The fawning treatment by white liberals of a man who for most of his coherent adult life publicly and enthusiastically espoused black separatism and was willing to defend uncritically, the leader of the Nation of Islam Elijah Muhammad who taught that whites were blue-eyed devils. Compare this with the response of white liberals to the slightest hint of racism made by a white sportsman towards a black. It should also be noted, the man who succeeded Elijah as Nation of Islam leader, was the even more inflammatory. Louis Farrakhan, was a senior member of the organization throughout Ali’s membership.
But those who think times have changed too much for it to be tolerated now, should reflect on the fact that Farrakhan still gets public exposure in the USA without any real difficulty. Even in Britain, racist outbursts by blacks in the public eye are still treated with remarkable equanimity by the white liberal elite. It is a truly bizarre thing that white liberals should have as one of their great icons a man who, when he could speak freely and coherently for himself, was someone who held opinions which would get any white man or woman drummed out-of-town.
Under the influence of Elijah Mohammad — who preached that blacks should refuse to integrate with “white devils” — Ali made a point of dating only black women and lashed out at men and women who engaged in interracial sex. In an interview with Playboy, he declared: “A black man should be killed if he’s messing with a white woman.” When the interviewer asked about black women crossing the colour barrier, Ali responded: “Then she dies. Kill her, too.”
It’s unlikely that a white athlete who made such remarks would receive the praise that Michael Mann heaps on Ali. He says that the fighter “personified racial pride and self-knowledge.” The Playboy journalist, who interviewed the boxer, was closer to the mark when he observed of his subject: “You’re beginning to sound like a carbon copy of a white racist.” … The transformation of Ali from a great fighter to a celebrated man of conscience and social purpose has succeeded so well because the actual history of his career has been altered to reflect the kinder, gentler man of today. Unpleasant remarks or facts from the past have been swept away or excused. … A more historically accurate appraisal of Ali would conclude that he was far from heroic outside the ring and was pitifully misused by his masters in the Nation of Islam. For his purposes, Elijah hijacked the impressionable young man’s career and filled his head with racist nonsense.
By the time he finally broke free of the old Nation of Islam, in the 1970s, his career was in its last stages. He continued to fight long past his prime, in part to recover the money and time he had lost in his misadventures with the Black Muslims.
Muhammad Ali was a Racist
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