Quotes and Sayings about Racism



"One of the worst things about racism is what it does to young people."
- Alvin Ailey
(Related: People, Racism)

"If you live in the elite world of dance, you find yourself in a world rife with racism. Let's face it."
- Alvin Ailey
(Related: Dance, Racism, World)

"Our theme for this year's festivities, Dreams and Challenges of Asian Pacific Americans, speaks to the many generations of Asian Pacific Americans who worked hard to overcome economic hardship, racism and other barriers in their pursuit of the American dream."
- Lucille Roybal Allard
(Related: Dreams, American, Americans, Festivities, Generations, Hardship, Pursuit, Racism)

"If you see something is going wrong within politics and the world today, then some Hip Hop artist is gonna come along and get straight with it. If they think that there's a lot of racism going on then there's another Hip Hop artist who's gonna come out and speak their mind."
- Afrika Bambaataa
(Related: Politics, Artist, Mind, Racism, Today, World, Wrong)

"Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed; for or against, we must take sides. And the history of the future will differ according to the decision which we make."
- Ruth Benedict
(Related: History, Decision, Future, Racism, Today, Will, World)

"Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out."
- Pierre Berton
(Related: Enemy, Freedom, Racism)

"In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently."
- Harry A. Blackmun
(Related: First, Order, Race, Racism)

"Violence and racism are bad. Whenever they occur they are to be condemned and we should not turn a blind eye to them."
- Cate Blanchett
(Related: Blind, Eye, Racism, Violence)

"Black reporters are as capable of racism as anyone else."
- Julian Bond
(Related: Racism)

"I was literally the black sheep of the family, and there were definitely moments of discomfort while my grandmother was working through her racism."
- Lisa Bonet
(Related: Family, Moments, Racism, Sheep)

"I came into this whole business by going to see Rock Against Racism gigs with the Clash."
- Billy Bragg
(Related: Business, Racism)

"The really important victory of the civil rights movement was that it made racism unpopular, whereas a generation ago at the turn of the last century, you had to embrace racism to get elected to anything."
- Carol Moseley Braun
(Related: Victory, Civil rights, Racism)

"I think what I came through is great, but my son can take it to another level, not having to fight racism. His mother's a Norwegian and I'm mixed up four or five times, so he can face the world."
- James Brown
(Related: Mother, Son, Fight, Racism, World)

"I have never experienced racism in the feminist movement, so it concerned me to think that I was unable to see the subject clearly because I came from white, middle-class privilege."
- Betty Buckley
(Related: Privilege, Racism)

"And the basis on which we agreed to operate with them involved a manifesto, where it states that we proceed from different ideologies and policies. One thing that we insisted on was that they should take an oath to reject racism and discrimination."
- Mangosuthu Buthelezi
(Related: Discrimination, Racism, states)

"Seems to me that the institutions that function in this country are clearly racist, and that they're built upon racism."
- Stokely Carmichael
(Related: Country, Racism)

"One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up to now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young black people in the urban ghetto."
- Stokely Carmichael
(Related: People, Now, Racism, Struggle)

"Racism is always there underneath, but usually it is exploited in these times of economic crisis, and it's hard to find out when one slides into another."
- Iris Chang
(Related: Crisis, Racism)

"If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America."
- Eldridge Cleaver
(Related: Change, Hope, America, Man, Racism)

"If only Al Sharpton were around, Lincoln would have known he was a victim of racism."
- Ann Coulter
(Related: Racism)

"People have been killing because of racial differences since the time of Adam and Eve, but in this country racism has been primarily aimed at African Americans."
- Bob Cousy
(Related: Time, People, African, Americans, Country, Killing, Racism)

"You'd never know that listening to people in the UN but tribalism is the father of racism."
- Stanley Crouch
(Related: Father, People, Listening, Racism)

"Racism is a much more clandestine, much more hidden kind of phenomenon, but at the same time it's perhaps far more terrible than it's ever been."
- Angela Davis
(Related: Time, Racism)

"Racism, in the first place, is a weapon used by the wealthy to increase the profits they bring in by paying Black workers less for their work."
- Angela Davis
(Related: Work, First, Racism, Workers)

"You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know."
- George Eliot
(Related: History, Men, Persecution)

"Education in this country is about how to maintain the status quo and to perpetuate racism."
- Jane Elliot
(Related: Education, Country, Racism)

"We don't know anything about racism. We've never experienced it. If words can make a difference in your life for seven minutes, how would it affect you if you heard this every day of your life?"
- Jane Elliott
(Related: Life, Day, Difference, Racism, Words)

"Sometimes I feel like rap music is almost the key to stopping racism."
- Eminem
(Related: Music, Key, Racism, Rap)

