Injustice is about the violation of the rights of a person, or of right and fairness in general, especially when it causes harm or injury. Following are injustice quotations from many eras and writers. See also: Justice Quotes.

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We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace. War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life. If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life.

— A. J. Muste

Raghead (The Sonnet)
Some call me raghead,
Some call me desert dweller.
Some call me curry-breath,
Some call me f-ing nigger.
This is not just my story,
But of every person of color.
In a world stolen by whites,
Anything non-white is inferior.
Upon receiving so much hate,
I admit, sometimes I do feel gloomy.
I know how it is to be cussed everyday,
So I choose love no matter the agony.
The tradition of hate has gone on long enough.
I choose to be the break in habit on the world’s behalf.

— Abhijit Naskar, Handcrafted Humanity: 100 Sonnets For A Blunderful World

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.

— Abigail Adams

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.

— Abraham Lincoln

These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.

— Abraham Lincoln

Singular indeed that the people should be writhing under oppression and injury, and yet not one among them to be found, to raise the voice of complaint.

— Abraham Lincoln, in the Illinois legislature, January 11, 1837

We cannot reform institutional racism or systemic policies if we are not actively engaged. It’s not enough to simply complain about injustice; the only way to prevent future injustice is to create the society we would like to see, one where we are all equal under the law.

— Al Sharpton

Racism oppresses its victims, but also binds the oppressors, who sear their consciences with more and more lies until they become prisoners of those lies. They cannot face the truth of human equality because it reveals the horror of the injustices they commit.

— Alveda King

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges and to beg in the streets and to steal bread.

— Anatole France, 1894

Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.

— Ann Landers

An immigrant, living in the slums of New York City, once said of himself and others of the sweatshop community to which he belonged, “We live under America, not in America.”

— Anna Garlin Spencer

As a general point, the United States has an extreme budget commitment to prisons, guns, warplanes, armored vehicles, detention facilities, courts, jails, drones, and patrols – to law and order, meted out discriminately.

— Annie Lowrey

As things are now going the peace we make, what peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace in brief, without moral purpose or human interest.

— Archibald Macleish

Let us be enraged about injustice, but let us not be destroyed by it.

— Bayard Rustin

If we want to do away with the injustice to gays it will not be done because we get rid of the injustice to gays. It will be done because we are forwarding the effort for the elimination of injustice to all. And we will win the rights for gays, or blacks, or Hispanics, or women within the context of whether we are fighting for all.

— Bayard Rustin

You have to join every other movement for the freedom of people. Therefore join the movement as individuals against anti-Semitism, join the movements for the rights of Hispanics, the rights of women, the rights of gays. In other words, I think that each movement has to stand on its own feet because it has a particular agenda, but it can ask other people.

— Bayard Rustin

The moral man is he who is opposed to injustice per se, opposed to injustice wherever he finds it; the moral man looks for injustice first of all in himself.

— Bayard Rustin

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.

— Booker T. Washington

Resentment is the feeling of frustration, judgment, anger, “better than,” and/or hidden envy related to perceived unfairness or injustice. It’s an emotion that we often experience when we fail to set boundaries or ask for what we need, or when expectations let us down because they were based on things we can’t control, like what other people think, what they feel, or how they’re going to react.

— Brené Brown

I understand that I don’t do what I do because it is required or necessary or important. I don’t do it because I have no choice. I do what I do because I’m broken too. My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression and injustice had finally revealed something in me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn’t just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can’t effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it.

— Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy

It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.

— Carl T. Rowan

Wherever there was injustice, war, discrimination against women, gays and the disadvantaged, I did my best to show up and exert moral persuasion.

— Coretta Scott King

This is a diseased world in which it is impossible for anyone to be fully human. One way or another, everyone who lives in the modern world is sick or maladjusted.

— David Dellinger, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Essays

One of the biggest challenges for people involved in interfaith dialogue is to break down the stereotypes of the “other” that exist within their own … traditions and groups…. [G]roups need to first acknowledge and confess their own role in fostering and contributing to injustice and conflict.

— David R. Smock

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

— Desmond Tutu

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

— Desmond Tutu

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

— Desmond Tutu

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.

— Dorothy Thompson

The long-run goal is, I think, the same for every human being, that politically he or she may be allowed to live free from fear, insecurity, terror, and oppression, free also from the possibility of exercising unequal or unjust domination over others.

— Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine

Humanism is the only – I would go so far as saying the final – resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.

— Edward W. Said

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?

— Eleanor Roosevelt

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

— Elie Wiesel

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

— Elie Wiesel

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

— Eric Hoffer

Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.

— Eugene V. Debs

I’m not violent, I don’t believe in killing people, but standing up for yourself, speaking out against injustice, is another form of vengeance.

— Eva Gabrielsson

A person of good intelligence and of sensitivity cannot exist in this society very long without having some anger about the inequality – and it’s not just a bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, liberal kind of a thing – it is just a normal human reaction to a nonsensical set of values where we have cinnamon flavored dental floss and there are people sleeping in the street.

— George Carlin

Yes, I remember the barbed wire and the guard towers and the machine guns, but they became part of my normal landscape. What would be abnormal in normal times became my normality in camp.

— George Takei

Of course I believe in free enterprise, but in my system of free enterprise, the democratic principle is that there never was, never has been, never will be, room for the ruthless exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few.

— Harry S Truman

The world is still a dark world, full of violence, corruption, oppression. It will likely always be! The question is not: ‘How soon and how many?’ but ‘Where and when?’

— Henri J.M. Nouwen, With Burning Hearts

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.

— Howard Zinn

Historically, the most terrible things — war, genocide, and slavery — have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.

— Howard Zinn

People like Eugene Debs, Helen Keller, Emma Goldman, Jack London and Upton Sinclair were wonderful writers who joined the movement against war and injustice, against capitalism and corporate power. That was a very exciting period in American history.

— Howard Zinn

I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the world as it is. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things.

— Hugo Claus

Our watchword has been “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Brave men do not gather by thousands to torture and murder a single individual, so gagged and bound he cannot make even feeble resistance or defense. Neither do brave men and women stand by and see such things done without compunction of conscience, nor read of them without protest.

— Ida B. Wells-Barnett

There must always be a remedy for wrong and injustice if we only know how to find it.

— Ida B. Wells-Barnett

I know that it’s hard to believe that the people you look to for safety and security are the same people who are causing us so much harm. But I’m not lying and I’m not delusional. I am scared and I am hurting and we are dying. And I really, really need you to believe me.

— Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race

Whereas underprivileged strata of society religiously hope for a better future, the overprivileged, disavowing any idea of transcendence, “live for the present by exploiting their great past.”

— James MacGregor Burns, The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America

Feminism isn’t simply about being a woman in a position of power. It’s battling systemic inequities; it’s a social justice movement that believes sexism, racism and classism exist and interconnect, and that they should be consistently challenged.

— Jessica Valenti
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