— Frederick Douglass American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman 1818 - 1895
1880s, Speech on the Anniversary of Emancipation (1886)
Kontext: I admit the charge, but deny that nature, race, or color has anything to do with the fact. Any other race, with the same antecedents and the same conditions, would show a similar thieving propensity. The American people have this lesson to learn, that where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property would be safe... While I hold now, as I held years ago, that the South is the natural home of the colored race, and that there must the destiny of that race be mainly worked out, I still believe that means can be and ought to be adopted, to assist in the emigration of such of their number as may wish to change their residence to parts of the country, where their civil and political rights are better protected than at present they can be at the South... The Republican party is not perfect; it is cautious even to the point of timidity; but it is the best friend we have.