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Quotes About Human Rights

Quotes tagged as "human-rights" (showing 1-30 of 167)
John F. Kennedy
“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
John F. Kennedy

Martin Niemöller
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Martin Niemöller

Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Laws are silent in times of war.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Frederick Douglass
“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
Frederick Douglass

Elie Wiesel
“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.”
Elie Wiesel

Jane Goodall
“In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes.”
Jane Goodall

Madeleine L'Engle
“Because to take away a man's freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”
Madeleine L'Engle

Milan Kundera
“Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Aung San Suu Kyi
“Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

“We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Fred Hampton

Martin Luther King Jr.
“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Rowan Atkinson
“As hatred is defined as intense dislike, what is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion, if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked?”
Rowan Atkinson

Kofi Annan
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”
Kofi Annan

Kathryn Stockett
“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought.”
Kathryn Stockett, The Help

William Pickens
“To cheapen the lives of any group of men, cheapens the lives of all men, even our own. This is a law of human psychology, or human nature. And it will not be repealed by our wishes, nor will it be merciful to our blindness.”
William Pickens

Salman Rushdie
“The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skits, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for?

The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.

How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.”
Salman Rushdie, Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Asa Don Brown
“All children should be taught to unconditionally accept, approve, admire, appreciate, forgive, trust, and ultimately, love their own person.”
Asa Don Brown

Terry Goodkind
“People use democracy as a free-floating abstraction disconnected from reality. Democracy in and of itself is not necessarily good. Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.

All men have the right to live their own life. Democracy must be rooted in a rational philosophy that first and foremost recognizes the right of an individual. A few million Imperial Order men screaming for the lives of a much smaller number of people in the New World may win a democratic vote, but it does not give them the right to those lives, or make their calls for such killing right.

Democracy is not a synonym for justice or for freedom. Democracy is not a sacred right sanctifying mob rule. Democracy is a principle that is subordinate to the inalienable rights of the individual.”
Terry Goodkind, Naked Empire

Heinrich Heine
“Das war ein Vorspiel nur; dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen."

(Almansor)
Heinrich Heine, Heinrich Heine's gesammelte Werke

Tom Regan
“To be 'for animals' is not to be 'against humanity.' To require others to treat animals justly, as their rights require, is not to ask for anything more nor less in their case than in the case of any human to whom just treatment is due. The animal rights movement is a part of, not opposed to, the human rights movement. Attempts to dismiss it as anti human are mere rhetoric.”
Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights

“When we struggle for human rights, for freedom, for dignity, when we feel that it is a ministry of the church to concern itself for those who are hungry, for those who have no schools, for those who are deprived, we are not departing from God’s promise. He comes to free us from sin, and the church knows that sin’s consequences are all such injustices and abuses. The church knows it is saving the world when it undertakes to speak also of such things.”
Oscar A. Romero, The Violence of Love

Ezra Taft Benson
“Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.”
Ezra Taft Benson, The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Ghassan Kanafani
“If the prisoner is beaten, it is an arrogant expression of fear.”
Ghassan Kanafani, All That's Left to You: A Novella and Short Stories

“The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.”
Julian Bond

John Pilger
“We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.”
John Pilger

Filip Spagnoli
“One cannot fail to notice the inconsistency of those rejecting human rights: their rejection takes place in the public square created by human rights. It is difficult to reject human rights without using them.”
Filip Spagnoli, Making Human Rights Real

Gwenn Wright
“Whatever happened in those more than one hundred years, from the time my great-great-great grandfather studied law to the time when my own father took his bar exam in 1989, I may never know. Perhaps it was just greed and the good, old-fashion corruption that comes with power. The Drexlers have moved from the fight for human rights to the fight for corporations and wealthy individuals. We file their taxes, write their contracts, clean up their messes. As I see it, we have become little more than glorified Public Relations reps”
Gwenn Wright, The BlueStocking Girl

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