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Minorities

Shall we judge a country by the majority, or by the minority? By the minority, surely.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) Thirty-second President of the USA.

A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet and philosopher.

Jews and homosexuals are the outstanding creative minorities in contemporary urban culture. Creative, that is, in the truest sense: they are creators of sensibilities. The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author.

What characterizes a member of a minority group is that he is forced to see himself as both exceptional and insignificant, marvelous and awful, good and evil.

Norman Mailer (1923-?) American writer.

All history is a record of the power of minorities, and of minorities of one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

We cannot discuss the state of our minorities until we first have some sense of what we are, who we are, what our goals are, and what we take life to be. The question is not what we can do now for the hypothetical Mexican, the hypothetical Negro. The question is what we really want out of life, for ourselves, what we think is real.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) African-American writer.

You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.

Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924) Twenty-eighth President of the USA.

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