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Index: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Other Quote Indexes

M through R


Thomas B. Macaulay (British author, 1800-1858)
To punish a man because he has committed a crime, or because he is believed, though unjustly, to have committed a crime, is not persecution. To punish a man, because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.

Samora Machel (Mozambiquen activist and politician, 1933-1986)

Unity and victory are synonymous.

Archibald MacLeish (U.S. poet, 1892-1982)

A man who lives, not by what he loves but what he hates, is a sick man.

Magna Carta (1215)

To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.

Bernard Malamud (U.S. novelist, 1914-1986)

It's one thing for a man not to know, not to have learned; it's another not to be able to live by what one does know.

Malcolm X (U.S. civil rights activist, 1925-1965)

One of the first things I think young people, especially nowadays, should learn is how to see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself.

You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.

I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a Black man who loves peace and justice and loves his people.

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.

We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.

The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect as human beings, the God-given right to be a human being. Our common goal is to obtain the human rights America has been denying us. We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans.

The Negro's so-called 'revolt' is merely an asking to be accepted into the existing system!

We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

My beliefs are now one hundred percent against racism and segregation in any form and I also believe that we don't judge a person by the color of his skin but rather by his deeds.

Speaking like this doesn't mean that we're anti-white, but it does mean we're anti-exploitation, we're anti-degradation, we're anti-oppression.

We are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings.

Growing is the result of learning.

I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don't believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn't want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn't know how to return the treatment.

The greatest miracle Christianity has achieved in America is that the Black man in white Christian hands has not grown violent. It is a miracle that twenty-two million Black people have not risen up against their oppressors in which they would have been justified by all moral criteria and even by the democratic traditions.

When you hear me say "by any means necessary," I mean exactly that. I believe in anything that is necessary to correct unjust conditions--political, economic, social, physical, anything that is necessary.

Winnie Mandela (South African anti-apartheid activist, 1934- )

Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.

Manhur-ul-Haque (Bengali lawyer, 1866-1921)

When unity is evolved out of diversity, then there is a real and abiding national progress.

Martha Manning (U.S. psychotherapist)

People say, "I have heart disease," not "I am heart disease." Somehow the presumption of a person's individuality is not compromised by those diagnostic labels. All the labels tell us is that the person has a specific challenge with which he or she struggles in a highly diverse life. But call someone "a schizophrenic" or "a borderline" and the shorthand has a way of closing the chapter on the person. It reduces a multifaceted human being to a diagnosis and lulls us into a false sense that those words tell us who the person is, rather than only telling us how the person suffers.

Eugenio Maria de Hostas (Puerto Rican patriot, 1839-1903)

If you wish to know what justice is, let injustice pursue you.

Hariet Marineau (English writer, 1802-1876)

All women should inform themselves of the condition of their sex and of their own position. It must necessarily follow that the noblest of them will, sooner or later, put forth a moral power which shall prostrate cant, and burst asunder the bonds (silken to some but cold iron to others) of feudal prejudice and usages. In the meantime is it to be understood that the principles of the Declaration of Independence bear no relation to half of the human race? If so, what is the ground of this limitation?

Beryl Markham (English writer, 1902-1986)

What a child does not know and does not want to know of race and color and class, he learns soon enough as he grows to see each man flipped inexorably into some predestined groove like a penny or a sovereign in a banker's rack.

Edwin Markham (U.S. poet, 1852-1940)

He drew a circle that shut me out -
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout;
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

There is a destiny that makes us brothers,
No one goes his way alone;
All that we send into the lives of others,
Comes back into our own.

Don Marquis (U.S. journalist, 1878-1937)

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose.

Thurgood Marshall (U.S. lawyer and Supreme Court justice, 1908-1993)

I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust... We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.

Some years ago I said in an opinion that if this country is a melting pot, then either the Afro-Americans didn't get in the pot or he didn't get melted down.

A goal that is the basis of true democracy above the law; A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi--born to the dumbest, poorest, sharecropper--by merely drawing its first breath in the democracy has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It's not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.

José Martí (Cuban patriot and writer, 1853-1895)

Habit creates the appearance of justice; progress has no greater enemy than habit.

Men have no special right because they belong to one race or another: the word man defines all rights.

A knowledge of different literatures is the best way to free one's self from the tyranny of any of them.

Groucho Marx (U.S. comedic actor, 1895-1977)

Since my daughter is only half-Jewish, could she go in the water up to her knees?

W. Somerset Maugham (English novelist and playwright, 1874-1965)

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.