"Evil is the shadow of angel. Just as there are angels of light, support, guidance, healing and defense, so we have experiences of shadow angels. And we have names for them: racism, sexism, homophobia are all demons - but they're not out there."
- Matthew Fox
(Related: Angels, Defense, Evil, Guidance, Healing, Light, Names, Racism, Sexism, Shadow, Support)

"If I was in a room with a bunch of skinheads talking about racism, then I would be disturbed, but after we finished a take, we were normal people again."
- Edward Furlong
(Related: People, Racism, Talking)

"Let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."
- Janeane Garofalo
(Related: History, Idea, Boston, Democrats, Man, Party, Racism, Taxes, Tea)

"Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.' Wouldn't they have to withdraw? New racism is no better than old racism."
- Newt Gingrich
(Related: Experience, Man, Old, Racism, Woman)

"If we talk about the environment, for example, we have to talk about environmental racism - about the fact that kids in South Central Los Angeles have a third of the lung capacity of kids in Santa Monica."
- Danny Glover
(Related: Environmental, Example, Fact, Kids, Racism, Talk)

"My instinct was that it was Sidney's childhood in the Bahamas that gave him the fearlessness to fight racism. So this documentary was a kind of rounding out of what had begun in that scene in In the Heat of the Night."
- Lee Grant
(Related: Childhood, Fight, Instinct, Night, Racism)

"Racism may be as systemic as it always was. It is the great problem of America. It's the one stumbling block that I don't believe was ever smoothed over."
- Robert Guillaume
(Related: America, May, Racism)

"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
(Related: Humanity, Hurt, Racism, Trying)

"I've certainly experienced racism, but it has not made a great impact on me. I have always thought, as I got older and older, I was more in charge of who I was. What someone thought about me or said about me made less of an impression on me at very vulnerable times."
- Robert Guillaume
(Related: Thought, Impression, Racism)

"If black people mistrust white people, they are mistrusting racism, and that is appropriate."
- Jasmine Guy
(Related: People, Mistrust, Racism)

"Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics."
- Alex Haley
(Related: Society, Behavior, Racism)

"Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel
(Related: Hatred, Man, Racism, Reason)

"The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction."
- Tim Holden
(Related: Society, Citizenship, Consequences, Inaction, Indifference, Prejudice, Racism)

"Racism is essentially natural, it's old fashioned it's an evolutionary phase that we're going through. Ultimately it wont exist."
- Michael Hutchence
(Related: Old, Racism)

"My answer to those who oppose my appointment as CEO is that this is really a decision of the YWCA. They want to strengthen their grassroots to advocate on behalf of women's and children's empowerment and ending racism."
- Patricia Ireland
(Related: Women, Decision, Children, Empowerment, Ending, Racism, Want)

"I want to reach young women and to get them involved in the mission of the YWCA, economic empowerment of women and girls, and ending racism."
- Patricia Ireland
(Related: Women, Empowerment, Ending, Girls, Mission, Racism, Want)

"Bosnia is a complicated country: three religions, three nations and those "others". Nationalism is strong in all three nations; in two of them there are a lot of racism, chauvinism, separatism; and now we are supposed to make a state out of that."
- Alija Izetbegovic
(Related: Nationalism, Nations, Now, Racism, State)

"We can go on talking about racism and who treated whom badly, but what are you going to do about it? Are you going to wallow in that or are you going to create your own agenda?"
- Judith Jamison
(Related: Racism, Talking)

"Pain can be alleviated by morphine but the pain of social ostracism cannot be taken away."
- Derek Jarman
(Related: Pain)

"My grandmother though, began to prepare in her own neurotic - and I think psychotic - way to face racism. So she taught us to be racist, which is something I had to undo later when I got to Michigan, you know."
- James Earl Jones
(Related: Racism)

"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
(Related: People, Racism)

"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."
- Coretta Scott King
(Related: People, Bigotry, Dignity, Humanity, Racism)

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Related: Love, Peace, War, Truth, Brotherhood, Mankind, Midnight, Racism, Reality, Will, Word)

"I love Canadians because I don't see very much racism in Canada."
- Patti LaBelle
(Related: Love, Canada, Racism)

"I was the only white kid in my neighborhood for most of my youth even in high school, so reverse racism was just as apparent as racism."
- Shia LaBeouf
(Related: Racism, School, Youth)

"Any concept of one person being superior to another can lead to racism."
- Walter Lang
(Related: Being, Racism)

"Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list."
- Denis Leary
(Related: Son, End, Racism)

"Black writers, of whatever quality, who step outside the pale of what black writers are supposed to write about, or who black writers are supposed to be, are condemned to silences in black literary circles that are as total and as destructive as any imposed by racism."
- Audre Lorde
(Related: Quality, Literary, Racism, Writers)

"But, on the other hand, I get bored with racism too and recognize that there are still many things to be said about a Black person and a White person loving each other in a racist society."
- Audre Lorde
(Related: Society, Racism)

