An Abolitionist
Response to
Slavery and Racism

Anthony Rayson
Editor, Thought Bombs Magazine
Illinois

anthonyrayson@hotmail.com

I'm sure many of you feel that abolitionism is an anachronistic idea. Slavery is over. Why would people consider themselves abolitionists today? That's what I hope to explain. I want to present a brief history of abolitionism - their teachings, goals, effect on history and how their tactics and principles can and are being utilized today. First, I would like to define a few terms. Let me quote Ron Daniels, a long time activist in the struggle:

"Racism is the systematic discrimination against or exclusion or oppression of a group, based on an accidental set of qualities, like skin color, or hair color or hair texture or shape, size of lips, nose, etc. It is often institutional in character. It is not confined to individual acts. It is something deeply embedded in American society. One of the things we need to do is explode the myth of 'black racism,' because one of the things that happened over the course of the last twenty years, particularly with the Reagan administration, as the white backlash against the civil rights movement began to reach its zenith, is Reagan began to change the terms of the debate. He began to talk about 'reverse racism,' 'reverse discrimination' and something called 'black racism.'

"Well, it is true that all human beings, including African-Americans, are not exempt from being prejudiced. Prejudice is the ability to pre-judge or the capacity to pre-judge and it is regrettable that people pre-judge things. People base their behavior and some of that behavior is not nice. Or, we might be chauvinist. This is the belief that one is better - one's group is better. Or, we might be bigoted. One might set out, out of hatred or mean-spiritedness, and do acts that are unkind, or on the basis of prejudice towards other groups. All these things are bad, but they are not really what we are referring to when we talk about racism. Racism really is the capacity to translate attitudes of superiority into customs, practice or law. The fact of the matter is, we are talking about the capacity of a group of people to take that animosity, that anger and hostility, that feeling of superiority and translate it into something that deprives people of the capacity to fulfill themselves."

The abolitionists were the most effective revolutionaries in American history aside from the founding fathers. The founding fathers, however, codified, embedded and sanctified racism and slavery into the laws, customs and practices of American life, making it constitutionally legal. The abolitionists fought to destroy this most vile reality. The American revolutionaries of 1776 were very lucky to throw off the usurious influence of England, who was pre-occupied an ocean away. They set up a system which mocked their very own flowery words. They declared, "All men are created equal" in one breath and with the other sanctified, codified and legitimized human slavery. This may very well have been the most gallingly deceitful set of documents ever conjured. To his credit, Thomas Paine was one of the very few at this time to openly denounce this scourge. In his disgust, he went to France to continue the struggle for human liberty.

There are two ways of looking at race in this world. One is the big lie of racial superiority of so-called "white" people over those of color, particularly, the blacks. This somehow justifies genocide, slavery, racism, systematic oppression, degradation and the exploitation of most of the world's people, for the enrichment of a tiny minority of white, male capitalists. Most whites are less oppressed workers, used as pawns to perpetuate these practices. Many of them are neutralized into acquiescence to this system by the confusion and timidity systematic brainwashing forces upon them. The other take on race is the big truth of racial equality and the struggle for its realization.

Capitalism has long relied on slavery and slave ideology - racism - to exploit the workers and poor of this world. Hitler based his attempted takeover of Europe on the successful model of the racist conquering by white invaders in the Western Hemisphere. He groveled only to German capital. They approved his racist megalomania as they saw their dreams of ultra profits being realized, through genocide, slave labor and military conquest. America's capital has brought the war on the world's people home - to white people. As blacks and others of color are being herded into prisons, white workers are discovering they are no longer capitalism's darlings. Indeed, they never have been. The crumbs of white privilege have always been an empty smoke screen to keep whites ignorant of their real enemy - their own bosses. This has served to keep the blacks super oppressed and the white workers unable to understand their historical role of uniting with their brothers and sisters of color to overthrow the enemies of all mankind, U.S. dominated, world capitalism.

In the nineties, one of the new groups of revolutionaries is the abolitionists. We've taken up the challenge of ratcheting up the level of understanding, which the abolitionists of yore were so famous for. Wendell Phillips said boastfully, but honestly, "We have facts for those who think, arguments for those who reason; but he who cannot be reasoned out of his prejudices must be laughed out of them; he who cannot be argued out of his selfishness must be shamed out of it by the mirror of his hateful self held up relentlessly before his eyes." Racism as a crippling mindset is a white person's problem. Blacks generally understand what racism is and black intellectuals have been at the forefront in the understanding of this pervasive plague, but it is white people who must change their way of thinking for this country and the world to have a legitimate chance at societal advancement. It behooves white intellectuals and white activists to concentrate on this ubiquitous problem and enlighten whites to racial equality, to empower them to clearer thinking and a sense of belonging in the struggle for racial justice which is really the struggle for all human beings to attain freedom, equality and an opportunity to achieve their potential.

