"Ever since I was a kid my folks fed me bigotry for breakfast and ignorance for supper. Never, not once did they ever make me feel proud of where I was born. That's it. That was a cancer they put in me. No knowledge of my country. No pride. Just a hymn of hate."
"I'm ashamed of myself and this magazine too. The sloppy, slovenly notion that everybody's busy doing bigger things. Well, there just isn't anything bigger than beating down the complacence of essentially decent people about prejudice. Yes, I'm ashamed of myself."
"I saw the man my friend ... wants pardoned, Thomas Flinton. He is a bright, good-looking fellow.... Of his innocence all are confident. The governor strikes me as a man seeking popularity, who lacks the independence and manhood to do right at the risk of losing popularity. Afraid of what will be said. He is prejudiced against the Irish and Democrats."
"No wise man can have a contempt for the prejudices of others; and he should even stand in a certain awe of his own, as if they were aged parents and monitors. They may in the end prove wiser than he."
"If the underdog were always right, one might quite easily try to defend him. The trouble is that very often he is but obscurely right, sometimes only partially right, and often quite wrong; but perhaps he is never so altogether wrong and pig-headed and utterly reprehensible as he is represented to be by those who add the possession of prejudices to the other almost insuperable difficulties of understanding him."
"I have observed, that a Reader seldom peruses a Book with Pleasure, 'till he knows whether the Writer of it be a black or a fair Man, of a mild or cholerick Disposition, Married or a Batchelor, with other Particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an Author."
"If a person is capable of rectifying his erroneous judgments in the light of new evidence he is not prejudiced. Prejudgments become prejudices only if they are reversible when exposed to new knowledge. A prejudice, unlike a simple misconception, is actively resistant to all evidence that would unseat it. We tend to grow emotional when a prejudice is threatened with contradiction. Thus the difference between ordinary prejudgments and prejudice is that one can discuss and rectify a prejudgment without emotional resistance."
"De gustibus non est disputandum;Mthat is, there is no disputing against HOBBY-HORSES; and, for my part, I seldom do ... for ... I keep a couple of pads myself, upon which, in their turns ... I frequently ride out and take the air."
"As one who knows many things, the humanist loves the world precisely because of its manifold nature and the opposing forces in it do not frighten him. Nothing is further from him than the desire to resolve such conflicts ... and this is precisely the mark of the humanist spirit: not to evaluate contrasts as hostility but to seek human unity, that superior unity, for all that appears irreconcilable."
"Parents' accepting attitudes can help children learn to be open and tolerant. Parents can explain unfamiliar behavior or physical handicaps and show children that the appropriate response to differences should be interest rather than revulsion."
"Dogmatic toleration is nonsense: I would no more tolerate the teaching of Calvinism to children if I had power to persecute it than the British Raj tolerated suttee in India. Every civilized authority must draw a line between the tolerable and the intolerable."