Racism is the belief that certain groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to physical appearance and thus can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another.

Suffice it to say, racist stereotypes can have a big impact on many aspects of a person’s life. Certain races and cultures are the targets of stereotypes that paint them as lazy, dirty, or untrustworthy. This can have a pretty big impact on things like their job or housing opportunities, and emotional well-being.


Powerful Racism Quotes

Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics. - Alex Haley

“Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.”

– Alex Haley


Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it. - Ruby Bridges

“Racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”

– Ruby Bridges


You don't fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity. - Bobby Seale

“You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity.”

– Bobby Seale


Although slavery may have been abolished, the crippling poison of racism still persists, and the struggle still continues. - Harry Belafonte

“Although slavery may have been abolished, the crippling poison of racism still persists, and the struggle still continues.”

– Harry Belafonte


Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list. - Denis Leary

“Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list.”

– Denis Leary


If I have to jump six feet to get the same thing that you have to jump two feet for - that's how racism works. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

“If I have to jump six feet to get the same thing that you have to jump two feet for – that’s how racism works.”

– Ta-Nehisi Coates


Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. - Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”

– Abraham Joshua Heschel


We must acknowledge that issues like systemic racism, economic inequality, and the achievement gap are the result of man-made policies. - Ayanna Pressley

“We must acknowledge that issues like systemic racism, economic inequality, and the achievement gap are the result of man-made policies.”

– Ayanna Pressley


Racism springs from ignorance. - Mario Balotelli

“Racism springs from ignorance.”

– Mario Balotelli


No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. - Nelson Mandela

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

– Nelson Mandela


Jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you're trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them. - Noam Chomsky

“Jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them.”

– Noam Chomsky


Racism had grown out of slavery and exploitation and was very hard to eradicate quickly and completely. - Assata Shakur

“Racism had grown out of slavery and exploitation and was very hard to eradicate quickly and completely.”

– Assata Shakur


How I wish we lived in a time when laws were not necessary to safeguard us from discrimination. - Barbra Streisand

“How I wish we lived in a time when laws were not necessary to safeguard us from discrimination.”

– Barbra Streisand


Racism and hatred are synonymous. - Alex Haley

“Racism and hatred are synonymous.”

– Alex Haley


Racism is not dead. Definitely, there are these biases. - John H. McWhorter

“Racism is not dead. Definitely, there are these biases.”

– John H. McWhorter


Racism is America's greatest disease, racism is a disease of the white man. - Albert Einstein

“Racism is America’s greatest disease, racism is a disease of the white man.”

– Albert Einstein


Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. - Ayn Rand

“Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes.”

– Ayn Rand


Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal. - Benjamin Spock

“Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.”

– Benjamin Spock


“I would say that, you know, being Jewish, what has been most significant in my life is understanding what a Hitler – what horrible politics can mean to people and I think that’s been one of the motivating factors in my life in fighting against racism and bigotry of all kinds because when it gets out of hand, as we have seen and we are, you know – it obviously has unbelievable repercussions.”

– Bernie Sanders


Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse. - Cornel West

“Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse.”

– Cornel West


The ultimate logic of racism is genocide. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate logic of racism is genocide.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong. - Muhammad Ali

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

– Muhammad Ali


No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. - Elie Wiesel

“No human race is superior no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.”

– Elie Wiesel


13 Bonus Quotes About Racism & Prejudice

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”

– Thurgood Marshall


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

– Robert F. Kennedy


“The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.”

– Barbara Deming


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. - Mark Twain
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness….”

– Mark Twain


“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


“Violence will only increase the cycle of violence.”

– Dalai Lama


We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced. - Herbert Spencer

“We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced.”

– Herbert Spencer


“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

– Anne Frank


“I hate racial discrimination most intensely and all its manifestations. I have fought all my life; I fight now, and will do so until the end of my days. Even although I now happen to be tried by one, whose opinion I hold in high esteem, I detest most.”

– Nelson Mandela


“At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being.”

– Friedrich Otto Hertz


“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”

– Bertrand Russell


“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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