Modern day abolitionists have taken up the mantle and unabashedly endeavor to "identify, challenge, defy, disrupt and finally destroy the institutions that reproduce race." We want to take the lessons and examples of last centuries abolitionist movement, their deep commitment and unrelenting dedication, their moral fervor and powerfully cogent wording, speeches and direct action, expand upon them and make these lessons and guidelines usable in today's world.

Today, racism is a lot more subtle. The propaganda machine of the state is much more adept at hidden mind control and the techniques of social brainwash are much more appealingly streamlined and homogenized. A thorough expose of this sham that makes many whites consider young black males as criminals and black females immoral, is absolutely vital for the empowerment of our struggle. Fighting racism it is not only the morally right thing to do, but it opens the door to all of society's screaming problems, as the fog is lifted from people's thinking. As this racial awareness helped spell the doom of the slave system, so too could it prove the Achilles heel of modern day capitalism.

The abolitionists emerged as the forces opposed to the accomodationist position of gradual anti-slavery thinking. It was a radical break with the liberals. It demanded an immediate end to slavery and full human rights for black people. They believed in the concept of immediatism, which held that focused concentration should be applied to the problem until the goal of emancipation was achieved. It was a personal commitment to keep the pressure on, daily. They were uncompromisingly opposed to anything less than the total destruction of the slave system. Their tactics included disrupting church meetings, operating slave-freeing operations, such as the underground railroad, agitating against and violating the fugitive slave laws, etc. Their constant legal and illegal agitation and direct actions, writings, speeches, books, etc., never let the awful reality of slavery be ignored, despite the often tiny number of adherents they could boast. What they lacked in numbers, they made up with intensely worded truth, relentless agitation and uncommon courage.

Not until 1831, did white people begin to take it upon themselves to organize legitimately to fight slavery, tooth and nail. William Lloyd Garrison began his brilliant career with the first issue of the Liberator. Nat Turner's slave rebellion occurred in this seminal year. It was the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history. A black thinker, David Walker, issued a powerfully reasoned appeal to slaves, calling for them to realize the legitimacy of their right to revolt. Garrison's famous thunderbolt challenge read, "I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there no cause for severity? I will be harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD." Those were the passwords of liberty. The gauntlet was laid down. Although in Boston, he was surrounded by a sea of ignorant, racist white society, who were often whipped into a frenzied mob, by the local rich and their bleating papers. Abolitionists were unremittingly besieged by mobs and occasionally murdered, like our own Elijah P. Lovejoy, who was gunned down by a mob in his hometown of Alton, Illinois, as he was defending his fourth printing press from destruction! A day earlier, he had his murderers blubbering in tears from the power of his oratory, as he refused to be run out of town. To remain in business with slavers, they decided he had to die.

In the South, the response in part, to abolitionism, was to step up the suppression, driving anti-slavery advocates Northward and tightening the chains on the slaves. Sicker, anti-human laws were passed and enforced. Women joined the movement and added their life-affirming eloquence and indomitable spirit of human decency and moral righteousness. Full equal rights for women was an even more blasphemous concept than full rights for slaves! This involvement by women presaged the struggle for women's rights. A split in the ranks of the abolitionists occurred in 1840 over the involvement of women. The moderates foolishly didn't want women advocating for human freedom and were thus cast by the wayside of ideas and marginalized.

Abolitionists attacked religious collusion with slavery and went to the churches to challenge their pious hypocrisy. They produced books, pamphlets, anthologies, journals, newspapers, etc., documenting the evils of slavery, constantly advocating for racial equality. As the U.S. Government proved more and more to be a slaveocracy, the pressure by abolitionists was increased. Thirteen out of the first fifteen presidents were slave owners, being waited on hand and foot -- in the White House! -- as were innumerable senators, legislators and Supreme Court justices. Abolitionists set up the illegal underground railroad to help fleeing slaves reach the freedom of Canada, and joined to prevent the abduction of blacks by slave bounty hunters. They raised money for provisions and guns for anti-slavery fighters in Kansas, such as John Brown, and kept up their pressure of moral shame and detailed expose of the abomination of slavery, and the awful sham of "respectable" Southern society. They attacked Northern complicity in slavery's continuation and the evils of capitalism's wage-slave system. They railed against the genocidal extermination of the indigenous Americans and the imperialist invasion of Mexico. They endeavored to educate children, writing abolitionist children's books and information on ways to treat children as human beings instead of as tiny, super-exploitable workers.

