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Monday, December 28, 2015

Muhammad Ali, segregationist

In all the hoopla over Muhammad Ali's "statement" about Islam a couple weeks ago, none of the major newspapers which celebrated his defense of Islam thought to remember what Ali used to say about race mixing: he was against it.

Take a look at this clip from an interview he gave on British TV in 1971.

Here are a few quotes from that interview:

"I'm sure no intelligent white person watching this show, no intelligent white man in his or her right white mind, want black boys and black girls marrying their white sons and daughters, and in return, introducing' their grandchildren as half-brown, kinky-haired black people."

When the white host interjected that he wouldn't mind, Ali continued, "Well you don't have it, you say you do, but you don't have it, you really ain't gonna have it, you on your show, you gotta say that."

When the host said, again, that they were the same, Ali said, "Oh, we're different, you know we're different…..No, not society, God made us different…..Listen, bluebirds fly with bluebirds, red birds gonna be with red birds. Listen, listen, tell me when I'm wrong. Pigeons want to be with pigeons…..I don't see no black and white couples in England or America, walkin' around proud, holdin' their children."

"Life's too short for me to be catchin' hell for something like that. Again, I'd rather be with my own, have a beautiful daughter, a beautiful wife, they look like me, we all happy, and I don't have no trouble.  Now I ain't that much in love with no woman to go through all that hell, ain't no woman that good."

When the host said that he thought Ali's attitude was sad, Ali replied, "It ain't sad that I want my child to look like me, every intelligent person wants his child to look like him. I'm sad because I want to blot out my race and lose my beautiful identity?"

This, by the way, is the same Muhammad Ali who called Sonny Liston a "big black ugly bear" and Joe Frazier 'King Kong." Of course, he also once said that all white men are the devil.

But one stance Ali never wavered on was racial separatism. Somehow George Wallace and Lester Maddox have ended up demonized ("devil-ized?") for that view, while Ali remains a liberal icon. And neither Wallace nor Maddox ever went so far as to say that all black men are the devil. Gee….you'd almost think there was a double standard at work here.

In any case, while the newspapers were so triumphantly quoting Ali's defense of Islam -- words he almost certainly never said -- it would have been nice, for the sake of balance, if they had quoted some words which he actually did say.

But since those quotes don't fit with the media's narrative, they will remain buried.

19 comments:

MarieC said...

John, two questions:

1) do you think institutionalized racism is a real or fabricated thing?

2) do you believe in diversity for diversity's sake?


If you received two peoples' resumes that were identical, except for the name of the candidate, how would you make the decision on whom to bring in for the interview? (presuming you had to choose only one of the candidates, and no further information would be given). I know, this is not a "real world" scenario (but just like many psychological experiments that may not exactly be "real-world," it still may instructive exercise).

John Craig said...

MarieC --
1. I think it's mostly fabricated. It usually refers to a difference in outcome between the races, rather than actual discrimination. And it's a convenient thing to point to when you have no evidence of personal racism.

2. No, I don't. If someone can convince me that there is some situation in which diversity actually is helpful to all parties involves, I could be persuaded. But mostly these days it's just an ideal which we're all supposed to unthinkingly pay tribute to. The fact is, in the real world, people tend to gravitate toward their own kind, and even in situations like college, students mostly hang out with their own. When I as in college, there was a black dining table at the student union, and no whites ever sat there, or even considered sitting there. Nobody gave it a lot of thought, but it was understood that that table was exclusively for blacks. And I've heard that this is the way it is at practically every college across the country with a large dining hall. It's self-segregation, and it gives the lie to all of the lip service people pay to diversity broadening everybody's horizons in college.

I honestly don't know how I'd deal with that situation. You're right, it isn't real world, as no two people are ever exactly alike. I suppose I'd see how I felt about them in interviews. And I also have to admit that, the current atmosphere being what it is, I'd be leery about hiring someone I knew I'd always have to be walking on eggshells around for fear of a lawsuit.

Spychiatrist said...

I believe in freedom of association and I agree 100% with what Ali said.

Diversity for diversities sake is incredibly stupid on its face. I know it's the liberal mantra, but liberals are all about emotion and not fact.

Institutionalized racism is simply a leftist canard being used to mold society into PC step and fetch it lemmings.

Freedom of association is something that the command-and-control leftists want to eradicate from the public's conscience and they are doing it. We must oppose them and their PC religion at every turn.

John Craig said...

Spike --
Amen, and good to hear from you, it's been a while.

hooter tooter said...

Didn't Ali have an Irish ancestor? I thought I remembered him going to some Irish village where they'd put up a statue of him.

John Craig said...

Hooter tooter--
That rings a vague bell. He definitely had some white blood, as was evident from his skin tone.

Anonymous said...


Spartan said


Do a google image search on Ali's grandson.

Anonymous said...

Spartan said

The ultimate irony


http://www.maxpreps.com/news/zL1ryze0SkWiNlF02FnE2Q/beyond-the-x--muhammad-alis-grandson-biaggio-ali-walsh-sows-football-future-at-bishop-gorman.htm

John Craig said...

Spartan --
Yes, thank you. I'd actually seen pictures of Biaggio before, and had forgotten about him.

Mark Caplan said...

"Diversity for diversity's sake is incredibly stupid on its face."

That reminds me of an old joke: Did you hear about the shlemiel who introduced a Playboy knockoff for married men? Same girl every month.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha, that sounds almost as dumb as the original Playboy now going without any pictures of naked women.

Mark Caplan said...

Zero diversity wouldn't be much fun. Imagine a society consisting only of white English-speaking Protestant men of the same age, height, income, and political viewpoint. By just adding women and children to the mix, you bump up the degree of diversity past 50 percent. You could then add a large bloc of Catholics, but that would probably move you past the point of optimum diversity. To then add massive numbers of blacks, Spanish-speakers, Muslims, and Asians seems completely lunatic.

Perhaps you can see I'm drawing on the wisdom of the Laffer Curve: no diversity wouldn't work, but neither would one-hundred percent diversity. There is an optimum point somewhere in the middle.

John Craig said...

Mark --
I guess it all depends on how you define "diversity." But this mindless intoning of "Our diversity is our strength" -- which, interestingly, we haven't heard much of in the past two years -- is insane. In virtually every country where there's diversity, it's a source of friction. So the saying goes against all evidence. And, of course, it depends on what TYPE of diversity. But…we're probably both just stating the obvious.

Anonymous said...

I remember in college, people hung with their own race. I had one suite mate (randomly assigned to our suite) and one black friend while attending college. It was a predominantly white college in the Midwest.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I think your experience is typical.

Anonymous said...

The black friend was a cheerleader who was friends with many different people. She didn't seem to need to hang with her race. Both black females came from educated homes, middle class to upper middle class. They were both friendly, attractive individuals, having likeable personalities.

-birdie

-

John Craig said...

Birdie --
It's unfortunate that people like that are sometimes castigated by other blacks for not showing enough racial solidarity.

Anonymous said...

My suite mate - all of her friends were black, not so with my friend, the cheerleader (she could be friends with anyone, a genuinely nice, outgoing person).

-birdie

Anonymous said...

The cheerleader looked a bit like Mary J. Blige, athletic looking, really enjoyed people, loyal to her friends.

-birdie