Tuesday, July 21, 2020

He Walked the Walk

As part of my coming to grips with the racism in my past, I remember when Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army.

I was just a kid of 14 or 15 who echoed the hateful admonishments of the White people in my small circle. We called him a traitor. We said he was just another uppity N****. We hurled all sorts of insults at a man who had more balls than the whole American White Race combined. He stood against the Vietnam war and stood tall for his race. And we punished him for it. I am so sad I had any part in that.

Years later, I came to admire Ali. I came to look past his bluster and tried to understand where he was coming from. Ali, Malcolm X, and the Rev. King became my trusted teachers of how to treat all men, not just a chosen few.

A Facebook posting about his arrest for refusing to be drafted inspired the above BoZone post.  

Ali is quoted in the post:

“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home". 

Word !

A man worthy of admiration by all of us.

Later Gator ................................................................


PipeTobacco said...

Yes, Ali’s word were wise.


yellowdoggranny said...

I worked at a Tastee Freeze in Roswell, New Mexico when he had his first fight..EVERYONE was calling him a uppity N(((((er..I on the other hand..touted his mouth, attitude and fighting ability..and believe me..this is the first fighter I had ever given a shit about..I think I was ?20? I didn't know jackshit about boxing..but boy did I love Cassius Clay..lucky for me my tongue was sharp enough that no one wanted to go head to head with me about him..I think I won about $100 betting on him(my first gambling bet ever)..all those naysayers were quick to say yeah, I'll bet you..and I covered all of them..with a $2 flyer(meaning I didn't have the money to cover the bet if he lost)but I just knew he was going to win..I was a fan of his then..and a fan of his til today..he was one of my heros..always will be..

MRMacrum said...

Pipe Tobacco - Indeed.

JACKIESUE- Wow. Struck a memory nerve. Excellent.