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There's a tremendous amount of talent and ability among blacks, and I'm not even talking
about that which has been wasted or destroyed before the opportunity for expression. That
is incalculable, you know. I have no way of -- even if I were to calculate that one-half
of the talent that you find among whites would be available, if it weren't for American
racism, among blacks, that would be such an enormous waste that it would be staggering.
I'm even talking about the waste of talent that was expressed, you know -- as in the case
of a Ray M Jones, or in the case of the people that formed that original Group. They had
to band together to do something that, damn it, this nation should be begging them to do,
becase this nation doesn't have all that damn talent. You know, it really doesn't. And it
should be husbanding every damn bit of talent that it could husband.
It reminds me of my visit in Montreal, at the Olympics. You know, I was enjoying the
Olympics very much, but one of my burdens, as you have probably seen, the monkey on my
back and my obsession is unfortunately race. And as I sat through the Olympics, you know,
and saw the American athletes participating in track and field and the boxing, I'd say,
“My God, you know -- here a disproportionate number of these young people who
are winning medals are black.”
And you see in athletics, which is certainly not free of racism, but I guess
comparatively free, what could happen, if America would free itself of this yoke.
And I will confess to you, I sat there thinking, my God, would this not be possible also
in other fields? You know.
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