I just saw Michael Parkinson on Jonathan Ross and inevitably the dicsussion came round to his interviews with Muhammad Ali. I’d only ever seen the friendly banter between Ali & Parkinson but they clip they showed on Jonathan Ross was of Muhammad Ali flying off the handle at Michael Parkinson: the cause of the rant was Parkinson’s suggestion that Ali’s parroting of the racist bollocks spewed by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam at the time, was rather contradicted by the fact that Ali had lots of white friends.
Well, Ali didn’t like this and went off on a long rant in which he chucked out all the pseudo-intellectual bullshit that will be familiar to anyone who has ever heard any of the NOI’s more extreme views (if you haven’t, you should check them out – most religions have some pretty way-out theories but the NOI’s are up there with Scientology’s).
Anyway, you can see a large section of Parkinson’s interview with Muhammad Ali above. If the sight of this giant of a man reciting such rubbish depresses you, can I suggest the Autobiography of Malcolm X, which documents his movement from the Nation of Islam to a more humane view of the world (as shown in the clip below from Spike Lee’s biopic about Malcolm X).