The abolitionists contributed mightily to the world of literature and advanced thought. Lydia Maria Child was a prolific abolitionist author as were many others. Harriet Beecher Stowe's masterpiece, Uncle Tom's Cabin, has few equals as a socially impactful work of fiction, nor many literary equals. So you see, although the abolitionists concentrated on race, they opened and explored the Pandora's Box of all the evils that define capitalism. Their contributions to revolutionary theory and practice are rich.

Lessons we can draw on, brought to our attention by these abolitionists are 1) Their relating to children, teaching them to fight injustice and advocating for their decent treatment. 2) The prominence of women in the anti-slavery battle and the legitimacy of women's rights. 3) Their attacking the complicity of the churches with slavery. 4) The fearlessness with which abolitionists advocated their positions and the intensity and depth of their argumentation. If you want to read brilliant, manly argument on this subject, check out Wendell Phillips! 5) This would be their attack on business and their collusion with slavery and their inhuman treatment of "free" white labor, and the grossly underpaying of the labor of freed blacks. 6) Would be the abolitionists solidarity with other struggles in America and abroad. For example, they supported the struggle of the Irish, who were, and to a large extent still are, the "niggers" of Europe.

The abolitionists were prolific writers, producing many newspapers, journals, pamphlets, flyers, books, exhaustively researched resource manuals and reams of poetry. They were early zinesters, getting the word out in a d.i.y. (do it yourself) manner. Although having different ideas on various issues and differing temperaments, they supported each other as they all held firm on the one basic idea, the abolition of slavery. They refused to be cowed by the police or the mobs that hounded them. They possessed an emotional honesty and a willingness to admit to their weaknesses and mistakes which reflect back on their honest, basic human decency.

The concept of immediatism is useful for us today. This is the life-long commitment to the goal of liberation, an indefatigable spirit, a driven, motive-inspired dedication to the agitational tasks. They demonstrated a fearless willingness to attempt to reason with their enemies and even converted some by the power of their ideas. They didn't just preach to the choir. They remained steadfast in their militancy with a unique clear-sightedness for decades! They advocated for education to be available for all Americans. Let's not forget that it was illegal to educate slaves and even free blacks up North, to a large extent. They advocated for the humanizing and opening of prisons. They sought better treatment for the mentally and physically handicapped, the blind, mute, deaf and sick. They fought for the realization of international peace. They pressured politicians into taking more and more radical positions. Mostly, they hammered away at the major cancer of this country - racial oppression. When the time came, many joined the struggle bearing arms. Many abolitionists joined Northern armies, leading soldiers into battle against the South, when it became obvious it had become a war of liberation. Many fought bravely and sacrificed their lives and for that, they are immortalized in our heart of hearts.

Lerone Bennett, Jr., said, "There was in John Brown a complete identification with the oppressed. It was his child that a slaveowner was selling; his sister who was being whipped in the field; his wife who was being raped in the gin house. It was not happening to the Negroes; it was happening to him. Thus it was said that he could not bear to hear the word slave spoken. At the sound of the word his body vibrated like the strings of a sensitive violin. John Brown was a Negro and it was in this aspect that he suffered."

As the war clouds gathered, John Brown seeded them with his mythic attack on Harper's Ferry, forfeiting his life and that of two of his sons, along with many of his comrades-in-arms. This incredible gesture of a white man trying to arm the slaves to revolt was such a shock it drove the South into a paranoid frenzy and forced the North to reluctantly respond. It electrified the anti-slavery forces in the North. His life-sacrificing commitment to human freedom lessened the time black people were forced to endure chattel slavery. His memory lives on in the hearts of all black Americans and other freedom-loving people throughout the globe.