Tolerance is another word for indifference.

Nathan McCall (U.S. journalist and author)

Some white people are so accustomed to operating at a competitive advantage that when the playing field is level, they feel handicapped.

Mary McCarthy (U.S. novelist, 1912-1989)

A good deal of education consists of unlearning--the breaking of bad habits as with a tennis serve.

Nellie McClung (Canadian writer, 1873-1951)

Chivalry is a poor substitute for justice, if one cannot have both. Chivalry is something like the icing on the cake, sweet but not nourishing.

Carson McCullers (U.S. author, 1917-1967)

We live in the richest country in the world. There's plenty and to spare for no man, woman, or child to be in want. And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have been a great , true principle--the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of this start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars--and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat.

Margaret Mead (U.S. anthropologist, 1901- )

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

The mind is not sex-typed.

What is new is not bisexuality, but rather the widening of our awareness and acceptance of human capacities for sexual love.

Knowledge of another culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more livingly, our own.

We end up with the contradictory picture of a society that appears to throw its doors wide open to women, but translates her every step towards success as having been damaging.

We need every human gift and cannot afford to neglect any gift because of artificial barriers of sex or race or class or national origin.

Golda Meir (Israeli politician, 1898-1978)

Whether women are better than men I cannot say--but I can say they are certainly no worse.

Herman Melville (U.S. novelist and poet, 1819-1891)

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow-men; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and come back to us as effects.

Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemalan/Mayan activist, 1960- )

The Bible has been used as a way of making us accept our situation, and not to bring enlightenment to the poor.

H.L. Mencken (U.S. journalist, 1880-1956)

One of the things that makes a Negro unpleasant to white folk is the fact that he suffers from their injustice. He is thus a standing rebuke to them.

V.K. Krishna Menon (Indian statesman and layer, 1897-1974)

That expression "positive neutrality" is a contradiction in terms. There can be no more positive neutrality than there can be a vegetarian tiger.

Jules Michelet (French historian, 1798-1874)

What is the first part of politics? Education. The second? Education. And the third? Education.

John Stuart Mill (English philosopher and economist, 1806-1873)

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.

The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do; never does what he can do.

Alice Duer Miller (U.S. author, 1874-1942)

It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child's curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties.

Kelly Miller (U.S. educator, 1863-1938)

Civilization is not a spontaneous generation with any race or nation known to history, but the torch to be handed from race to race from age to age.

Those who become incoculated with the virus of race hatred are more unfortunate than the victim of it. Race hatred is the most malignant poison that can afflict the mind. It freezes up the fount of inspiration and chills the higher faculties of the soul.

Patsy T. Mink (U.S. Congresswoman, 1927- )

The problem with our education system is not that parents do not have a choice. The problem is that inequities continue to exist.

Sylvester Monroe (U.S. writer and correspondent, 1951- )

It is perhaps one of the great ironies of my life that so much of it has been spent trying on the one hand to get people to see me as a black man, and on the other not to write me off or apply some damnable double standard when they do.

Michael Eyquem de Montaigne (French moralist and essayist, 1533-1592)

There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

He who would be cured of ignorance must confess it.

Since I would rather make of him an able man than a learned man, I would also urge that care be taken to choose a guide with a well-made rather than a well-filled head.

Every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.

There's as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.

In the education of children there is nothing like alluring the interest and affection; otherwise you only make so many asses laden with books.

Juan Montalvo (Ecuadoran essayist and political writer, 1832-1889)

There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference.

Maria Montessori (Italian physician and educator, 1870-1952)

If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of a man's future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'

Olive Moore (English writer, 1905-1970)

Hatred is a passion requiring one hundred times the energy of love. Keep it for a cause, not an individual. Keep it for intolerance, injustice, stupidity. For hatred is the strength of the sensitive. Its power and its greatness depend on the selflessness of its use.

Jeve Moorman

'Status quo.' Latin for the mess we're in.

Sir Thomas More (English parliamentarian, 1478-1535)

They wonder much to hear that gold, which in itself is so useless a thing, should be everywhere so much esteemed, that even men for whom it was made, and by whom it has its value, should yet be thought of less value than it is.

Robin Morgan (U.S. editor, 1941- )

Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We're not inherently anything but human.

Samuel Eliot Morison (U.S. biographer and historian, 1887-1976)

The freedmen were not really free in 1865, nor are most of their descendants really free in 1965. Slavery was but one aspect of a race and color problem that is still far from solution here, or anywhere. In America particularly, the grapes of wrath have not yet yielded all their bitter vintage.

