they don't want you and me to get violent, then stop the racists from being violent. Don't teach us non-violence!!!

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    A lot of people get upset when you say ‘shit’ or something like that. But do you realize that almost our entire country sat still while they barbecued people in Los Angeles, firebombed a house, burned the people to death? …and you see, this is part of the pathology of people who are so sensitive to some kinds of stylistic offensiveness, and so callous to real cruelty and brutality.

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    Black power showed up in different ways, depending on the goals of the group.

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    ...A vision from a universe where the Equal Rights Amendment--with its redefinition of personhood--is rejected by the house of deputies: A universe where to die is to become property and to be created outwith a gift of parental DNA is to be doomed to slavery.

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    A voteless people is a hopeless people.

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    Between George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the US Constitution is no longer worth the paper it's written on.

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    Before, the woods had always done so much for me. Once I could actually go out into the woods and communicate with God, or Nature or something. Now that something didn’t come through. It was just not there anymore. More than ever I began to wonder whether God actually existed. Maybe God changed as the individual changed, or perhaps grew as one grew.

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    Besides, They’ll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed— I, too, am America.

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    Bigotry lives not just in our words, but in our actions, thoughts, and institutions.

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    But despite the scarcity of confrontation with whites in our neighborhood, race and racism permeated every aspect of our lives. Our parents taught us that in order to succeed, we 'had to be twice as good as white folks.' We were constantly being prepared to enter a world dominated by whites.

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    But if racism is pictured as parents asserting their rights as taxpayers & questioning whether the Brown decision applies to "their schools"; if it is shown in calls for more "law & order" & "fiscal responsibility"; if it is demonstrated in the lack of public will to address differentials in resources & services in schools, streets, policing & housing; if it is revealed in the kinds of issues the news media chooses not to cover; if it is illustrated in who stays silent when inequality is brought to light--then it raises questions about where we are today.

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    But I believe that, once the shock settles, faith and energy will return. Because let’s be real: we always knew this shit wasn’t going to be easy. Colonial power, patriarchal power, capitalist power must always and everywhere be battled, because they never, ever quit. We have to keep fighting, because otherwise there will be no future—all will be consumed. Those of us whose ancestors were owned and bred like animals know that future all too well, because it is, in part, our past. And we know that by fighting, against all odds, we who had nothing, not even our real names, transformed the universe. Our ancestors did this with very little, and we who have more must do the same. This is the joyous destiny of our people—to bury the arc of the moral universe so deep in justice that it will never be undone.

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    But here in my hometown, history was like a fine dust that settled out on everything. There was nothing to counter it. The culture had been hardened by a religion suspect of joy, yet fascinated by sin. Its moral acceptance of slavery eroded compassion. And gentility became a necessary pretense to cover the resentment created long ago when the North’s industrial prestige trumped the agrarian South. It was not an easy place to feel lighthearted or triumphant. Nor was it an easy place to remember the beauty of wonder and awe.

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    But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guarantied by the supreme law of the land are involved.

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    Calling for an end to hate shouldn't be treated as a punishable offense.

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    Capitalism is not a form of government. Capitalism is a symptom of freedom. It is the result of individual rights, which include property rights.