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Patrice Lumumba

Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali's "Beautiful Soul"

Submitted by Merl Francis Kimmel (United States), Dec 1, 2005 at 17:57

Dear Dr. Pipes:

I agree with your assessment of Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) and think him not worthy of any American government award. He is one of the most overrated individuals of the last fifty years or so. Black American boxers like Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson and Joe Frazier have my respect far more than Clay (Ali) ever will.

I must, however, take exception to your lamenting that Clay did not express sorrow at the death of Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba was a murderous thug and was by no means a statesman, a term you used to describe him, although the man who had him killed, General Mobutu, was another barbarian who would go on to drive his country into the ground.

A fitting account of Lumumba can be found in Paul Johnson's Modern Times in the chapter entitled "Caliban's Kingdoms." Clay did indeed disgrace himself time and time again where his country was concerned, but that should not function as a reason to praise a reprobate like Lumumba. Thank you.
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