John Morley (English statesman, 1838-1923)

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

Our opinions are less important than the spirit and temper with which they posses us, and even good opinions are worth very little unless we hold them in a broad, intelligent, and spacious way.

Jan Morris (Welsh writer, 1926- )

I had reached the conclusion myself that sex was not a division but a continuum, that almost nobody was altogether of one sex or another, and that the infinite subtlety of the shading from one extreme to the other was one of the most beautiful of nature's phenomena.

Toni Morrison (U.S. novelist and writer, 1931- )

Liberation means you don't have to be silenced.

If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.

The function of freedom is to free somebody else.

Lucretia Mott (U.S. abolitionist and suffragist, 1793-1880)

The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of women, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.

I have no idea of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on me or on the slave. I will oppose it with all the moral powers with which I am endowed. I am no advocate of passivity.

Let woman then go on--not asking favors, but claiming as a right the removal of all hindrances to her elevation in the scale of being--let her receive encouragement for the proper cultivation of all her powers, so that she may enter profitably into the active business of life.

Lewis Mumford (U.S. writer and philosopher, 1895-1990)

The chief enemy of peace is the spirit of unreason itself: an inability to conceive alternatives, an unwillingness to reconsider old prejudices, to part with ideological obsessions, to entertain new ideas or to improve new plans.

David Mura (U.S. poet, 1952- )

In the realm of culture in America, white European culture has held the floor for centuries; just as with any one-sided conversation, a balance can only be achieved if the speaker who has dominated speaks less and listens more.

Edward R. Murrow (U.S. news commentator, 1908-1965)

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices--just recognize them.


Mikhail Naim
Aye, fight! But not your neighbor. Fight rather all the things that cause you and your neighbor to fight.

Napolean I (Emperor of France, 1769-1821)

Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.

Ability is of little account without opportunity.

Peter Nardi (U.S. professor, 1947- )

It may be an academically interesting puzzle as to why we are gay...but it is much more interesting and important to find out why people are homophobic.

Gamel Abdel Nasser (Egyptian president, 1918-1970)

Power is not merely shouting aloud. Power is to act positively with all the components of power.

The age of isolation is gone. And gone are the days in which barbed wire served as demarcation lines, separating and isolating countries from one another. No country can escape looking beyond its boundaries to find the source of the currents which influence how it can live with others.

George Jean Nathan (U.S. drama and social critic, 1882-1958)

No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.

Jawaharial Nehru (Indian politician, 1889-1964)

The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction.

The forces of capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The boundaries of democracy have to be widened so as to include economic equality also. This is the great revolution through which we are all passing.

Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.

Joan Nestle (U.S. writer and activist, 1940- )

As a woman, as a lesbian, as a Jew, much of what I call history, others will not. But answering that challenge of exclusion is the work of a lifetime.

Louise Nevelson (U.S. sculptor, 1899-1988)

The freer that women become, the freer men will be. Because when you enslave someone, you are enslaved.

Martin Niemoeller (German Protestant pastor, 1892-1984)

In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, 1844-1900)

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

Nigerian Proverb

It takes a whole village to educate a child.

Kathleen Norris (U.S. poet, 1947- )

Hate is all a lie, there is no truth in hate.

Ann Northrop (U.S. gay rights activist)

Don't tolerate me as different. Accept me as part of the spectrum of normalcy.

Mary Norton (U.S. Congresswoman, 1875-1959)

I'm no lady; I'm a member of Congress, and I'll proceed on that basis.


Ohiyesa (Santee Sioux author and physician, 1858-1939)
Is there not something worthy of perpetuation in our Indian spirit of democracy, where Earth, our mother, was free to all, and no one sought to impoverish or enslave his neighbor?

Outi Ojala (Finnish parliamentarian, 1946- )

It is not only discriminatory laws that should, nay, will be changed. The whole society will be transformed so that no one needs to be afraid of coming out, for everyone is already there.

Tess Onwueme (U.S. playwright, 1956- )

People create social conditions and people can change them.

Robert Orben (U.S. editor, writer, and humorist, 1927- )

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the Unites States. Ask any Indian.

George Orwell (English novelist, 1903-1950)

It is brought home to you...that it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior.

Cynthia Ozick (U.S. writer, 1928- )

It is the function of a liberal university not to give right answers, but to ask right questions.


