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278 pages, Hardcover
First published July 14, 2015
“Now think about this. What would happen if all the Negroes in the South were suddenly given full civil rights? I’ll tell you. There’d be another Reconstruction. Would you want your state governments run by people who don’t know how to run ’em? Do you want this town run by—now wait a minute—Willoughby’s a crook, we know that, but do you know of any Negro who knows as much as Willoughby? Zeebo’d probably be Mayor of Maycomb. Would you want someone of Zeebo’s capability to handle the town’s money? We’re outnumbered, you know.I understand that there are a lot of controversy and conspiracy theories regarding the publication of this book, and for good reason.
“Honey, you do not seem to understand that the Negroes down here are still in their childhood as a people. You should know it, you’ve seen it all your life. They’ve made terrific progress in adapting themselves to white ways, but they’re far from it yet. They were coming along fine, traveling at a rate they could absorb, more of ’em voting than ever before. Then the NAACP stepped in with its fantastic demands and shoddy ideas of government—can you blame the South for resenting being told what to do about its own people by people who have no idea of its daily problems?
She heard her father’s voice, a tiny voice talking in the warm comfortable past. Gentlemen, if there’s one slogan in this world I believe, it is this: equal rights for all, special privileges for none.
The one human being she had ever fully and wholeheartedly trusted had failed her; the only man she had ever known to whom she could point and say with expert knowledge, “He is a gentleman, in his heart he is a gentleman,” had betrayed her, publicly, grossly, and shamelessly.
…You realize that our Negro population is backward, don’t you? You will concede that? You realize the full implications of the word ‘backward’ don’t you?So what are we to make of this?
…If the scales were tipped over, what would you have? The county won’t keep a full board of registrars, because if the Negro vote edged out the white you’d have Negroes in every county office—
…I’d like my state to be left alone to keep house without advice from the NAACP, which knows next to nothing about its business and cares less.
…do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?
“As you grew up, when you were grown, totally unknown to yourself, you confused your father with God. You never saw him as a man with a man’s heart, and a man’s failings—I’ll grant you it may have been hard to see, he makes so few mistakes, but he makes ‘em like all of us. You were an emotional cripple, leaning on him, getting the answers from him, assuming that your answers would always be his answers.” -p. 265
“Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.”