23+ quotes from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger

Quotes from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality

Richard Kluger ·  880 pages

Rating: (526 votes)


“Among them was a hypocritical charge, in his original draft of the Declaration, that the King of England was a prime promoter of the slave trade. But Jefferson’s language was so sharply chastising that, had it been included in the Declaration, it would have deeply undermined continuation of slavery once the colonies had severed ties to the alleged instigator of the loathsome practice. And this the slaveholding South was not prepared to consider; the offending words were struck from the great document.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“It is time for South Carolina to rejoin the Union. It is time to fall in step with the other states and to adopt the American way of conducting elections.… Racial distinctions cannot exist in the machinery that selects the officers and lawmakers of the United States.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“The law of the land is supposed to be obeyed.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“… There is absolutely no reasonable explanation for racial prejudice. It is all caused by unreasoning emotional reactions and these are gained in early childhood. Let the little child’s mind be poisoned by prejudice of this kind and it is practically impossible to remove these impressions, however many years he may have of teaching by philosophers, religious leaders or patriotic citizens. If segregation is wrong, then the place to stop it is in the first grade and not in graduate colleges.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“By far the most important psychological and political part of the Hayes compromise package, of course, was the withdrawal of all federal troops from the South. It was far better, said the new President, for the white man and the black man of the South to make their peace together than to live in constant tension under the surveillance of a federal garrison.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“That act, on December 7, 1787, is perhaps Delaware’s sole claim to distinction as a champion of democracy. Certainly it was long hostile to the Negro, probably longer and more defiantly so than any other state outside of the Confederacy.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“In the twenty years following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Civil Rights Cases, 3,000 lynchings occurred.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“In Clarendon County for the school year 1949-50, they spent $179 per white child in the public schools; for each black child, they spent $43.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“Its dominant voice belonged to the seventy-three-year-old Pennsylvanian Thaddeus Stevens, a founder of the Republican Party, who declared that America did not stand for “white man’s government” and to say as much was “political blasphemy, for it violates the fundamental principles of our gospel of liberty. This is man’s government; the government of all men alike.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“The Bible, Shakespeare, Milton, Melville—the masters of the King’s English all promoted the easy imagery of black as vile and white as purity and thereby fed a deep and potent racism that well served all who would enslave the black men of Africa.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“Yet only a little more than $5 million—$1.25 per capita—was spent to compensate for 200 years of ignorance enforced on a whole transplanted people.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“His liberators were leaving the freedman to wither on the vine.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“… How can we say that we deeply revere the principles of our Declaration and our Constitution and yet refuse to recognize those principles when they are to be applied to the American Negro in a down-to-earth fashion? During election campaigns and in Fourth of July speeches, many speakers emphasize that these great principles apply to all Americans. But when you ask many of these same speakers to act or vote so that those great principles apply in fact to Negro-Americans, you may be accused of being unfair, idealistic or even pro-Communist. … A person has real moral courage when, being in a position to make decisions or determine policies, he decides that the qualified Negro will be admitted to a school of nursing [as had recently been done at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington]; that the Negro, like the white, will receive a fair trial no matter what the public feeling may be; that every Catholic school, church and institution shall be open to all Catholics—not at some distant future time when public opinion happens to coincide with Catholic moral teaching—but now. Are these requests of our business, governmental and religious leaders too much to ask? I think not.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“Among other targets of protest was the infuriating Red Cross practice of separating Negro from white contributions to blood banks for the aid of wounded servicemen—a division made all the more distasteful by the fact that the plasma-preserving process that made blood banks practical had been largely developed by a Negro, Dr. Charles Drew of Howard University.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“The most piteous thing amid all the black ruin of war-time,” W. E. B. Du Bois would write a generation afterward, “amid the broken fortunes of the masters, the blighted hopes of mothers and maidens, and the fall of an empire,—the most piteous thing amid all this was the black freedman who threw down his hoe because the world called him free. What did such a mockery of freedom mean? Not a cent of money, not an inch of land, not a mouthful of victuals,—not even ownership of the rags on his back. Free!”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“No better example of the price of economic dependency may be culled from U.S. history than the sustained erosion of the African American’s civil rights.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“… The cloak of racism surrounding the actions of the Brotherhood in refusing membership to Negroes and in entering into and enforcing agreements discriminating against them, all under the guise of Congressional authority, still remains. No statutory interpretation can erase this ugly example of economic cruelty against colored citizens of the United States.… A sound democracy cannot allow such discrimination to go unchallenged. Racism is far too virulent today to permit the slightest refusal, in the light of a Constitution that abhors it, to expose and condemn it wherever it appears in the course of a statutory interpretation.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“His way to wisdom was to hear out others who might or might not know any more than he did and then to sift it all through his own mental strainer.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“the President of the United States addressed the thirty-eighth annual conference of the NAACP assembled before the Lincoln Memorial. “The extension of civil rights today means not protection of the people against the government, but protection of the people by the government,” Truman declared. “We must make the federal government a friendly, vigilant defender of the rights and equalities of all Americans. And again I mean all Americans.” No President had ever dared say such a thing.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“The essence of this detrimental effect is a confusion in the child’s concept of his own self-esteem—basic feelings of inferiority, conflict, confusion in his self-image, resentment, hostility towards himself, hostility towards whites, intensification of … a desire to resolve his basic conflict by sometimes escaping or withdrawing.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“Another problem is confusion in the mind of the child—confusion concerning basic moral ideology—and a conflict which is set up in the child who belongs to the segregating group in terms of having the same people teach him democracy, brotherhood, love of his fellow man, and teaching him also to segregate and to discriminate. Most of these social scientists believe that this sets off in the personalities of these children a fundamental confusion in the entire moral sphere of their lives.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


“The most important thing now, as fast as conditions are changing, is that no Negro tolerate any ceiling on his ambitions or imagination. Good luck and don’t have any doubts; you haven’t time for such foolishness.”
― Richard Kluger, quote from Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality


About the author

Richard Kluger
Born place: in The United States
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