Jun. 4, 2016
I Loved Muhammad Ali More Than Just A Myth A Man
I have been listening to Sirius Radio today as America pays tribute to the greatest of all-time my hero Muhammad Ali. As I listen to these white columnist and reporters discuss Muhammad Ali I feel a tinge of disgust. This man, this brother, was reviled by White America from the time that he stepped into the limelight with his historic victory over Sonny Liston on that night in 1964 in Miami Beach, Florida he pronounced his claim as the greatest of all-time.
The fact that he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali was a dishonor to the nation that supposedly gave him the opportunity to be in a position to be crowned champion of the heavyweight division. The fact that he had the audacity to visit the streets of Miami with Malcolm X was reason enough for white America to shut him down period without provocation. That this man after his historic win visited Harlem with Malcolm X was enough to place him on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI's most wanted list as direct threat enemy of this country.
White America came after Ali with the might of entire United States Government when he refused to accept his induction into this country's armed forces. They despised him, I mean they hated him they refused him the opportunity to earn a living in his chosen profession for nearly 5 years. I mean he had to live on the scraps of a nation that desired only the worst for him. He had to beg and plead just to be licensed to enter a ring and make a decent dollar. It was only by the grace of God that Atlanta, Georgia had a black political system that allowed him re-entry into the ring. Heck, white America hated everything that black America found incredible about Muhammad Ali. He was brash, rash and talked much trash and refused to bow down to those who sought to break him. We in the black community loved Muhammad Ali while White America could hardly even tolerate him. Once he returned to the ring I think that every fight he had became a racial confrontation as the brother and sisters stood by the champ while White America stood by whoever Muhammad Ali was opposed by. When Ken Norton broke the jaw of Muhammad Ali in the first fight White America was ecstatic that Muhammad Ali was silenced for once. They loved his opponents who attempted to defeat him. Yet he stood firm in his convictions that he was not meant to bow in shame but stand tall in pride for everyone who believed in the power of his beliefs.
When Ali stayed in the game too long and eventually did enormous physical damage to his once beautiful mind and body. When Muhammad Ali no longer had that remarkable gift of gab, defiance, and boldness suddenly he was demystified to those in the White Community. Heck, they even worked to de-Islam the Prince of Peace, the Greatest of Time was a physical shell of himself. That's when he became acceptable to those who despised him so greatly when that shell was full of life, vigor and strength. Muhammad Ali who tossed his gold medal he won in Rome in 1960 into a Kentucky river because he understood that medal didn't gain him any semblance of human or civil rights. Ali was chosen to light the Olympic Flame in the Atlanta Games. He wasn't deemed an enemy of the state any longer. You see now that Ali couldn't truly express his defiance and demand justice for Black America because Parkinson's had ravaged his abilities to communicate became what he never ever wanted to be "an acceptable black man" to a world ruled by racists who deplored black justice for our brothers and sisters. Muhammad Ali was never going to be acceptable in my world he would always defy those who sought injustice and lead the way to truth. He wasn't a threat because he had been forced to earn a living in the ring far longer than he should have due to the racist intents of those who had denied him the opportunity to earn a living while in the prime years of his life. So when I hear all these words of worship coming from some of those whites who state uncontrollable love for his greatness. I understand the reality is they talk of loving Muhammad Ali when in reality most of their friends, parents and colleagues hated this man. He stood for everything that they opposed and Muhammad Ali stood proudly when no one of those whites would have dared stand with him.
So I as I conclude my essay on the imaginary love of Muhammad Ali by White America. I would like all the young black brothers and sisters who never really got a chance to live in the world of the vibrant, defiant, messenger of peace and justice to go do your homework. You must not allow White America to make this man what he wasn't or ever wanted to be "acceptable". Our Muhammad Ali would never want to be deemed acceptable until each and every one of us was deemed acceptable. Whether you were jailed in a penal institution or living in the dregs of society if White America could turn its backs on these people of color then White America was turning their backs on justice and peace. So, please let have a reality check please understand that Muhammad Ali was more than what they want to you to remember him as. They would like to have you see a gracious Ali who was demure and respectful but the Ali that we had was lost to the ravages of sport of boxing that he was forced to continue in past his prime. Had that Muhammad Ali continue to thrive I wonder what these latter-day lovers of Muhammad Ali would be saying today? I know that this is a long post but I simply had a great deal on my mind. You cannot allow White America to take away all that was incredibly wonderful about the defiance and power that was displayed by Muhammad Ali.