When the war bogged down, as Northern whites refused to sacrifice themselves for the aims of the rich, it became clear that the union was dissolving. The government finally listened to the abolitionists, as Lincoln was forced to come hat in hand to them for a solution to the quagmire. Wendell Phillips addressed a joint session of Congress, and instructed them to one, make it a war of emancipation and two, train and arm black slaves to fight for their freedom. Thus, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a war expedient. It did, however, signal to the slaves, that they were at long last welcomed. The black slaves had from the first flooded the Northern armies, overwhelming the situation, making themselves invaluable and impossible to ignore. Black slaves, also undertook a general strike in the South, which paralyzed the ability of the Confederacy to maintain a war machine. The slaves, none-the-less made sure to care for the white women and children of the plantations. With the impetus of the blacks fighting in Northern armies, this tipped the balance in favor of the North. With incredible bravery and tenacity, borne of the revolutionary dynamism of the most oppressed on the march, one hundred and eighty thousand slaves became soldiers, often forced on suicidal assaults by their white officers. They spearheaded the defeat of the Southern slaveocracy, saving the union.

With the leadership and continuous agitation of the abolitionists, slavery was ended. They pushed for the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment, which conferred full citizenship rights to blacks and the Fifteenth Amendment, which granted them voting privileges, were also enacted, greatly due to the efforts of abolitionists. Having these rights respected was another matter. A period of partial radical reconstruction was sporadically undertaken and some blacks were allowed a measure of freedom and political participation. Some blacks even attained a bit of land and were allowed to farm for themselves. However, capitalism was not ended, nor was racism abolished. After a few short years, anti-black whites regrouped to reinstitute a slightly more subtle form of race-based oppression. For rescuing the nation from its hateful self, black people were rewarded with an upgrade from out-and-out slavery to a form of serfdom. Many blacks remained on the plantations, working as hard as before with nothing to show for it. Many wandered throughout the South and became victims of vagrancy laws, jailed and worked as prison laborers. Jim Crow laws, black codes and Ku Klux Klan lynch mob vigilante justice became entrenched in the South and the North! Virulent racist thought became ubiquitous. History was rewritten. The abolitionists were explained away as mentally deranged. Racism became as virulently oppressive a disease as ever. The work of abolitionism did not end. World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, each saw a slight improvement for the lot of black people, who always toiled mightily in defense of this country, only to see a racist pendulum of reaction follow these kiddie steps of progress.

Tragically, the history of the white working class of this country has been marred by the thorazine-like effect of racism. White workers were, and to a large extent still are, crippled politically, economically, socially, morally, and psychologically by the construct of racism. This has greatly reduced their ability to organize effectively, analyze society and build a more equitable, progressive reality. This has allowed the capitalist class to establish itself, uncontested basically, dig a foothold and entrench itself, eventually emplacing the stranglehold of the rich which defines our society today. They've had a whole hemisphere of unspoiled bounty to exploit, to boot! White workers have settled for the meatless bone of supposed racial superiority. They may have been destitute, but at least they weren't slaves. Like dogs, they were often trained to hate "niggers," above all else. This malignancy is still terribly prevalent. White society, save for a small counter-culture, is defined by ignorance, timidity, mindless racism, and vacuous consumerism. Witness the high school-like cheering for the senseless genocide unleashed on the people of Iraq and the chortling over their awful suffering. It's pure alienation for anyone with even a glimmer of thinking ability! Many young whites abhor this excuse for a life and are looking for alternatives, like the truth.

Abolitionists today have taken up the all-encompassing challenge of black (read: human) freedom, justice, equality and the pursuit of life with full dignity. We are taking the lessons of our mentors to heart. After all, white society screams for the liberating insight racial truth can provide them. Blacks deserve their long overdue freedom. How are we to accomplish these goals? We think they can only be accomplished with the aid of focused, painstaking, educational methods, as so impactfully demonstrated by the abolitionists of yesteryear. Slowly, this awareness is spreading.

Today, as reactionary social fascism becomes more and more pronounced and naked profit-seeking becomes more blatant, white workers are beginning to realize that their so-called white skin privilege is about as useful as a hundred marks in 1923 Germany. Virulent racism (such as church burnings and police assaults) are on the increase as capital records record profits and workers are increasingly besieged. Many white folks still blame society's hardships on the blacks instead of everyone's real tormentors, the state and the corporations they service. But, on the other side of the coin, many more whites have begun to reject these lies and identify more and more with black people and others of color. This offers hope that our children may experience an adult life based on racial sanity.

The civil rights movement, Vietnam and the social upheavals of the sixties and seventies brought new opportunities for minor improvements for blacks. Some words were changed in a few laws. Social, educational and economic opportunities opened up a little for some blacks. After the U.S. was defeated in Vietnam, the U.S. beast retreated to lick its wounds for a little while before it felt comfortable in cranking up the reactionary swing of racialist capitalism. The facade of a phony communist monolith crumbled, enabling the ruling class to accelerate its subjugation of all the world's workers and resources.

