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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1579
AUTHOR: Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003)
QUOTATION: The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of “benign neglect.” The subject has been too much talked about. The forum has been too much taken over to hysterics, paranoids, and boodlers on all sides. We may need a period in which Negro progress continues and racial rhetoric fades. The administration can help bring this about by paying close attention to such progress—as we are doing—while seeking to avoid situations in which extremists of either race are given opportunities for martyrdom, heroics, histrionics or whatever.
ATTRIBUTION: DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, memorandum to President Nixon on the status of Negroes, as reported in The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., March 2, 1970, p. A–5.

Moynihan has served in Congress since 1977.