Then how could one live in a world in which one’s mind and perceptions meant nothing and authority and tradition meant everything? (1.7.43)
"You’re just a young, hot fool," he said, confident again. "Wake up, boy. Learn the world you’re living in. You’re smart and I know what you’re after. I’ve kept closer track of you than you think. I know your relatives. Now, if you play safe," he smiled and winked, "I’ll help you to go to school, to college."
I went home, hurt but determined. I had been talking to a "bought" man and he had tried to "buy" me. I felt that I had been dealing with something unclean. (1.8.75)
Yet, all about me, Negroes were stealing. More than once I had been called a "dumb nigger" by black boys who discovered that I had not availed myself of a chance to snatch some petty piece of white property that had been carelessly left within my reach.
"How in hell you gonna git ahead?" I had been asked when I had said that one ought not steal. (1.10.58)