Out of this reactionary environment, the New Abolitionist Movement was launched in 1990. A new voice of focused understanding and study of the role race plays in our society is being heard with the aim of getting white people to reject the lies of racism and embrace the struggle for black freedom, in effect, to abolish "whiteness." These ideas are articulated in the journal, Race Traitor, and the newsletter, the New Abolitionist News. They are calling on whites to serve as race traitors to expose , identify, attack, reveal and make untenable the construct of racist ideology. Insight into race will provide whites with the fog-lifting clarity to begin to confront America's other social, economic and political problems. It provides blacks with long past due allies in their struggle for freedom. It also gives whites the liberating freedom of becoming full human beings, no longer tied to self-crippling ideas.

Why am I an abolitionist? I consider myself an anarchist and an atheist. In other words, I'm a rationalist. Why do I go around advocating abolitionism? It's because this sickening, Earth-threatening capitalist beast has always used slave ideology as its moorings. If we can dissolve the white racist lies infecting so many minds, we have a much better chance at effectively opposing all the other systems of oppression under capitalism's umbrella - sexism, religious nonsense, child-hating, homophobia, nationalism, militarism, ecocide - everything threatening, degrading, poisoning, bulldozing and killing this world of ours.

Just because a person's skin is white, doesn't mean he has to think "white." If enough white people refuse to play this game, the racist sea, which capitalism so relies on, will begin to dry up. As more whites realize fighting for black liberation is in their own best interests, a genuinely multi-racial force can be mustered to revolt against all of capitalism's degrading inequities. All these struggles are inter-connected, and I don't mean to minimize the importance of the other ones, but I do feel that racism is so fundamentally pervasive throughout America's history, that it shrieks to be concentrated upon. Capitalism has always saved its harshest, most devastating treatment for black people, throughout this world. By focusing on this struggle, the true nature of our enemy can be seen in all its depravity. It keeps our hatred of the system pure and potent and insures our concentrated attention. Remember, we are their next intended victims. The struggle for black freedom is where some of the most powerful writings and inspirational examples of selflessness are shown, which can fortify and empower us. It is where the real revolutionary action is being waged, daily. The massive spontaneous revolt which greeted the Rodney King "verdict" could not have come from the white community, or even the Chicano community - at least not yet. I think it is important to note that this insurrection enjoyed the support of some non-blacks, others of color, and significantly, some whites. Our job is to educate, propagandize, build coalitions, recruit fighters and be involved in anti-racist actions. We hold forums, meetings, conventions, seminars - anything and everything to get our message known in a way that will advance the struggle against racism-propped capitalism.

As for modern day abolitionism, it sprung out of the racial awareness accumulating in the universities. Race Traitors' two main editors, John Garvey and Noel Ignatiev, double as brilliant professors. Garvey teaches at the City University of New York. Noel has recently wrapped up his lecturing at Harvard, to devote full time to the cross-country advocacy of abolitionist ideas. Issue #8 of Race Traitor just came out. I have a few copies for sale, along with the first four issues of my abolitionist zine, Thought Bombs, which I have just recently detonated. Staughton Lynd, a well-respected historian, has written the first article in this latest Race Traitor. It is entitled, "Black and White and Dead All Over: The Lucasville Insurrection." It is about the prison revolt in Ohio, in 1993, where the Black Muslims and the Aryan Nation teamed up during this revolt, and the brutal suppression meted out by the state when it was all over. It's powerful stuff, believe me.

The best of the first four issues of Race Traitor has been compiled into book form. It won a National Book Award last year. One essay, "Three Days That Shook The New World Order," was written by Chicago's own, Franklin Rosemont. It details the events of the Rodney King insurrection. Race Traitor is full of insightful articles, essays, historical analysis and letters. Their tenets are that race being the historically constructed social formation that it is, can be dismantled by having enough white people reject their "whiteness," which would make the whole sham of "whiteness" untenable, opening up the struggle across the board. We must get white people past the stumbling block of race to empower them effectively in this challenge against the state.

"The existence of the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above class, gender, or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it unreliable as a predictor of behavior will lead to its collapse." Race Traitor's guiding principle is, "Treason to Whiteness is Loyalty to Humanity." Whether this is realizable as soon as we'd like, so soon at all, is anybody's guess. But, it's hopeful, inspired and worthy of our most determined efforts. Last May, an abolitionist gathering was held in New York City, attended by 175 activists. Out of this was launched the New Abolitionist News, featuring more insightful essays and news. The address of the New Abolitionist News is P.O.Box 603, Cambridge, MA 02140-0005. The journal is twenty bucks for four issues. You can also call a local editor at (312) 794-2954.

