Daryl Davis Quotes.
At the end, ignorance is the source of biases. If we cure that, there’s nothing to fear and hate.
I had to keep myself in check. Like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ I’d never sat in a room, five feet away from a Klansman putting on his damn robe. That’s what freaked me out a little bit. But I wanted to see a Klansman.
I’m always thinking ‘how can I blend something?’ whether it’s musical instruments, voices, or the people around me.
They’ve changed the name from white supremacy to white separatists, to white nationalists, to alt-right. It’s the same thing. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
You don’t change the system without changing the people behind the system.
Knowledge, information, wit, and the way you disseminate these attributes can often prove to be a more disarming weapon against an enemy or some with whom your ideology is in conflict, than violence or lethal weapons.
There has always been a great deal of racism in the U.S. before and after Obama.
I respect someone’s right to air their views whether they are wrong or right.
Music absolutely played a massive role in bridging many gaps in the racial divides I would encounter.
Believe it or not, the best way to put somebody at ease or bring them to a level of trust is to know as much if not more about them than they know about themselves or the organization to which they belong.
I don’t consider myself to be a racist, but to me there’s not much difference between a black racist or a white racist.
In most of my encounters with Klan members, we would discuss reasons for why they were members in the first place.
When something bothers me, I try to learn about it.
I knew as much about the Klan, if not more than many of the Klan people that I interviewed. When they see that you know about their organization, their belief system, they respect you.
If you have an adversary, you don’t have to respect what they’re saying, but respect their right to say it.
My father was the first black Secret Service agent. He wanted to get into the FBI but J. Edgar Hoover, who was the head of the FBI, was a racist and he said we don’t want any black people.
You can legislate behavior but you cannot legislate belief. Patience is what it takes. But patience doesn’t mean sitting around on your butt waiting for something to happen.
I am not so naive as to think everyone will change. There are certainly those who will go to their graves as hateful, violent racists.
There have been some incidents in which I was threatened and a couple of instances where I had to physically fight. Fortunately, I won in both instances.
A stupid person is someone who has the facts, who has the proper information, and still makes the wrong decision.
I don’t have any brothers and sisters, so I always relied on my parents to guide me or answer questions.
Everybody likes music. And rock ‘n’ roll – that was the music that brought white youth and black youth together for the first time in American music history.
If you spend five minutes with your worst enemy – it doesn’t have to be about race, it could be about anything… you will find that you both have something in common. As you build upon those commonalities, you’re forming a relationship and as you build about that relationship, you’re forming a friendship.
Our society can only become one of two things, it can be become what we let it become or it can become what we make it, and I choose the latter.
I’ve heard stories of pickup bands that can’t follow, but here’s the thing: If you want to play with Chuck Berry, you listen to his greatest hits and learn the format of the songs, but don’t try to play it note-for-note.
In my band, I’m the band leader. As a band leader, our job is to bring harmony to the voices we have on stage.
We’ve simply been putting Band-Aids on the wounds of racism. We haven’t drilled down to the bone to get to its source.
Chuck Berry had a very profound impact on me. The man was a genius.
My parents were U.S. Foreign Service, so I spent a lot of time you know, overseas in various countries around the world, you know, I was an American Embassy brat and today, as a professional musician, I travel all over this country and around the world.
He spoke nine languages. You know some people can just pick up an instrument and play. My father was like that with languages.
Invite your enemies to sit down and join you. One small thing you say might give them food for though, and you will learn.
Back in the day, prior to rock and roll, music halls, concert venues were segregated if they allowed black people in at all. You know, there were ropes that went around the sitting sections with signs hanging that would say, ‘Sitting for white patrons only,’ or ‘Colored sitting only.’
Ignorance breeds fear. If you don’t keep that fear in check, that fear will breed hatred. If you don’t keep hatred in check it will breed destruction.
When I experienced racism here in my own country, I was not prepared for it. I had never heard the word racism.
Venues had segregated seating – but when Chuck Berry fused together blues, boogie-woogie and country music, it caused people not to be able to sit still. They bounced up out of their seats, knocking over ropes, dancing together.
Racism is a cancer. You cannot ignore it and it’ll go away. If you ignore cancer, it simply metastasizes and consumes the whole body.
People learn racism through dialogue. Somebody tells them about it. So if you can learn it through dialogue, you can also unlearn it through dialogue.
A lot of the media says, ‘oh, black musician converts X-number of Klansmen.’ I never converted one. But over 200 have left that, the white supremacy movements, because I have been the impetus for that.
I didn’t vote for Trump, but I do believe his coming to power has done its own bit of good. People are coming out to protest against issues they so far didn’t talk about – sexual abuse, gun control, racism – because a bunch of crazies are out propagating them.
Every racist that I know – and I know a lot of racists – every racist that I know voted for Donald Trump.
There are many controversial topics out there – abortion, nuclear weapons, the 2nd Amendment, guns, whatever, the war in Iraq. You’re going to be on one side, somebody’s going to be on the other side. Invite those people to the table. Sit down and talk.
Some black people who have not heard me interviewed or read my book jump to conclusions and prejudge me… I’ve been called Uncle Tom. I’ve been called an Oreo.
Music is my profession but learning more about racism on all sides of the tracks was my obsession.
I came into music kind of late in life – until I was 17 I wanted to be a spy, wanted to be James Bond, so I had to learn rather quickly and practice longer than most people did to play catch up.
I was no stranger to racism. Having grown up a black person in the ’60s and ’70s, I knew that prejudice was common.