43 Bayard Rustin Quotes On Success In Life

Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. These Bayard Rustin quotes will motivate you.

Best Bayard Rustin Quotes

  1. “Let us be enraged about injustice, but let us not be destroyed by it.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  2. “If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  3. “People will never fight for your freedom if you have not given evidence that you are prepared to fight for it yourself.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  4. “If we want to do away with the injustice to gays it will not be done because we get rid of the injustice to gays. It will be done because we are forwarding the effort for the elimination of injustice to all. And we will win the rights for gays, or blacks, or Hispanics, or women within the context of whether we are fighting for all.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  5. “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  6. “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  7. “The real radical is that person who has a vision of equality and is willing to do those things that will bring reality closer to that vision. . .” ~ Bayard Rustin
  8. “If we desire a society in which men are brothers, then we must act towards one another with brotherhood. If we can build such a society, then we would have achieved the ultimate goal of human freedom.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  9. “If I do not fight bigotry wherever it is, bigotry is thereby strengthened. And to the degree that it is strengthened, it will, thereby, have the power to turn on me.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  10. “To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  11. “The only weapon we have is our bodies, and we need to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn” ~ Bayard Rustin

  12. “Gays are beginning to realize what blacks learned long ago: Unless you are out here fighting for yourself then nobody else will help you. I think the gay community has a moral obligation to continue the fight.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  13. “You have to join every other movement for the freedom of people. Therefore join the movement as individuals against anti-Semitism, join the movements for the rights of Hispanics, the rights of women, the rights of gays. In other words, I think that each movement has to stand on its own feet because it has a particular agenda, but it can ask other people.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  14. “God does not require us to achieve any of the good tasks that humanity must pursue. What God requires of us is that we not stop trying.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  15. “The moral man is he who is opposed to injustice per se, opposed to injustice wherever he finds it; the moral man looks for injustice first of all in himself.” ~ Bayard Rustin”The proof that one truly believes is in action.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  16. “The proof that one truly believes is in action.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  17. “Every indifference to prejudice is suicide because, if I don’t fight all bigotry, bigotry itself will be strengthened and, sooner or later, it will return on me.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  18. “Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new ‘niggers’ are gays. It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change. The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  19. “You have to join every other movement for the freedom of people.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  20. “My activism did not spring from being black…The racial injustice that was present in this country during my youth was a challenge to my belief in the oneness of the human family.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  21. “Bigotry birthplace is the sinister back room of the mind where plots and schemes are hatched for the persecution and oppression of other human beings.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  22. “I believe in social dislocation and creative trouble.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  23. “Both morally and practically, segregation is to me a basic injustice. Since I believe it to be so, I must attempt to remove it. There are three ways in which one can deal with injustice. (a) One can accept it without protest. (b) One can seek to avoid it. (c) One can resist the injustice non-violently. To accept it is to perpetuate it.” ~ Bayard Rustin Quotes
  24. “When I say I love Eastland, it sounds preposterous a man who brutalizes people. But you love him or you wouldn’t be here. You’re going to Mississippi to create social change and you love Eastland in your desire to create conditions which will redeem his children. Loving your enemy is manifest in putting your arms not around the man but around the social situation, to take power from those who misuse it at which point they can become human too.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  25. “Every gay who is in the closet is ultimately a threat to the freedom of gays. I don’t want to seem intolerant to them and I think we have to say that to them with a great deal of affection, but remaining in the closet is the other side of the prejudice against gays. Because until you challenge it, you are not playing an active role in fighting it.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  26. “The organizers and perpetrators of segregation are as much the enemy of America as any foreign invader.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  27. “Surely, I must at all times attempt to obey the law of the state. But when the will of God and the will of the state conflict, I am compelled to follow the will of God.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  28. “Black gay activists should try to build coalitions of people for the elimination of all injustice.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  29. “The Journey of Reconciliation was organized not only to devise techniques for eliminating Jim Crow in travel, but also as a training ground for similar peaceful projects against discrimination in such major areas as employment and in the armed services.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  30. “I am a Quaker. And as everyone knows, Quakers, for 300 years, have, on conscientious ground, been against participating in war. I was sentenced to three years in federal prison because I could not religiously and conscientiously accept killing my fellow man.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  31. “Looking back at his career, Mr. Rustin, a Quaker, once wrote: ‘The principal factors which influenced my life are 1) nonviolent tactics; 2) constitutional means; 3) democratic procedures; 4) respect for human personality; 5) a belief that all people are one.’” ~ Bayard Rustin Quotes
  32. “Twenty-five, 30 years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  33. “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. But when you’re right, you’re wrong anyhow.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  34. “My activism did not spring from my being gay, or, for that matter, from my being black. Rather, it is rooted fundamentally in my Quaker upbringing and the values that were instilled in me by my grandparents who reared me.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  35. “There is a strong moralistic strain in the civil rights movement that would remind us that power corrupts, forgetting that the absence of power also corrupts.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  36. “Since Israel is a democratic state surrounded by essentially undemocratic states which have sworn her destruction, those interested in democracy everywhere must support Israel’s existence.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  37. “I am an opponent of war and of war preparations and an opponent of universal military training and conscription; but entirely apart from that issue, I hold that segregation in any part of the body politic is an act of slavery and an act of war.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  38. “I believe there are certain types of movements which cannot be married.” ~ Bayard Rustin

  39. “If people do not organize in the name of their interest, the world will not take them as being serious. And that is the chief reason that every person who is gay should join some gay organization. Because he must prove to the world that he cares about his own freedom.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  40. “I would say except when I have been attacked the black community has seldom seen fit to even mention the gay aspect. And since when I have been attacked I have usually been defended by the black community, I would say that the black newspapers have played it very straight. If I was attacked they simply published that I was attacked, if I was defended they simply said I had been defended. But I don’t think they have taken any effort at maligning me or maligning gays or making any effort to give to people anything that wasn’t news.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  41. “Conscription for war is inconsistent with freedom of conscience, which is not merely the right to believe but to act on the degree of truth that one receives, to follow a vocation which is God-inspired and God-directed.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  42. Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality.” ~ Bayard Rustin
  43. “If anyone thinks they’re going to get anything out of the Reagan administration for any particular group, they’re wrong! You have to all combine and fight a head-on battle – in the name of justice and equality – and even that’s going to be difficult. But if we let ourselves get separated so that we’re working for gays or school children or the aged, we’re in trouble.” ~ Bayard Rustin

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