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Humorous Dick Gregory Quotes That Still Raise Awareness

These Dick Gregory quotes will inspire you to bring awareness to the problems in our society.

Keep reading for a dose of inspiration.

Dick Gregory, whose full name was Richard Claxton Gregory, was an American comedian.

He was drafted during college, where his commanding officer encouraged him to enter talent and comedy shows.

He won those shows, eventually dropped out of college, and moved to Chicago hoping to make it big. 

Dick Gregory held nothing back during his acts, as he pointed out racism and bigotry in the US.

That he was a black man doing this in the 60s is one reason he is so well known.

He did credit a lot of his career success to Hugh Hefner, who spotted him at a club and then hired him to play at The Playboy Club. 

Gregory was more than just an entertainer though; he was an activist who was arrested several times for protesting racism and Vietnam.

He took part in hunger strikes for the causes he believed in.

He also wrote several best-selling books and held speaking engagements. 

Don’t forget to also check out these tear-jerking 09/11 quotes that bring out the patriot in everyone.

Dick Gregory quotes about race

1. “You know, I always say white is not a color, white is an attitude, and if you haven’t got trillions of dollars in the bank that you don’t need, you can’t be white.” ― Dick Gregory

2. “I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.” ― Dick Gregory

3. “We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre.” ― Dick Gregory

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4. “You know why Madison Avenue advertising has never done well in Harlem? We’re the only ones who know what it means to be Brand X.” ― Dick Gregory

5. “I waited at the counter of a white restaurant for eleven years. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.” ― Dick Gregory

6. “I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King Jr stamp – just think about all those white bigots, licking the backside of a black man.” ― Dick Gregory

7. “If it wasn’t for Abe Lincoln, I’d still be on the open market.” ― Dick Gregory

8. “When I was a boy, I was taught never to use insulting expressions like, ‘I’ve been gypped,’ or, ‘He welshed on the deal.'” ― Dick Gregory

9. “When I go through the airport and see white women walking through the airport barefooted, like athlete’s feet don’t exist, there’s something wrong.” ― Dick Gregory

10. “I used to get letters saying, ‘I didn’t know black children and white children were the same.'” ― Dick Gregory

11. “I never thought I’d see the day that I would see white folks as frightened, or more so than black folks was during the civil rights movement when we were in Mississippi.” ― Dick Gregory

12. “Being white is a job in America. You take that away, you better get the soldiers out.” ― Dick Gregory

13. “Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.” ― Dick Gregory

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14. “Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said: ‘We don’t serve colored people here.’ “I said: ‘that’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.” ― Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory quotes about government and politics

15. “Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.” ― Dick Gregory

16. “When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship.” ― Dick Gregory

17. “In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago, it’s a sport.” ― Dick Gregory

18. “If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.” ― Dick Gregory

19. “In America, with all of its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we don’t know yet whether that sun is rising or setting for our country.” ― Dick Gregory

20. “Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.” ― Dick Gregory

21. “Now here’s what I’m saying: I’ve always believed that every other month we hear about compromisation of bank records, I think that’s the CIA and the FBI. Now let me tell you why I’m saying this. I don’t believe no insignificant pip-squeak is going to be able to pull this off month after month and we can’t find out what’s going on.” ― Dick Gregory

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22. “I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country.” ― Dick Gregory

23. “And we love to dance, especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede.” ― Dick Gregory

24. “There is a limit on how much information you can keep bottled up.” ― Dick Gregory

25. “I tell people, ‘If you want to send a message to the White House, call my house.'” ― Dick Gregory

What did you learn from these Dick Gregory quotes?

Like many other prominent figures in the Civil Rights Movement, Dick Gregory went to Selma, Alabama for the Freedom Day rally.

In 1964, he aided in finding James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner: three missing civil rights workers.

Hugh Hefner gave Gregory 25,000 to offer a reward, and this prompted the FBI to do the same.

The men’s bodies were discovered over 40 days after they went missing.

It would take another 41 years after their murders to bring their killer to justice. 

Gregory didn’t just protest against race though.

He was very vocal about Vietnam, drugs, and the economy.

His book, Nigger: An Autobiography by Dick Gregory, is so popular that it is still in print today.

This brave man sought to bring awareness to serious problems in our country through the use of humor and his talent for making people laugh.

He did incredibly important work for the movement.

Do you have any other Dick Gregory quotes and sayings I might have missed?

Please leave them in the comments below!

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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  1. Marvin Morgan

    June 21, 2021 at 11:43 PM

    My roommate and I at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 1974 were fortunate to attend a Dick Gregory event. Neither of us was familiar with Mr Gregory, nevertheless, the university was sponsoring the event and we knew there was comedy involved. At one point during the evening, Mr Gregory was discussing solutions being applied to the wrong problem. He said, in substance, folks spend so much time cleaning the toilet, yet the real problem is not the toilet, it’s your butt that stinks.

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