"Blacks are often confronted, in American life, with such devastating examples of the white descent from dignity; devastating not only because of the enormity of white pretensions, but because this swift and graceless descent would seem to indicate that white people have no principles."
- James Baldwin
"Deep down the issue is simple: the so-called indian wars from the days of sitting bull and red cloud have never really ended in the Americas. The indian people of southern Mexico, of Guatemala, and those left in El Salvador, too, are still fighting for their lives and for their land against the cavalry patrols sent out by the governments of those lands. the americas are indian country, and the 'indian problem' is not about to go away...
- Leslie Marmon Silko, "The Border Patrol State," Nation, 1994
"We have in our unregenerate youth learned the practicality and the cynicism that is safe only in unregenerate old age. We have BEEN forced to become realists overnight, instead of idealists, as was our birthright... We have seen hideous peculation, greed, anger, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, unmasked and rampant and unashamed. We have been forced to live in an atmosphere of 'tomorrow we die,' and so, naturally, we drank and were merry.
"The inability to identify with concrete issues resulted in the retreat from politics; the increasing complexity of aMERICAN LIFE MADE SUCH CONCRETE ISSUES INCREASINGLY HARD TO FIND AND MORE IMPORTANT, CREATED A CRIPPLING DISCREPANCY BETWEEN CURRENT POLITICAL Needs and the traditional political machinery. That discrepancy made the traditional actions and pronouncements of political leaders seem increasingly irrelevant to what people cared most about."
"We are a movement of the plain people,very weak in the matter of culture, intellectual support, and trained leadership. We are demanding, and we expect to win, a return of power into the hands of the everyday, not highly cultured, not overtly intellectualized, but entirely unspoiled and not de-Americanized average citizen of the old stock... This is undoubtedly a weakness. It lays us open to the charge of being 'hicks' and 'rubes' and 'drivers of second hand Fords.' We admit it...
- Hiram Wesley Evans (Imperial Grand Wizard), 1926
Looting in the cities can be just as much an act of politics as it is a desire for goods. It is a way in which the poor can make a representation to the society, for they have no other kind of representation; it is a way in which the black poor can express their hate of the white world for not giving them the chance to share in the goodies.
- Paul Jacobs