State Representative Dan Ponder of George, a white conservative Republican, has made one of history’s most powerful statements against hate and racial prejudice. Representative Ponder, speaking from the floor of the Georgia house, addressed the essence of the issue with a clarity and power that was truly notable.

Representative Ponder spoke from the standpoint of a deeply conservative southern upbringing. He was raised both by his white parents and by a black servant, who came to seem to him as a second mother. Their mutual devotion was total. Then, when he was 12 or 13, Ponder recounts in his speech, he failed to kiss her goodbye on his way to school one morning. She said, “you did not kiss me because I am black,” words which have haunted him ever since, and which have now given us one of the most ennobling and uplifting statements about racial prejudice ever made by an American.

To read Representative Ponder’s speech, click here.

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