"Poverty is relative, and the lack of food and of the necessities of life is not necessarily a hardship. Spiritual and social ostracism, the invasion of your privacy, are what constitute the pain of poverty."
- Alice Foote MacDougall
(Related: Food, Life, Hardship, Pain, Poverty, Privacy, Spiritual)

"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
(Related: Nature, Strength, African, Racism, Spirit, Weight)

"However, while we should certainly celebrate the demise of overt official racism, we must also critically examine where we are at this historical moment, recognize the many challenges ahead and reaffirm our commitment to making Brown v. Board a reality."
- Ed Markey
(Related: Commitment, Racism, Reality)

"My encounters with racism are sort of second-hand situations where I might be standing around with a group of white friends and someone makes a comment that they wouldn't make at my family reunion."
- Wentworth Miller
(Related: Family, Friends, Racism)

"As much as everyone wants to downplay racism, it exists. There's a great mistrust among some African-Americans of white people."
- Steve Mitchell
(Related: People, African, Mistrust, Racism)

"Sexism, like racism, goes with us into the next century. I see class warfare as overshadowing both."
- Constance Baker Motley
(Related: Class, Racism, Sexism)

"The fact is that racism, despite all the doomsayers, has diminished."
- Constance Baker Motley
(Related: Fact, Racism)

"We African Americans have now spent the major part of the 20th Century battling racism."
- Constance Baker Motley
(Related: African, Americans, Now, Racism)

"I was born and raised in the oldest settled part of the nation and in an environment in which racism was officially mooted."
- Constance Baker Motley
(Related: Environment, Nation, Racism)

"It is only human supremacy, which is as unacceptable as racism and sexism, that makes us afraid of being more inclusive."
- Ingrid Newkirk
(Related: Being, Racism, Sexism)

"The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism."
- Huey Newton
(Related: Racism, Soldiers)

"We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism."
- Huey Newton
(Related: Capitalism, Fight, Racism)

"Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome."
- Rosa Parks
(Related: Children, Racism)

"What I've always said is that I'm opposed to institutional racism, and I would've, had I've been alive at the time, I think, had the courage to march with Martin Luther King to overturn institutional racism, and I see no place in our society for institutional racism."
- Rand Paul
(Related: Society, Time, Courage, March, Martin, Racism)

"Ageism is as odious as racism and sexism."
- Claude Pepper
(Related: Racism, Sexism)

"There's a lot more hypocrisy than before. Racism has gone back underground."
- Richard Pryor
(Related: Hypocrisy, Racism)

"I, for one, would think both about how far we have come as a country and how much further we need to go to erase racism and discrimination from our society."
- Charles Rangel
(Related: Society, Country, Discrimination, Racism)

"First there was racism. Then liberals created institutional racism and coded racism. You can only hear it with a dog whistle."
- Evan Sayet
(Related: First, Liberals, Racism)

"You don't fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity."
- Bobby Seale
(Related: Fight, Racism, Solidarity)

"Christian virtues unite men. Racism separates them."
- Sargent Shriver
(Related: Men, Christian, Racism)

"Racism cannot be cured solely by attacking some of the results it produces, like discrimination in housing or in education."
- Sargent Shriver
(Related: Education, Discrimination, Racism, Results)

"The roots of racism lie deep in man's nature, wounded and bruised by original sin."
- Sargent Shriver
(Related: Nature, Lie, Deep, Man, Racism, Sin)

"We must treat the disease of racism. This means we must understand the disease."
- Sargent Shriver
(Related: Disease, Racism)

"No matter what vision one has of South Africa, the first thing that must be done is to destroy racism."
- Joe Slovo
(Related: Vision, First, Racism)

"I grow dizzy when I recall that the number of manufactured tanks seems to have been more important to me than the vanished victims of racism."
- Albert Speer
(Related: Racism, Victims)

"Using the power you derive from the discovery of the truth about racism in South Africa, you will help us to remake our part of the world into a corner of the globe on which all - of which all of humanity can be proud."
- Oliver Tambo
(Related: Power, Truth, Discovery, Help, Humanity, Racism, Will, World)

"The hardest thing I had to overcome in life? I think racism. That's so difficult because I don't think anyone can ever understand it. It's not that people don't want to understand it, but they don't want to touch it."
- Herschel Walker
(Related: Life, People, Racism, Want)

"I have visited some places where the differences between black and white are not as profound as they used to be, but I think there is a new form of racism growing in Europe and that is focused on people who are Middle Eastern. I see it."
- Montel Williams
(Related: People, Europe, Racism)

"Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."
- Oprah Winfrey
(Related: Excellence, Racism, Sexism)

"I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that's how I operate my life."
- Oprah Winfrey
(Related: Life, Excellence, Racism, Sexism)