If we don’t educate the colored people, when will all this trouble stop?
The truth is, the more education, the more trouble there’s going to be. And it’s a
fact – don’t think that education is something that stops trouble. We know that in Europe, the worst anti-Semites were the educated people. In Poland, the students were the leaders in anti-Semitism. Education is merely a tool in the hands of a person. If a person is kindly and is well-meaning, then education is a tool that helps him be more proficient in his benevolence. But if a person is vicious, if he wants violence, if he wants to overthrow an established order, then education just gives him more opportunity.
Now, if you had an orientation of Negroes that was favorable to American civilization, that didn’t have an axe to grind, it would be fine. For example, the old Booker T. Washington, who wasn’t a revolutionary. He merely wanted to show what a Negro could achieve and contribute to the country. For him education was a benefit – a great benefit. He utilized his education to introduce so many products in this world that were not available before and therefore he was a benefactor. But when you take propagandists, troublemakers, and you give them education, so that they are now able to use proper English to defend their revolutionary ideas, now they’re bigger troublemakers.