Booker T. WashingtonBooker T. Washington, (1856-1915) Author

Booker T. Washington Quote

“There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well.”

Booker T. WashingtonBooker T. Washington
~ Booker T. Washington

Ratings and Comments

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Anonymous    7/14/06
Jeff, Merriam, Kansas

Booker's words will ring true forever.

James, Texas

In recent light of the opportunistic Al Sharpton and, occasionally, Jesse Jackson and their continued presence in the media concerning the idiotic utterances of Don Imus - truer words have ne'er been spoken.

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Anonymous    6/25/08
Logan, Kentucky

The great thing about it is that it's not racist to quote, 'cause he was black...

Lee, Ohio
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    Lee, Ohio    7/24/09

    Excellent, and it can be equally applied to any self-identified "victim" class or group of people.

    Steve, Tucson

    Mr. Washington stated this in 1911. The NAACP was founded in 1909. I, for one, don't believe it to be coincidence.

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    Anonymous    8/5/10
    Publius, America

    These guys that the wise Mr. Washington is speaking of like Jesse Jackson and Sharpton are just trying to make a name for themselves. They sit back and look for a place to scream racism so that they can fight the good fight and be remember like the great Dr. King. Or I'm sure he would rather me call him Rev. King.

    Publius, America

    I forgot to rate the quote. I give it 5 stars. And one other thing, I'm tired of these guys saying the white race owes the black race for 200 years of slavery. No white American alive has ever owned a slave and no living black American has ever been a slave. Nothing is owed, we are on an even keel.

    Mike, Norwalk

    I was thinking what Lee said. It doesn't matter if its racially, politically, scholastically, etc.based, that tactic re-occurs over and over again.

    jim k, Austin,Tx

    This quote describes the white and black liberal agenda to a tee. Keep the black man down so we will have an issue at election time. The world's biggest nuisance, Jesse Jackson would surely be out of work if the "patient" ever got well.

    Rich Matarese, Winslow, NJ

    -- Suggest the more complete quote: "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs." Thank you. --

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Which explains why when you raise an objection to the policies of the Kenyan in the White House, the Libbies shriek "racism". It's all they've got.

    Jack Priller, Hobbs, NM

    Thanks to Rich for posting the more complete quote; it does sound like 'current events'.

    E Archer, NYC

    Isn't the cry 'racism' a bit empty in America? For goodness sakes, an African born, Muslim educated mulatto has been elected president, our cities are thriving with immigrants, employees are advanced due to their skill sets not their color, our children are color-blind in their upbringing with so many races and cultures around them -- it is just a last gasp from those who have no sound argument for their proposed 'social work.' It is also a spoiled brat's way of trying to rally support for a losing fight that in fact has nothing to do with race whatsoever. There are people I like and people I don't -- and it has never been about what color their skin was, it is about whether they are respectable and honorable people. Grow up already.

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    Anonymous    8/11/10
    Waffler, Smith

    Yup there are professional classes everywhere. Like have you ever heard of the Italian American Club, Polish American Club etcetera. While the statement is true the phenomenon is not unique to the Negro race. They learned it will from all of the others amd while offensive and unpleasant they have all served a purpose. Ever heard of AIM The American Indian Movement.

    GunnyCee, Durham

    What an eye-opener! Booker T died in 1915 and knew all about the race baiters even then. Jessie Jackson was an aide to MLK JR. He knew exactly what King was trying to do, yet today he twists King's message to benefit and monetarily enrich himself. Al Sharpton is the ultimate scam artist as are all of the race baiters. There is too much money to be made to try to turn an honest dollar. I've never heard the "professionals" that Waffler is referring to ever shake down an entire society to try to make us feel guilty for slavery, or for any other reason. Waffler doesn't seem to realize that most of our ancestors who came from Europe came over as bonded servents (read slaves) and had to work off their service for seven years. If they weren't frugal and put aside every penny and everything of even the slightest value, they would have spent their entire lives in bondage. Many of them did just that. Waffler doesn't seem to understand a lot of things, for instance, that it was the African slave traders who went out and captured, chained and confined blacks in trading centers where they put them on the block for sale to the highest bidders. Waffler also has no clue as to how slavery worked on 99 percent of the plantations in the South. The wealthy plantation owners understood the value of their slaves. They didn't arbitrarily whip them or rape them or any of the other felacious atrocities that are claimed today. The slaves were akin to valuable livestock. They were well fed, well housed, and well clothed. Their health care was taken care of. (Sound a lot like welfare today?) In those days they were well cared for because a sick or lame slave was worthless until they were brought back to health. Slaves were an asset to be cared for or you lost profits. Today, we keep "slaves" on the welfare rolls so they won't run in the streets and kill whitie. At least that's what I've learned from watching TV and listening to the new Black Panthers. Apparently they aren't getting enough so they're reverting to threats. Guess we'd better give them what they want or we'll be living in constant fear right? NOT!

    J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

    Not many people have the guts to say this today. That a black man said it a century ago is telling and sad. We are all losers when victim-hood replaces the American Dream.

    Ron, Salem
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    Ron, Salem    8/12/10

    A man who knows his people well.

    Waffller, Smith

    And when a black man tries to get an honest job guys like GunnyCee try to keep him down. Take Barack Obama for example, broke his butt trying to get a decent job and many fought against him. I feel certain that there is a class of people who do not give a damn if black people succeed or not. On the other hand there is a class of people who hope to hell that black people do not succeed.

    warren, olathe

    Yes Waffler there are people like that and they are mostly blacks who profit from peddeling the race issue and class has nothing to do with it..

