Muhammad Ali, widely regarded as the world’s most famous man, died Friday at age 74. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, he was a titan both as a boxer and a provocateur.
Because we live in an era much weaker and more sensitive than it was during Ali’s prime, his death is being eulogized with the sort of solemn, sanctimony-addled, weak-tea, low-T, hagiographic twaddle we’ve come to expect from neutered zombie bloggers on antidepressants. Just as mainstream history has Photoshopped all the warts off Nelson Mandela and MLK, Ali is now strictly framed as an inspirational figure who “spoke out against racism.” (Certainly they don’t mean the time he condemned interracial sex before a cheering crowd of Klansmen?)
The sad truth is that by shellacking history with a paintbrush soaked in modern pieties, they’re suppressing how hilariously insensitive Ali was. For example, after being forced into an impromptu photo session with The Beatles in 1964, he reportedly turned to an associate and asked, “So who were those little faggots?”
Mere weeks later, he announced that he was changing his “slave name” of Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammad Ali at the behest of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. For years, Ali would be used as a completely hoodwinked and manipulated and bamboozled puppet of the NOI and its ditzy theories about Yakub and the Mother Plane.
But sad to say, despite their well-deserved reputation as tremendous athletes and sparkling entertainers, many American blacks have an unfortunate tendency to do dopey things when attempting to “reclaim” their lost heritage. For example, when they renounce Christianity in favor of Islam, they are merely trading one group of their former slave masters for another. Likewise, the original Cassius Marcellus Clay—after whom the boxer was named—was a white anti-slavery crusader who fought with the Union in the Civil War, whereas Muhammad Ali of Egypt was a warlord whose army enslaved the Sudanese.
From 1964 to 1980, Clay/Ali gifted the world with a string of spectacularly insensitive comments that would get any modern white man socially exiled to Pluto for daring to utter their equivalent:
“Integration is wrong. The white people don’t want integration. I don’t believe in forcing it….”
—1964 interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal
“The white man want me hugging on a white women, or endorsing some whiskey, or some skin bleach, lightening the skin when I’m promoting black as best.”
—1966 interview with Sports Illustrated
“My enemies are white people, not Viet Congs or Chinese or Japanese.”
—1967 interview regarding the draft
“All Jews and gentiles are devils….Blacks are no devils….Everything black people doing wrong comes from (the white people—drinking, smoking, prostitution, homosexuality, stealing, gambling—it all comes from (the white people).”
—1969 interview with David Frost
“Every intelligent person wants his child to look like him. I’m sad because I [don’t] want to blot out my race and lose my beautiful identity? Chinese love Chinese—they love their little slanted-eyed, pretty brown-skinned babies. Pakistanis love their culture. Jewish people love their culture. Lotta Catholics don’t wanna marry nothing but Catholics, they want their religion to stay the same. Who wanna spot up yourself and kill your race? You a hater of your people if you don’t want to stay who you are.”
—1971 BBC interview with the portentously named Michael Parkinson
“A black man should be killed if he’s messing with a white woman. And white men have always done that….And not just white men—black men, too. We will kill you, and the brothers who don’t kill you will get their behinds whipped and probably get killed themselves if they let it happen and don’t do nothin’ about it.”
—1975 interview with Playboy
“You know the entire power structure is Zionist. They control America; they control the world.”
—1980 interview with India Today
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