Amerika

Muhammad Ali on race patriotism

Ali: We say integration, it comes under intermarriage right? I’m sure no intelligent white person, or no intelligent white man in his or her right white mind, wants black boys and black girls marrying their white sons and daughters, and in return introducing their grandchildren as half-brown, kinky-haired black people.

Interviewer: I wouldn’t object to that.

Ali: Well, you wouldn’t, but a lot of them would. What I’m trying to say is this — you don’t have it, you say you don’t but you don’t have it; you really ain’t going to have it, you run the show and you got to say that —

Interviewer: That’s not true.

Ali: Why would you want to do that?

Interviewer: Because I don’t think I’m any different any different than you.

Ali: Yeah, we’re much different.

Interviewer: I think society’s made us different.

Ali: You know we’re different.

Interviewer: Society’s made us different.

Ali: Not society, God made us different.

Interviewer: No, we’re just human beings, he made all of us.

Ali: No, listen. Blue birds fly with blue birds, red birds want to be with red birds — tell me when I’m wrong — pigeons want to be with pigeons

Interviewer: They don’t have intelligence…

Ali: They don’t have intelligence, and yet they stay together, we should have more intelligence than them. Buzzards are with buzzards… blue birds with blue birds. They all are birds, but they’ve got different cultures. The eagles like to hang out in the mountains, the buzzards like to fly around the desert, the blue bird likes to fly around the trees and the grass…

Interviewer: The problem is a buzzard mating with a sparrow, wouldn’t there?

Ali: Right. We have problems too. I don’t see no black and white couples in England or America walking around proud holding their children, and going out.

Interviewer: That’s society’s fault. We’ve got to educate people about that.

Ali: Well, life is too short for me to be catching hell for something like that, I’d rather go on on my own. Have a beautiful daughter, have a beautiful wife that looks like me; we all be happy and don’t have no trouble.

Interviewer: (startles)

Ali: I ain’t that much in love with no woman to go through all that hell. Ain’t no one woman that good.

Interviewer: I understand… I do understand. I just think it’s sad —

Ali: 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 don’t want to blot out my race and lose my beautiful identity? Chinese love Chinese, they love the little slanted eyes brown-skinned babies. Pakistanis love their culture; Jewish people love their culture. Lot of Catholics want to marry a Catholic; they want the religion to be the same. Who wants to spot up yourself and kill your race? You are a hater of your people if you don’t want to say who you are. You shame what God made you. God didn’t make no mistake; he made us all like we are.

Interviewer: I think that’s a philosophy of despair.

Ali: Despair? It ain’t no despair. No woman, on this whole earth, not even a black woman in Moslem countries, can please me and cook for me and socialize and talk to me like my American black woman. No woman, and last is a white woman, can identify with me and my feelings and the way I act and the way I talk. And you can’t take no Chinese man and give him no Puerto Rican woman and holler about how we’re in love, and we’re emotionally in love and physically, but really, they’re not happy. Because she’s going to hear some Puerto Rican music, he’s going to hear some Chinese music, and they’re going to be clashing all the time. It’s just nature. You can do what you want. But it’s nature to want to be with your own. I want to be with my own. I love my people. That’s all.

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