The man who hates the black man because he is black, has the same spirit as he who hates the poor man because he is poor, It is the spirit of caste. The proud useless despises the honest useful. The parasite idleness scorns the great oak of labor on which it feeds, and that lifts it to the light.
I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot. Men are not superior by reason of the accidents of race or color. They are superior who have the best heart — the best brain. Superiority is born of honesty, of virtue, of charity, and above all, of the love of liberty. The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Civil Rights” (1883)
(First posted on June 18, 2007)