"... 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."
"In the course of the world, a man must very often put on an easy, frank countenance, upon very disagreeable occasions; he must seem pleased, when he is very much otherwise; he must be able to accost and receive with smiles, those whom he would much rather meet with swords."
"Patience is a most necessary qualification for business; many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request. One must seem to hear the unreasonable demands of the petulant, unmoved, and the tedious details of the dull, untired. That is the least price that a man must pay for a high station."
"Rarely do American parents deliberately teach their children to hate members of another racial, religious, or nationality group. Many parents, however, communicate the prevailing racial attitudes to their children in subtle and sometimes unconscious ways."
"The people of this country are too tolerant. There's no other country in the world where they'd allow it... After all we built up this country and then we allow a lot of foreigners, the scum of Europe, the offscourings of Polish ghettos to come and run it for us."
"I never went near the Wellesley College chapel in my four years there, but I am still amazed at the amount of Christian charity that school stuck us all with, a kind of glazed politeness in the face of boredom and stupidity. Tolerance, in the worst sense of the word.... How marvelous it would have been to go to a women's college that encouraged impoliteness, that rewarded aggression, that encouraged argument."
"Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood."
"[The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy."
"[W]e are all guilty in some Measure of the same narrow way of Thinking ... when we fancy the Customs, Dresses, and Manners of other Countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own."
"We often think ourselves inconsistent creatures, when we are the furthest from it, and all the variety of shapes and contradictory appearances we put on, are in truth but so many different attempts to gratify the same governing appetite."