Quotes by Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin

American activist

Alive from: 1912-1987

Category: Politics

Quotes 1 till 15 of 16.

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    If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.
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    If we desire a society in which men are brothers, then we must act towards one another with brotherhood. If we can build such a society, then we would have achieved the ultimate goal of human freedom.
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    It wasn't the Harry Belafontes and the greats from Hollywood that made the march. What made the march was that black people voted that day with their feet.
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    Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality.
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    My activism did not spring from my being gay, or, for that matter, from my being black. Rather, it is rooted fundamentally in my Quaker upbringing and the values that were instilled in me by my grandparents who reared me.
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    Since Israel is a democratic state surrounded by essentially undemocratic states which have sworn her destruction, those interested in democracy everywhere must support Israel's existence.
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    Surely, I must at all times attempt to obey the law of the state. But when the will of God and the will of the state conflict, I am compelled to follow the will of God.
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    The barometer for judging the character of people, in regard human rights, is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian. The judgment as to whether you can trust the future, the social advancement - depending on people - will be judged on where they come out on that question.
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    The organizers and perpetuators of segregation are as much the enemy of America as any foreign invader.
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    The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.
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    The real radical is that person who has a vision of equality and is willing to do those things that will bring reality closer to that vision...
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    War is wrong. Conscription for war is inconsistent with freedom of conscience, which is not merely the right to believe but to act on the degree of truth that one receives, to follow a vocation which is God-inspired and God-directed.
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    We demand that segregation be ended in every school district in the year 1963! We demand that we have effective civil rights legislation - no compromise, no filibuster - and that include public accommodations, decent housing, integrated education, FEPC and the right to vote.
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    When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.
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    When you're wrong, you're wrong. But when you're right, you're wrong anyhow.
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