Clarence Page (U.S. newspaper columnist, 1947- )
Most African Americans, if given a chance, would have chosen to be 'just Americans' ever since the first of us was brought here to Jamestown colony in 1619, a year before the Mayflower landed. But that choice has never been left up to us.

Privilege is least apparent to those who have it.

Thomas Paine (English political writer, 1737-1809)

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

Christabel Pankhurst (English suffragist, 1880-1958)

Ability is sexless.

Emmeline Pankhurst (English suffragist, 1858-1928)

It always seems to me when the anti-suffrage members of the Government criticize militancy in women that it is very like beasts of prey reproaching gentler animals who turn in desperate resistance when at the point of death.

Women had always fought for men, and for their children. Now they were ready to fight for their own human rights. Our militant movement was established.

We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help free the other half.

Dorothy Parker (U.S. poet and writer, 1893-1967)

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.

Theodore Parker (U.S. Unitarian theologian and social reformer, 1810-1860)

Democracy means not "I am as good as you are" but "You are as good as I am."

Rosa Parks (U.S. civil rights activist, 1913- )

All I was trying to do was get home from work.

I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, 1623-1662)

Unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Alan Paton (South African writer, 1903- )

To give up the task of reforming society is to give up one's responsibility as a free man.

Ocatvio Paz (Mexican writer and diplomat, 1914- )

Changes are inseparable from democracy. To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; in turn, changes alone can strengthen democracy.

M. Scott Peck (U.S. psychotherapist, 1936- )

There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace and ultimately no life, without community.

Jean Piaget (Swiss scientist, 1896-1980)

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.

Piapot (Cree Chief, 1816-1902)

The white man who is our agent is so stingy that he carries a linen rag in his pocket into which to blow his nose, for fear he might blow away something of value.

Marge Piercy (U.S. writer, 1936- )

A strong woman is a woman at work, cleaning out the cesspool of the ages, and while she shovels, she talks about how she doesn't mind crying, it opens the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up develops the stomach muscles, and she goes on shoveling with tears in her nose.

Robert M. Pirsig (U.S. writer and philosopher, 1928- )

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands.

It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, 'Go away, I'm looking for the truth.' And so it goes away. Puzzling.

Plato (Greek philosopher, 428-348 B.C.)

The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future.

Plautus (Roman playwright, c. 254-184 B.C.)

'He means well' is useless unless he does well.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin (U.S. journalist, 1939- )

A toy has no gender and no idea of whether a girl or boy is playing with it.

Polybius (Arcadian historian, 208-126 B.C.)

That historians should give their own country a break, I grant you; but not so as to state things contrary to fact. For there are plenty of mistakes made by writers out of ignorance, and which any man finds it difficult to avoid. But if we knowingly write what is false, whether for the sake of our country or our friends or just to be pleasant, what difference is there between us and hack writers? Readers should be very attentive to and critical of historians, and they in turn should be constantly on their guard.

Karl Popper (Austrian-born British philosopher, 1902-1994)

There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world.

Alvin Poussaint (U.S. psychiatrist, 1934- )

In America the government took the land from the Indians and then established laws protecting private property.

Leontyne Price (U.S. opera vocalist, 1927- )

Accomplishments have no color.

I am here and you will know that I am the best and will hear me. The color of my skin or the kink of my hair or the spread of my mouth has nothing to do with what you are listening to.

All token Blacks have the same experience. I have been pointed at as a solution to things that have not yet begun to be solved, because pointing at us token Blacks eases consciences of millions, and this is dreadfully wrong.


Qiu Jin (Chinese poet, 1874-1907)
The young intellectuals are all chanting, "Revolution, Revolution," but I say the revolution will have to start in our homes, by achieving equal rights for women.

Polingaysi Qoyawayma (Hopi author, 1892-1990)

We who are clay blended by the Master Potter, come from the kiln of Creation in many hues. How can people say one skin is colored, when each has its own coloration? What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well?

Anna Quindlen (U.S. newspaper columnist, 1953- )

Ever since the Evil Empire turned out to be a collection of third-world countries, Americans aligned on the far right have tried to cast gay men and lesbians as the new enemy, calculating deviants seducing the nation's young, anti-Avon ladies selling sodomy door-to-door. This simply won't wash. Just as seeing the Russians up close and personal on television humanized them, so seeing the lesbian grandmother of two little girls wearing her gold medal with pride makes the notion of otherness, much less deviance, silly and ignorant.

The pursuit of otherness, the sense that we are somehow different than our brothers and sisters, no matter where we find them, allows for all the other great evils: racism, sexism, homophobia, violence against gay people and against women.


Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Indian politician, 1888-1975)
True religion is a revolutionary force: it is an inveterate enemy of oppression, privilege, and injustice.

A. Philip Randolph (U.S. labor leader and social activist, 1889-1979)

A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess.

Equality is the heart and essence of democracy, freedom, and justice, equality of opportunity in industry, in labor unions, schools and colleges, government, politics, and before the law. There must be no dual standards of justice, no dual rights, privileges, duties, or responsibilities of citizenship. No dual forms of freedom.

Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they do not know each other; they do not know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.

Jeanette Rankin (U.S. reformer and suffragist, 1880-1973)

We're half the people; we should be half the Congress.

As a woman I can't go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.

James Rapier (U.S. congressman, 1839-1883)

I am held to answer for the crime of color when I was not consulted in the matter. Had I been consulted in the matter and my future fully described, I think I should have objected to being born in this gospel land.

Dan Rather (U.S. TV news anchor, 1931- )

The compassionate conservative's stand on homosexuals seems to be this: I'm OK, you're OK--so long as you don't want to serve in my military, marry my son, or get 'special protection' from civil rights laws. To those old enough to remember or with an ear for history, this will all ring familiar. And the conundrum the Republicans are facing now echoes the one with which segregationists of both parties were confronted as the black civil rights movement matured: once bigotry falls out of mainstream fashion, it's hard to talk the accepted talk without walking the walk. When the prevailing political winds force a party to abandon prejudicial rhetoric, how can it continue to advocate prejudicial policy without wrapping itself in the cloak of hypocrisy?

Jonathan Rauch (U.S. author, 1960- )

More non-fringe, non-radical homosexuals emerge into public view every day. As the stereotype of the homosexual as antisocial deviant crumbles, a (political) party or faction that tolerates gay-baiting rhetoric in the name of 'family values' makes 'family values' look more and more like common bigotry.

Maureen Reagan (U.S. political activist, 1941- )

I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.

Red Cloud (Oglala Sioux, c. 19th C.)

Look at me--I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches, but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.

Red Jacket (Seneca leader, c.1758-1830)

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the book?

Helen Reddy (Australian-born American singer, 1941- )

The most exciting thing about women's liberation is that this century will be able to take advantage of talent and potential genius that have been wasted because of taboos.

If I have to, I can do anything.
I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.

Ishmael Reed (U.S. writer, 1938- )

Multicultural is not a description of a category of American writing--it is a definition of all American writing.

Adrienne Rich (U.S. poet, 1929- )

If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless.

Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves.

Each feminist work has tended to be received as if it emerged from nowhere; as if each one of us had lived, thought, and worked without any historical past or contextual present. This is one of the ways in which women's work and thinking has been made to seem sporadic, errant, orphaned of any tradition of its own.

Ann Richards (U.S. politician, 1933- )

Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date.

Beah Richards (U.S. poet, playwright, and actress, 1926- )

Both class and race survive education, and neither should. What is education then? If it doesn't help a human being to recognize that humanity is humanity, what is it for? So you can make a bigger salary than other people?

Marlon Riggs (U.S. filmmaker, 1957-1994)

Silence kills the soul; it diminishes its possibilities to rise and fly and explore. Silence withers what makes you human. The soul shrinks, until it's nothing.

Rainer Maria Rilke (German writer and poet, 1875-1926)

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this, that man and maid, freed of all false feelings and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings.

Conrad Kent Rivers (U.S. poet, 1933-1967)

I am the hope
and tomorrow
of your unborn.
Truly, when there is no more of me,
there shall be no more of you.

Paul Robeson (U.S. actor and activist, 1898-1976)

The intolerance of the few, or the risk of it, carries the day against the wider humanity of the many.

The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.

I learned that along with the towering achievements of the cultures of ancient Greece and China there stood the culture of Africa, unseen and denied by the imperialist looters of Africa's material wealth.

My father was a slave and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you.

This is our home and this is our country. Beneath its soil lie bones of our fathers; for it some of them fought, bled, and died. Here we were born and here we will stay.

Mary Robinson (Irish labor politician, 1944- )

In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free. He may have power, but he will not have freedom.

Anita Roddick (English retail entrepreneur, 1943- )

Women want to be free to choose from the same range of options that men take for granted. In our quest for equal pay, equal access to education and opportunities, we have made great strides. But until women can move freely and think freely in their homes, on the streets, in the workplace without the fear of violence, there can be no real freedom.