Actions such as copwatches, where activists keep an eye on the police, with video cameras, etc., in areas where the cops are known to abuse people, are done in various cities across the country. College campuses are beginning to form abolitionist groups such as the one at the University of Texas, and at our very own University of Chicago, whose group goes by the name of S.A.W. (Students Against Whiteness). New activists are being energized to advocate for racial solidarity. Books have been written recently about this subject, such as "The Wages of Whiteness" by David Roediger, and "How the Irish Became White," by Noel Ignatiev.

It's motivating to see whites finally focusing on their genuine self-interests and battling alongside their brothers and sisters of color, because after all, it is all of our struggle. The black revolutionaries are stepping up their activities as well. The Panthers are back! More clearsighted, fearless, articulate and inspiring than ever, after being decimated by the death squads of the U.S. Government. Other groups of women, blacks, punks, Chicanos, Indians, etc. have stepped up the pace of the struggle. There's a group called Black Autonomy out of Seattle. They're black anarchists who also offer terrific leadership and insight. I have a list of a couple dozen addresses and brief descriptions of underground publications available.

Abolitionists strive to support and work closely with these black fighters. It's for real! The fight is on. The commitment is there! Slowly, a new multi-racial revolutionary movement is taking shape. We have a world to reclaim from the racist rich. It's time to knuckle down and do our jobs! There's no excuse for whites not to be involved in this broadening of humanity.

I'd like to leave you with a few quotes. James Baldwin said, "As long as you think you're white, there is no hope for you." W.E. B. DuBois, perhaps the most brilliant intellectual America has ever produced, said, "It was bad enough to have the consequences fall upon colored people the world over; but in the end it was even worse when one considers what this attitude did to the (white) worker. His aim and ideal was distorted… He began to want not comfort for all men, but power over other men… He did not love humanity and he hated niggers."

Here's Wendell Phillips again, "I claim for the anti-slavery movement… it has been marked by sound judgment, unerring foresight, the most sagacious adaptation of means to ends, the strictest self-discipline, the most thorough research, and an amount of patient and manly argument addressed to the conscience and intellect of the nation, such as no other cause of the kind, in England or this country, has ever offered."

"Begin with the children and train their minds to habits of just feelings and acting, and you may hope for great success. But once you let the mind become imbued with the martial spirit, which is the same as the spirit of slaveholding, a spirit which leads man to domineer over his brother, to crush him and despoil him, that mind will not depart from this diabolical spirit." -Henry Wright

"But why is it that it seems so repugnant to marry your sons and daughters to colored persons? Simply because public opinion is against it. Nature teaches no such repugnance, but experience has taught me that education only does. Do children feel and exercise that prejudice towards colored persons? Do not colored and white children play together promiscuously until the white is taught to despise the colored?" -David Rugles

"Man can better stand starvation than the consciousness of injustice. The consciousness that you are treated unjustly will rouse you to protest and rebellion just as quickly as hunger, perhaps even quicker. Hunger may be the immediate cause of every rebellion or uprising, but beneath it is the slumbering antagonism and hatred of the masses against those at whose hands they are suffering injustice and wrong. The truth is that right and injustice play a far more important role in our lives than most people are aware of." -Alexander Berkman

"The sad drama of immigrants embracing whiteness while facing the threat of being victimized as non-white would have many sequels after the Irish experience."
-David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

"We first debase the nature of man by making him a slave, and then very coolly tell him that he must always remain a slave because he does not know how use freedom. We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever because they are prostrate."
-Lydia Maria Child

"If anti-slavery made me take one particle less of interest in the sad music of the moon, the birth and death of the flowers, and above all, in the rose colored dreams of youthful love, I would abjure it tomorrow." -Lydia Maria Child

"Who can be serene in a country where both rulers and ruled are without principle? The remembrance of the baseness of politicians spoils my walks. My thoughts are murder to the State. I endeavor in vain to observe nature, my thoughts involuntarily go plotting against the State. I trust that all just men will conspire." -Henry David Thoreau

"We do not play politics. Anti-slavery is no half jest with us. It is a terrible earnest, with life or death, worse than life or death…" My boy, Wendell Phillips.

"Racism does not exempt white people from exploitation, it reconciles them to it."
-Noel Ignatiev

I tell you all this because history is the genetic blueprint of present day reality. Thank you all for your attention.

Anthony Rayson
Monee, IL


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