Racism concept. Stop hate and discrimination. Against prejudice and violence. Hand wiping off and erasing the word from blackboard.

Quotations on racism and racists: notable people weigh in on the reality of racism. Race is a biological myth. Ethnic heritage and genetic connections between people who lived in a place together for thousands of years are real, but no biological races exist. Racism assumes race exists and that races have different characteristics, roles, and capacities. Racist ideas and policies define who is “better” and who gets more of the social, economic, political and cultural goods in society. Here are some historical and current quotations on the topic of racism.

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How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now.

— John Lewis

The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in the American society.

— John Lewis

Part of the desire to live in a post-racial world includes the desire not to have to talk about racism, which includes a false perception that if you are talking about race, then you’re perpetuating the notion of race. I reject that.

— Jordan Peele

My people have a country of their own to go to if they choose… Africa… but, this America belongs to them just as much as it does to any of the white race… in some ways even more so, because they gave the sweat of their brow and their blood in slavery so that many parts of America could become prosperous and recognized in the world.

— Josephine Baker

I’ve seen people glaze over when they’re confronted with racism, and there’s nothing more, you know, damning and demeaning to having any kind of ideology than people just walking the walk and saying what they’re supposed to say and nodding, and nobody feels anything.

— Kara Walker

Labor in the white skin cannot be free where in the black it is branded.

— Karl Marx

We are a society that has been structured from top to bottom by race. You don’t get beyond that by deciding not to talk about it anymore. It will always come back; it will always reassert itself over and over again.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

‘Separate but unequal’ didn’t work in respect to race, it doesn’t work in respect to gender, and it especially doesn’t work when looking at the intersection of race and gender.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

Black women’s intersectional experiences of racism and sexism have been a central but forgotten dynamic in the unfolding of feminist and antiracist agendas.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

At the core of conservative social policy about race are old ideas that link racial inequality to non-traditional family formation and its attendant culture of poverty.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

There are many, many different kinds of intersectional exclusions – not just black women but other women of color. Not just people of color, but people with disabilities. Immigrants. LGBTQ people. Indigenous people.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

I think that the same kind of openness and fluidity and willingness to interrogate power that we, as feminists, expect from men in alliance on questions of class should also be the expectation that women of colour can rely upon with our white feminist allies.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

When feminism does not explicitly oppose racism, and when anti-racism does not incorporate opposition to patriarchy, race and gender politics often end up being antagonistic to each other, and both interests lose.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

While white women and men of color also experience discrimination, all too often their experiences are taken as the only point of departure for all conversations about discrimination. Being front and center in conversations about racism or sexism is a complicated privilege that is often hard to see.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

The struggle against patriarchy and racism must be substantively robust and inextricably intertwined.

— Kimberlé Crenshaw

Racism can, will, and must be defeated.

— Kofi Annan

Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.

— Kofi Annan

Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals…. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts.

— Kwame Toure and Charles Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America

I would like to see an America where people of any race, color or creed may live on a plane of cultural, material well-being, cooperating unhindered by sectarian, racial, or factional prejudices that do nobody any good.

— Langston Hughes, Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings

No person from Asia shows up in the U.S. and automatically feels linked to people from other Asian countries. What binds us together? American racism. Racism is about dehumanizing us, but racial identity isn’t bad. Racism strips me of my humanity, and racial identity hands it right back. Racial identity is beautiful. Racial identity is powerful. God made us different and lovely and through the ugliness of white supremacy, some of us have found belonging.

— Laura Mariko Cheifetz, Race Gives Me Poetry

Nobody black or white who really believes in democracy can stand aside now; everybody’s got to stand up and be counted.

— Lena Horne

Accomplishments have no color.

— Leontyne Price

Whether it’s racism, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance or other bias – we demand to live in a country where we can be safe to be who we are, believe what we want and love whomever we want.

— Lucy McBath

The times when black women have been successful in confronting and overcoming the structural and institutional sexism and racism that persists in our society have been when we are thoughtful and strategic about speaking up. It’s when we’ve done what it takes to introduce and implement our ideas and our plans to make things better.

— Marcia Fudge

None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath.

— Marian Anderson

No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.

— Marian Anderson

If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won’t either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.

— Marian Wright Edelman

We would not now have a sizable part of our own population prepared to engage in homicidal violence if they truly believed that that young man in the hoodie was an image of God.

— Marilynne Robinson,

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.

— Martin Luther King Jr.
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