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Their history is our shame

It is very easy to see why colored people should hate us, but why we should hate them is beyond my comprehension. They never sold our wives. They never robbed our cradles. They never scarred our backs. They never pursued us with bloodhounds. They never branded our flesh.

It has been said that it is hard to forgive a man to whom we have done a great injury. I can conceive of no other reason why we should hate the colored people. To us they are a standing reproach. Their history is our shame.

– Robert Green Ingersoll, “Civil Rights” (1883)

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