Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

[…]

The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?

[…]

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

[…]

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and America religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh-jobbers, armed with pistol, whip and bowie knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field, and the deadly sugar-mill.

Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-chilling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn!

The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the center of your soul! The crack you heard, was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard, was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on.

Follow the drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shocking gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me citizens, WHERE, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

Frederick Douglass

A cop is a cop. And you know, he may be a very nice man but I haven’t got time to figure that out. All I know is that he got a uniform and a gun, I have to relate to him that way. That’s the only way for me to relate to him, at all, because one of us may have to die.

You know in New York there’s a big campaign going on to humanize the policemen and they have billboards upstate and they a picture of a big cop bending over this little blonde girl and the sign said “some people call him pig”. I wanted to buy a billboard, I told a friend of mine, I wanted to buy a billboard and show this big cop and this fourteen-year-old kid with thirty bullets in him and say “some people call him peacemaker”.

James Baldwin & Nikki Giovanni

Same-sex marriage is not gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes, like churches don’t.

The “capitalism <-> socialism” opposition seems outdated. I prefer to think in terms of “centralization vs decentralization”. Humans have evolved to perform best in small groups of less than 150 people. That’s why wherever there’s centralization and excessive hierarchy, there’s inefficiency and underutilized human potential. Capitalist monopolies and socialist dictatorships are equally bad.

In a natural environment, every small community is able to produce an outstanding leader and an independent thinker. In today’s world of trillion-dollar monopolies and bloated governments, the potential of hundreds of millions of people is suppressed by the limitations imposed by our artificial societal structures.

That is the reason why tens of thousands of people working at big corporations such as Facebook have failed to keep up with what our small team at Telegram has been implementing. That’s also the reason why countries like Russia fail to generate and retain global brands in their jurisdictions. Genuine creativity is rare in organizations and societies built on excessive hierarchies and lack of personal autonomy.

Pavel Durov

Wealth of Jeff Bezos in 2009: $6.8 billion
Wealth of Jeff Bezos in 2020: $184 billion

Wealth of Mark Zuckerberg in 2009: $2 billion
Wealth of Mark Zuckerberg in 2020: $103 billion

U.S. Minimum Wage from 2009-2020: $7.25

We need an economy that works for all of us, not the 1%.

Bernie Sanders

There’s this really false idea that if you care about makeup or if your interests are in beauty and fashion, that that’s somehow frivolous. But I actually think these are some of the most substantive decisions that we make—and we make them every morning.

I believe having a daughter does not make a man decent, Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.

Our culture is so predicated on diminishing women and kind of preying on our self-esteem, so it’s quite a radical act, it’s almost like a mini-protest, to love yourself in a society that’s trying to tell you you’re not the right weight, you’re not the right color, you’re not the right whatever it is, When you stand up and you say you know what you don’t get to make that decision. I make that decision. It’s very powerful.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

If someone says to you it’s raining outside and someone else says to you it’s not raining outside, your job is not to say “person A says it’s raining, person B says it’s not raining.” Your job is to open the fucking window and find out if it’s raining outside.

Mehdi Hasan