„It is not true that the Republican party has not endeavored to protect the negro in his right to vote. The whole moral power of the party has been, from first to last, on the side of justice to the negro; and it has only been baffled, in its efforts to protect the negro in his vote, by the Democratic party.“

—  Frederick Douglas, Speech http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-nations-problem/ (June 1888).
Frederick Douglas photo
Frederick Douglas4
1818 - 1895

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Abraham Lincoln photo

„In two of the five states — New Jersey and North Carolina — that then gave the free negro the right of voting, the right has since been taken away“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Context: Chief Justice does not directly assert, but plainly assumes, as a fact, that the public estimate of the black man is more favorable now than it was in the days of the Revolution. This assumption is a mistake. In some trifling particulars, the condition of that race has been ameliorated; but, as a whole, in this country, the change between then and now is decidedly the other way; and their ultimate destiny has never appeared so hopeless as in the last three or four years. In two of the five states — New Jersey and North Carolina — that then gave the free negro the right of voting, the right has since been taken away; and in a third — New York — it has been greatly abridged; while it has not been extended, so far as I know, to a single additional state, though the number of the States has more than doubled.

Gore Vidal photo
Margaret Thatcher photo

„The United States has no socialist party, or no socialist party has been in power. That is the reason why it has always been the country of last resort for every currency.“

—  Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013
Interview for The Times (31 May 1984) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105505

Noam Chomsky photo
Joseph Hayne Rainey photo

„We intend to continue to vote so long as the government gives us the right and necessary protection; and I know that right accorded to us now will never be withheld in the future if left to the Republican Party.“

—  Joseph Hayne Rainey politician 1832 - 1887
Speech on the Civil Rights Bill (3 February 1875), as quoted in the Congressional Record, 43rd Congress, 2nd Session, Vol 3, p. 959.

William H. Seward photo
Ulysses S. Grant photo

„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“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
Context: 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. In China, p. 362.

Sir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet photo
Owen Lovejoy photo

„Now comes the objection which you hear in the mouths of Democrats everywhere. Negro equality! Negro equality! The "Black Republicans" are in favor of negro equality!“

—  Owen Lovejoy American politician 1811 - 1864
As quoted in His Brother's Blood: Speeches and Writings, 1838–64 https://books.google.com/books?id=qMEv8DNXVbIC&pg=PA239 (2004), edited by William Frederick Moore and Jane Ann Moore, p. 239

Malcolm X photo

„This government has failed the Negro. This so-called democracy has failed the Negro.“

—  Malcolm X American human rights activist 1925 - 1965
Context: You and I in America are faced not with a segregationist conspiracy, we’re faced with a government conspiracy. Everyone who’s filibustering is a senator—that’s the government. Everyone who’s finagling in Washington, D. C., is a congressman—that’s the government. You don’t have anybody putting blocks in your path but people who are a part of the government. The same government that you go abroad to fight for and die for is the government that is in a conspiracy to deprive you of your voting rights, deprive you of your economic opportunities, deprive you of decent housing, deprive you of decent education. You don’t need to go to the employer alone, it is the government itself, the government of America, that is responsible for the oppression and exploitation and degradation of black people in this country. And you should drop it in their lap. This government has failed the Negro. This so-called democracy has failed the Negro. And all these white liberals have definitely failed the Negro.

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John R. Commons photo
Carter G. Woodson photo

„The average Negro has not been sufficiently mis-educated to become hopeless.“

—  Carter G. Woodson African-American historian and writer 1875 - 1950
Context: The average Negro has not been sufficiently mis-educated to become hopeless. Our minds must become sufficiently developed to use segregation to kill segregation, and thus bring to pass that ancient and yet modern prophecy, "The wrath of man shall praise thee." If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong enough to get out of the ghetto. This assumption of Negro leadership in the ghetto, then, must not be confined to matters of religion, education, and social uplift; it must deal with such fundamental forces in life as make these things possible. If the Negro area, however, is to continue as a district supported wholly from without, the inept dwellers therein will merit and will receive only the contempt of those who may occasionally catch glimpses of them in their plight. Chapter X: The Loss of Vision<!-- p. 84 -->

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