“Now, whenever I hear any one advocating measures that are meant to curtail the development of another, I pity the individual who would do this. I know that the one who makes this mistake does so because of his own lack of opportunity for the highest kind of growth.”

This quotation, which appears in Chapter 13 after Washington describes an ill-founded idea of his youth, communicates his more mature idea that those who express racist ideas, or ideas that otherwise serve to limit the exercise of freedom by another, do more harm to themselves than they do to those others. Where before Washington would have responded to racists and detractors with bitterness, he now responds with “pity,” recognizing that the person who would intentionally limit another does so at the expense of “the highest kind of growth.” This, in part, explains Washington’s attitude towards racial inequality and hostility, which some criticize for being too passive. Washington responds to those critics here by explaining his understanding of the dynamics in play. Rather than respond to racists and detractors with bitterness, Washington chooses to recognize their actions for what they are: signs of immaturity and stunted personal growth.