Muhammad Ali had the most incredible response to being told "not all white people are racist"
Despite the fact that we are now in 2018, the phrase "not all white people are racist" is still used whenever challenging the issue of racism in modern society. All too often, the phrase is used in order to distract from the real discussion taking place and, more often than not, it leads to the issue being swept under the carpet with everyone being safe in the knowledge that, "not all white people are racist."
Much like the "all lives matter" and "blue lives matter" movements, "not all white people are racist" takes the conversation away from the crux of the matter: the experience of racism that often comes at the hands of white people.
This, of course, has been a long-running discourse, with legendary boxer Muhammed Ali tackling the issue on a UK talk show over 40 years ago.
Ali, who was known for his activism outside of the ring, appeared on Parkinson in 1971 and went on to address the issue regarding the "not all white people are racist" line of thought.
The boxer spoke about a variety of different subjects while making the appearance, and was particularly eloquent when it came to discussing race and culture. During the interview, Ali tore the controversial phrase apart, showing how whimsical the thought process behind the phrase, and the concept in general, really is.
He told Parkinson: "There are many white people who mean right and in their hearts wanna do right."
"If ten thousand snakes were coming down that aisle now, and I had a door that I could shut, and in that ten thousand, one thousand meant right - one thousand rattlesnakes didn't want to bite me, I knew they were good - should I let all these rattlesnakes come down, hoping that that thousand get together and form a shield? Or should I just close the door and stay safe?"
Ali goes on to ask: "Do you understand?" Before adding: "In Viet Cong, they're not all bad but Americans still dropping bombs."
"In Hiroshima, Japan weren't bad but they dropped a bomb.
"In Korea, they weren't bad but they still dropped a bomb.
"So now I'm going to forget the 400 years of lynching and killing and raping and depriving my people of freedom and justice and equality...and I'm going to look at two or three white people who are trying to do right and ignore the million trying to kill me? I'm not that big of a fool."
Ali's words were met with a round of applause and left Michael Parkinson completely speechless.
Sadly, even though this interview was conducted over 40 years ago, Ali's words still ring true today. It's a tribute to his legend that he was not only ahead of his time, but also ahead of our own. Furthermore, it also must be seen as a huge problem in society that these archaic views regarding racism haven't actually altered much in the last 40 years.