Muhammad Ali Explains Why Races Should Not Mix
If you have been watching Ken Burns excellent documentary about Muhammad Ali on PBS, you can only wonder how Muhammad Ali’s views on everything would be taken today. Ali was always unabashedly honest expressing his opinions. Ali said and did things that always created controversy.
One of Ali’s most provocative statements was never seen or heard by Americans. It was broadcast only in Great Britain in 1971 on the BBC talk show Parkinson hosted by journalist Michael Parkinson. As of this writing only one episode of Ken Burns documentary has been broadcast. Will any of this clip make it into the documentary?
After Michael Parkinson says to Ali “its sad that you have this attitude,” Ali replies:
It ain’t sad because 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?
Chinese love Chinese. they love the little slanted eyes the pretty brown-skinned babies. Pakistanis love their culture. Jewish people love their culture. A lot of Catholics don’t want to marry nothing but Catholics, they want the religion to stay the same.
Who want to spot up yourself and kill your race?
You, you’re a hater of your people if you don’t want to stay who you are. You ashamed of what god made you? God didn’t make no mistake when he made us all like we are.
How would this go over in 2021 when everyone is promoting diversity and inclusiveness? If this was anyone but Muhammad Ali speaking, what would the reaction be? Would Ali be applauded or derided?
In our brave new world of cancelling people for holding a different (possibly unpopular) opinion, what should happen when you speak your mind?