"All I'm telling you is that that little creature in there has as much right to live as you do. Don't forget, you invaded his world. You sank a pipe six miles into the ground and when he climbed up you set dogs on him, shot him."
"We can most safely achieve truly universal tolerance when we respect that which is characteristic in the individual and in nations, clinging, though, to the conviction that the truly meritorious is unique by belonging to all of mankind."
"One criticizes the English for carrying their teapots wherever they go, even lugging them up Mount Etna. But doesn't every nation have its teapot, in which, even when traveling, it brews the dried bundles of herbs brought from home?"
"Respect--not tolerance--must be our goal if we would diminish prejudice in our time. For tolerance is often but a gentle disguise for prejudice: the tolerant often behave as self-appointed connoisseurs of weaknesses in others, or self-appointed protectors of those whom they deem to be their inferiors. Psychologically, there is a strong resemblance between the stridently "tolerant" and the prejudiced. For while the one may descend to attacking whole groups of men and the other may rise to a passionate defense of them, both are equally indiscriminate in their attack or defense; and neither has any concern whatsoever for individual character."
"Being offended is the natural consequence of leaving one's home. I do not like after- shave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs."
"Advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism. It is a total denial of the creative function of difference in our lives. Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic."
"When we affect to condemn savages, we should remember that by doing so we asperse our own progenitors; for they were savages also. Who can swear that among the naked British barbarians sent to Rome to be stared at more than 1500 years ago, the ancestor of Bacon might not have been found?--Why, among the very Thugs of India, or the bloody Dyaks of Borneo, exists the germ of all that is intellectually elevated and grand. We are all of us--Anglo-Saxons, Dyaks and Indians--sprung from one head and made in one image."
"... one of the blind spots of most Negroes is their failure to realize that small overtures from whites have a large significance ... I now realize that this feeling inevitably takes possession of one in the bitter struggle for equality. Indeed, I share it. Yet I wonder how we can expect total acceptance to step full grown from the womb of prejudice, with no embryo or infancy or childhood stages."