Freedom is never given; it is won.
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.
Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.
In every truth, the beneficiaries of a system cannot be expected to destroy it.
If someone tried to deprive you of your rights, you’ve got to resist it. You’ve got to resent it. You’ve got to fight against it.
Freedom is never granted; it is won.
Lincoln was the spokesman of the rising capitalist class of the North, who viewed the emancipation of Negro slaves as indispensable to the development and triumph of the manufacturers and bankers of the industrial North, East and West over the slave-holder of the South.
I don’t ever remember a single day of hopelessness. I knew from the history of the labor movement, especially of the black people, that it was an undertaking of great trial. That, live or die, I had to stick with it, and we had to win.
Justice is never given; it is exacted.
I am prepared to oppose a Jim Crow army till I rot in jail.
We seek the right to play our part in advancing the cause of national defense and national unity. But certainly, there can be no true national unity where one-tenth of the population is denied their basic rights as American citizens.
Patriotism has no appeal to us; justice has. Party has no weight with us; principle has. Loyalty is meaningless; it depends on what one is loyal to.
Debs is greater than Lincoln. Debs is the spokesman of the great struggling working class of all races, nationalities, creeds, sexes.
I personally pledge myself to openly counsel, aid, and abet youth, both black and white, to quarantine any Jim Crow conscription system.
Negroes must be free in order to be equal, and they must be equal in order to be free… Men cannot win freedom unless they win equality. They cannot win equality unless they win freedom.
Lincoln merely nominally freed the bodies of Negroes. But Debs would free the bodies and minds of Negroes.
I suggest that ten thousand Negroes march on Washington, D.C., the capital of the Nation, with the slogan, ‘We loyal Negro American citizens demand the right to work and fight for our country.’
Negroes are in no mood to shoulder guns for democracy abroad while they are denied democracy here at home.
The Negro was a political football between his former slave master and Northern political adventurers. The economic basis of this contest was the power to tax, to float bonds, to award franchise: in short, to gain control over the financial resources of the newly organized States.
We must develop huge demonstrations, because the world is used to big dramatic affairs. They think in terms of hundreds of thousands and millions and billions… Billions of dollars are appropriated at the twinkling of an eye. Nothing little counts.
I have an inner satisfaction of having done what I thought was right at the time which I thought was propitious.
If we have white persons in the March, we are certain to have trouble with the Communists, and it may not be viewed as a true expression of the Negro’s protest.
Since almost all Negroes are workers, live on wages, and suffer from the high cost of food, clothing and shelter, it is obvious that the Republican and Democratic Parties are opposed to their interests.