Richard Rodriguez (U.S. writer, 1944- )

Mexico was most powerfully my father's smile and not, as you might otherwise imagine, not language, not pigment.

Richard Roeper (U.S. newspaper columnist)

A hundred or 500 years from now, history students will look at civilization in the year 2000 and chuckle at our lack of enlightenment. Some pop culture professor will show an ancient videotape of Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger getting married on national TV, and then she'll tell the class: 'It was legally acceptable for two heterosexual strangers who didn't know each other to get married on a TV show--yet it was against the law for two homosexuals who were involved in a lengthy, loving, respectful partnership to exchange wedding vows.' And the class will whoop with laughter and gasp with disbelief at our national double standard.

Carl Rogers (U.S. psychologist, 1902-1987)

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.

If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.

Will Rogers (U.S. actor and humorist, 1879-1935)

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

My folks were Indian. Both my mother and father had Cherokee blood in them. (I was) born and raised in Indian Territory. 'Course we're not the Americans whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, but we met them at the boat when they landed.

Will Rogers (U.S. actor and humorist, 1879-1935)

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Fernando de Rojas (Spanish writer, 1465-1538)

Goods which are not shared are not goods.

Carlos P. Romulo (Philippine diplomat, 1899-1985)

Nations will rise and fall, but equality remains the ideal. The univeral aim is to achieve respect for the entire human race, not for the dominant few.

Eleanor Roosevelt (U.S. humanitarian and lecturer, 1884-1962)

The trouble is that not enough people have come together with the firm determination to live the things which they say they believe.

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Democracy cannot be static. Whatever is static is dead.

Nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would rather die than change.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President, 1882-1945)

Democracy, the practice of self-government, is a covenant among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their fellows.

We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

All of our people all over the country--except the pure-blooded Indians--are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, including even those who came over here on the Mayflower.

Ned Rorem (U.S. composer and essayist, 1923- )

As a lifelong pacifist, Quaker, and a gay man, I despair that gays and lesbians are expending energy trying to get into the military when they should be using that same energy getting rid of the military completely.

Paula Rothenberg (U.S. feminist writer and scholar)

Racism and sexism are not "problems" or "topics." They are ways of defining reality and living our lives that most of us learned along with learning how to tie our shoes and how to drink from a cup.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Swiss-born French philosopher and novelist, 1712-1778)

Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken.

The more humanity owes him, the more society denies him. Every door is shut against him, even when he has a right to its being opened: and if he ever obtains justice, it is with much greater difficulty than others obtain favors.

Maude Royden (English religious leader, 1876-1956)

It is part of the amazing originality of Christ that there is to be found in his teaching no word whatever which suggests a difference in the spiritual ideals, the spheres, or the potentialities of men and women.

Lionel Rubinoff (U.S. philosophy scholar)

The real menace of barbarism is that it tends to be hidden behind a facade of respectability, in institutions which are so taken for granted that the very idea of subjecting them to criticism is received as an intolerable heresy.

Jill Ruckelshaus (U.S. lawyer and feminist, 1937- )

It occurred to me when I was thirteen and wearing white gloves and Mary Janes and going to dancing school, that no one should have to dance backward all their lives.

Women's rights in essence is really a movement for freedom, a movement for equality, for the dignity of all women, for those who work outside the home and those who dedicate themselves with more altruism than any profession I know to being wives and mothers, cooks and chauffeurs, and child psychologists and loving human beings.

David Ruggles (U.S. publisher, 1810-1849)

Prejudice is not so much dependent upon natural antipathy as upon education.

Richard Rumbold (English republican conspirator, 1622-1685)

I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.

John Rushkin (English writer, 1819-1900)

Let us reform our schools, and we shall find little reform needed in our prisons.

The entire object of true education is to make people not merely to do the right things, but to enjoy them; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge; not merely pure, but to love purity; not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.

Bertrand Russell (English philosopher and social reformer, 1872-1970)

The desire to understand the world and the desire to reform it are the two great engines of progress, without which human society would stand still or retrogress.

It's coexistence or no existence.

What is needed is not the will to believe but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

Vito Russo (U.S. film historian, 1946-1990)

When I say my brother and his wife are heterosexual, that doesn't mean I'm talking about their sex lives. Likewise, when we say someone is gay, we're talking about sexual orientation, not their sexual activity.

Russian proverb

I need not fear my enemies because the most they can do is attack me. I need not fear my friends because the most they can do is betray me. But I have much to fear from people who are indifferent.

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