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“Alexander [ʻIolani Liholiho, later known as Kamehameha IV, the fourth monarch of Hawaii] found their birth [on the train from Washington D.C. to New York] and seated himself, and there occurred one of the pivotal moments of his life as he came face to face with the reality of how Americans regarded darker skinned people . . . ‘While I was sitting looking out of the window a man came to me and told me to get out of the carriage, rather unceremoniously, saying that I was in the wrong carriage. I immediately asked him what he meant. He continued his request. Finally, he came around by the door and I went out to meet him. Just as he was coming in, somebody whispered a word into his ears. By this time I came up to him and asked him his reasons for telling me to get out of that carriage. He then told me to keep my seat. I took hold of his arm and asked him his reasons and what right he had in turning me out and talking to me in the way that he did. He replied that he had some reasons but requested me to keep my seat, and I followed him out, but he took care to be out of my way after that. I found he was the conductor and probably had taken me for somebody's servant just because I had a darker a skin than he had, confounded fool. The first time that I ever received such treatment. Not in England or France or anywhere else, but in this country I must be treated like a dog to go and come at an American's bidding.’”

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii
James L. Haley

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong.”

“It was one of the most memorable meetings during my tenure as Secretary [of Defense]. It was also the only encounter with a foreign leader in which I lost my cool . . . He [King Abdullah] went on and on about how the United States was seen as weak by governments in the region. The longer he talked, the angrier I got . . . I told him that what he considered ‘America's great weakness’, showing restraint, was actually great strength. Because we could crush any adversary. I told him that neither he nor anyone else should ever underestimate the strength and power of the United States. Those who had — Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union — were all now in the ashcan of history.”

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia