„There are about 8,000,000 negroes in the United States, and, my friends, I not only have not the power to put the negro out of the labor movement, but I would not, even if I did have the power. Why should I do such a thing? I would have nothing to gain, but the movement would have much to lose. Under our policies and principles we seek to build up the labor movement, instead of injuring it, and we want all the negroes we can possibly get who will join hands with organized labor.“

Gompers, Samuel. The Samuel Gompers Papers. Stuart Bruce Kaufman, Peter J. Albert, Grace Palladino, and Marla J Hughes, eds. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2000, p. 137.

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Samuel Gompers
1850 - 1924

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„I joined the socialist movement because I did not like the kind of society we had and wanted something better.“

—  Clement Attlee Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1883 - 1967

As It Happened, 1954. Also cited in Anthony Crosland, The Future of Socialism (1956), (p.116).
Later life

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„nowiki>[The labor movement is] a movement of the working people, for the working people, by the working people, governed by ourselves, with its policies determined by ourselves…“

—  Samuel Gompers American Labor Leader[AFL] 1850 - 1924

Gompers, Samuel. Proceedings of the Convention. Washington, D.C.: American Federation of Labor, 1923, p. 37.

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„Military rule would have been just to all, to the negro who wanted freedom“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885

In China, p. 362.
1870s
Contexto: Looking back over the whole policy of reconstruction, it seems to me that the wisest thing would have been to have continued for some time the military rule. Sensible Southern men see now that there was no government so frugal, so just, and fair as what they had under our generals. That would have enabled the Southern people to pull themselves together and repair material losses. As to depriving them, even for a time, of suffrage, that was our right as a conqueror, and it was a mild penalty for the stupendous crime of treason. Military rule would have been just to all, to the negro who wanted freedom, the white man who wanted protection, the northern man who wanted Union. As state after state showed a willingness to come into the Union, not on their own terms but upon ours, I would have admitted them. This would have made universal suffrage unnecessary, and I think a mistake was made about suffrage. It was unjust to the negro to throw upon him the responsibilities of citizenship, and expect him to be on even terms with his white neighbor. It was unjust to the north. In giving the south negro suffrage, we have given the old slave-holders forty votes in the electoral college. They keep those votes, but disfranchise the negroes. That is one of the gravest mistakes in the policy of reconstruction. It looks like a political triumph for the south, but it is not. The southern people have nothing to dread more than the political triumph of the men who led them into secession. That triumph was fatal to them in 1860. It would be no less now. The trouble about military rule in the south was that our people did not like it. It was not in accordance with our institutions. I am clear now that it would have been better for the north to have postponed suffrage, reconstruction, state governments, for ten years, and held the south in a territorial condition. It was due to the north that the men who had made war upon us should be powerless in a political sense forever. It would have avoided the scandals of the state governments, saved money, and enabled the northern merchants, farmers, and laboring men to reorganize society in the south. But we made our scheme, and must do what we can with it. Suffrage once given can never be taken away, and all that remains for us now is to make good that gift by protecting those who have received it.

Ulysses S. Grant photo

„I am anxious to get as many of these negro regiments as possible, and to have them full, and completely equipped. I am particularly desirous of organizing a regiment of heavy artillery from the negroes, to garrison this place, and shall do so as soon as possible.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885

At Vicksburg (11 July 1863), as quoted in Words of our Hero: Ulysses S. Grant https://archive.org/stream/wordsofourheroul00gran/wordsofourheroul00gran_djvu.txt, edited by Jeremiah Chaplin, Boston: D. Lothrop and Company, p. 13.
1860s

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„I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Fourth Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Charleston, 18 September 1858)
1850s
Contexto: While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me, I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that 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 forever 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 the 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 say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men... I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry negroes if there was no law to keep them from it, but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes.

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