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Quotations: Stand Up, Speak Out

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Quotations on Standing Up to Speak Out

“Inaction is the worst action of human beings!” ―Mehmet Murat ildan

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” —William Wilberforce


Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“A mountain never yields no matter how strong the wind is.” —Buddhist saying

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” —Gandhi

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” —unknown but often attributed to Thomas Jefferson or Edmund Burke

“An objection which applies to all conduct can be no valid objection to any conduct in particular.” ―John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing.” —John Stuart Mill

“Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.” —Russian proverb

“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.” ―Eugene O’Neill

“Comfort is no test of truth. Truth is often far from being comfortable.” —Swami Vivekananda

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” —Winston Churchill

“Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels, and the saints. They are your public.” —Saint John Vianney

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” —Steve Jobs

“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice.” —Julian Assange

“[For people] to refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” ―John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

“He who observes spills no less blood than he who inflicts the blow.” —The Limehouse Golem (movie)

“How has the church in every age, when in authority, defended itself? Always by a statute against blasphemy against argument, against free speech. And there never was such a statute that did not stain the book that it was in and that did not certify to the savagery of the men who passed it.” —Robert G. Ingersoll

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” —Henry David Thoreau

“If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.” —Albert Einstein

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” —Desmond Tutu

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.” —Kingsley Amis

“If you don’t stand for something, then you will fall for anything.” —Unknown

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.” —Thomas Sowell

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Inaction is the worst action of human beings!” ―Mehmet Murat ildan

“It often happens that, if a lie is believed only for half an hour, it hath done its work. Falsehood flies and truth comes limping after it, … it is too late, … and the tale hath had its effect.” —Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

“Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” —Benjamin Disraeli

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the Earth.” —William Faulkner

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” —James Baldwin

“Nothing strengthens authority like silence.” —Leonardo da Vinci

“Only lies cannot withstand scrutiny.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Silence means consent.” —Talmud,Yevamot

“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” —Maggie Smith

“Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone.” —Andy Biersack

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” —Dante Alighieri

“The greatest privilege that comes with freedom of speech is using your voice for those who don’t have one.” —Ricky Gervais

“The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community.” —Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —Alice Walker

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” —Elie Wiesel

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.” —H. G. Wells

“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.” —George Bernard Shaw

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.” —Maximilien Robespierre

“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of good people.”― Napoléon Bonaparte

“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” —Aristotle

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:” —Acts 18:9

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” ―William Paley

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” —Elie Wiesel

“This is slavery, not to speak one’s thought.” —Euripides, The Phoenician Women

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”―Albert Einstein

“To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.” —Confucius

“To see what is right and not to do it, is want of courage.” —Confucius

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” —Abraham Lincoln

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.” —Thomas Mann

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —Dr. Seuss

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” —Nelson Mandela

“We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

“When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticisms and misguided opinions, walking away is the best way to stand up for yourself. To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude.” —Dodinsky

“Who can protest and does not, is an accomplice in the act.” —The Talmud

“You cannot be afraid to speak up and speak out for what you believe. You have to have courage, raw courage.” —James Lewis

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” —Winston Churchill

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” —William Wilberforce

“Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor’s wall is ablaze.” —Horace

“Your silence will not protect you.” —Audre Lorde


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