    Matt, Denver

    Blacks didn't start demanding whites give them jobs and feel sorry for them until Debois created the NAACP with self-hating white do gooders at the time. Those whites today have done more harm for blacks and whites. They have forced whites to assocaite when blacks and told they are 'racist' for wanting to preserve their own race. Likewise, blacks are more screwed up today even with more rights as they have developed a hateful, entitled mentality that whites owe them something and are always demanding money for nothing. Not to mention the out-of-wedlock birth rates and gang violence that has plagued the black communities.

    Seaweed, Brentwood

    So much which could be said, so little which would edify.

    Go Booker!

    J. Smith, West Point

    I think he was a visionary who saw the Sharptons and J. Jacksons of his time and was courageous enough to call them out. It is a quote that is an uncomfortable thorn in the side of the opportunist "civil rights activists" who continue to line their pockets using the same methodology today.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    J. Smith, the most appropriate term I've heard to describe the Al Sharpton's and Jesse Jackson's of the world is "Race Pimp". Suits them to a tee.

    Anonymous, Houston

    When you want to talk about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, it seems muddle headed to use a quote from a black man who lived in the late 18th century and was struggling to compromise. Booker T. Washington was compromising with a segregated South and was a masterful politician who won the support of many white people there. He compromised by promising that black people would accept the evil of segregation; he was wise to do the best that could be done at the time. Nevertheless, years and years of segregation have injured a whole group of people. Why can't we do as Germany has done since WWII and try to make up for the harm that was done? Germany can never bring back to life all the Jews who were killed and perhaps no Nazi from the time is still living, but Germany is better. Germany is a better people for having made their ongoing effort to make things right. We too could be a better people if we taught our children equality. You show a whole mindset and a whole structure that is ingrained. I believe that ingrained structure should be 'reformed' in order for us to show that we are what we say we are, a people dedicated to the proposition that "all [people] are created equal." While Dr. King said that people should be "judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," he also said something to the extent that 'if black people have been kept down for hundreds of years, we may have to build them back up for hundreds of years." If someone stole a hundred dollars from your family, you would want more than 10 cents back (just an analogy). What would the United States look like if blacks had not been kept down for hundreds of years? Would there be a lot more black lawyers and doctors and engineers today?

    Ana, Glens Falls, NY

    Just finished the book, The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans by John Bailey. I was astonished to find that the majority of free blacks were slave owners too. It's unfortunate that there is so much ignorance amongst the intelligentsia in this country that they were either unaware of this fact or choose not to reveal it.

    Pooter T, Bug Tussle, AL

    I just pooted.

    Jimed smith, Olive Branch, ms

    Ana, I suggest you read William Johnson's Natchez by William Johnson a free black man who owned slaves. He lived in Natchez, MS. It's his diary 1835-1851.

    Duncan, Atlanta

    Many, many people need to see this quote in addition to the one from Dr. King in 1961 concerning the crime rate in St. Louis at that time....; Google is WONDERFUL !!!

    BigdaddyK, NYC

    Segregation has worked the way mixing good and sour wine does. The good wine cannot make the sour wine good, but the sour wine will ruin the good wine. I know folks don't like a statement like that to be said in public, but the truth is the truth whether one likes in or not.

    Joseph, Armagh

    We Need a Booker T. Washington today now more than ever. How successful have today's race hustlers been? 73% of black children born out of wedlock and dependent on the welfare state.
    Today's regressive leftists judge people strictly on the color of their skin, not the content of their character.

    Bracchus, Chicago, Illinois

    Expecting this nation to live up to its creed for all citizens is not race baiting. To compare indentured servitude to slavery is absurd. To suggest that slaves were treated well is not only inhuman, but galactic-ally stupid. The fact is that slaves were whipped, killed, mutilated and raped. But, the most striking thing is that the "person" who made these statements seems to think slavery is okay as long as you are treated"well." Wow. Lucky slaves.

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    danny    2/15/14

    bhxuyduduhwgjbkrrfpyiqtflihdwe by the way that is a cipher

    Mike, Pleasant Hill

    Truer words were never spoken regarding the so-called civil rights leaders epitomized by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, shameless self promoters selling the snake oil of ignorance and dependency to his own race.
    The sooner the black community rids themselves of these kinds of parasites the better off they will be.

    Ronw13, Yachats Or

    Growing up in the deep south, attending Booker T. Washington High School. It was a mess then as I'm sure it is now. One of the strangest things to behold, poor white families jealous of the welfare handouts. Considering it is riddled with fraud and corruption. The slothful man will always be under tribute. Forever the slave of the diligent. The diligent will bear rule. Let the truth be told.

    4thCaller, Detroit

    This needs to be taught to all school kids before introducing any studies on civil rights.
    Learn the truth about race riots in America -- who starts them, who keeps them going, & who profits -- beginning with Part 1: Harlem, 1935 at or follow on twitter for updates @4thCaller

    Mike H, Raleigh, NC

    Even in 1911 Mr. Washington understood that the initials NAACP stood for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Politicians It was true then and it is still true today..

    Klub Marcus, 'Murica

    Mike H, the NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of (Libtard) Colored Politicians.

    m.montgomery, jerico springs,mo

    i was raised in an area with no black people. i'm 67 and white. i've always believed it's what's in your heart and mind that counts-not skin color.we were created in GOD'S image.i can only imagine how disappointed BTW and MLK would be with the likes of jackson,sharpton ,john lewis and others.i would like to see jackson,sharpton,lewis and others read this quote publicly.

    MeMyselfandI, Funkytown

    Truly brilliant!

    100%FEDUP, Georgia

    His insightful brilliance applies to the illiterate unintelligible STUPID RACIST John Lewis as well as Jesse Jackson and Al "Dead Cops" Sharpton.


    Booker T. would be in the sights of a cancellation "gun".


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