Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston




Found via Jobsanger

Sunday, June 5, 2016

R.I.P. Muhammad Ali

He chose his beliefs over his boxing career.

Moral Courage

Pm Carpenter on Muhammad Ali: 

 He was so much more than boxing's "Greatest"; he defined and moreover impelled the domestic turbulence of the Vietnam and civil rights era. He was, as well, a bundle of paradoxes: a gentle man in the most brutal of sports, a semiliterate who out-imagined the best and the brightest, a victim of racially structural rot who refused to be victimized.

Muhammad Ali on why he refused to fight in Vietnam:

"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn't put no dogs on me, they didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father... Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail." -Muhammad Ali


Ali said...

His statement says it all, it was all about him. Thousands of war protesters gave up much more, but they didn't have the stage he did. This was a man of violence who bragged about the violence he would do, and got rich doing it. He got involved in a religion that was mixed up in murder and he was the best friend of the leader of that religion. If you must hero worship a human, try Gandhi.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dear fake Ali,

You're a fool, and you sound like a bitter, unhappy malcontent.

The end.

PS. There is no major religion on this planet that has not been "mixed up in murder."

Steve M. said...

Trump supporters are slamming Ali for being a draft dodger.

Ali didn’t dodge the draft:

He stood against it and war, fought it, faced the consequences and then won.

If you want to know who dodged the draft: It’s Trump. Trump got 5 draft deferments in 1964, '65, '66, and '68 yet played basketball and football. And then insulted every man and woman who ever defended their country by comparing his screwing around with women while enjoying his draft deferments as "his Vietnam."

Trump said there were no Muslim sports heroes. Couldn’t name one six months ago. Then he praised Ali as a great sports hero.

Flying Junior said...

You know, I just watched the first episode of the 1977 Roots TV show with Levar Burton. I felt an uncanny kinship between Muhammad Ali's words of peace and the teachings of the Mandingo warriors as they taught Kunta Kinte in his initiation into manhood. A man's life is precious. Only shed blood to save a life or to avoid being captured and taken into slavery. That should be part of basic training.

I was amazed that Ali felt this deep understanding of his ancestral past even though his roots were not in West Africa. Maybe I'm just tripping. In a couple of sentences he covers all the ground from the upheaval of capture to Jim Crow and the injustices of his own time.

I was only twelve years old when Ali fought George Foreman. So, my childish memories of a young Ali mostly consist of the fun TV appearances and the taunting, whimsical poems that he used to fire off. He was so fucking funny. We all loved him. He really was the greatest. One of a kind.

Charles R. said...

That Ali troll is a racist. Does he/she have any idea what it was like to be an African-American in this country. Of course not. So how could the troll possibly understand Muhammad Ali. Here's the entire quote, and it is one of the most powerful, truthful speeches I've ever read:

"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I'm not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality... If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn't have to draft me, I'd join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I'll go to jail, so what? We've been in jail for 400 years."

Shaw Kenawe said...


Ali was ready to go to jail for his beliefs, just as MLK did. There's very little of that sort of allegiance to one's beliefs these days. Just look at some of the leaders in the GOP telling us all what a terrible person Trump is, but then that they believe this terrible person should be the POTUS.

It's not just certain leaders who are moral coward and religious hypocrites, many of the far right bloggers who hated Obama are supporting Trump, a man, who had his skin color been brown or black, would have been condemned by these people for his infidelities, his lying, and his scamming schemes. There is absolutely nothing to admire in Trump.

Charles R.,

Ali back his beliefs up with action. He lost his titles and was not able to fight for 3 years until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

Jerry, I didn't pay that much attention to Ali in the early years either, I was a few years older than you. But he was thrilling to watch, and one could see his underlying humanity, which is completely and utterly lacking in the repulsive jackass, Donald J. Trump.

Sid said...

I don't believe a man who made his living beating people with intention to harm had some religious objection to going to war. I find it amazing that people who claim to be peaceful have Ali as their hero. Not logical.

Flying Junior said...


Anonymous said...

"PS. There is no major religion on this planet that has not been "mixed up in murder."
That's why I'm an Atheist, among other reasons. To bad Ali chose another path. .

Anonymous said...

He disgraced his religion by being a man who made his living doing violence to other men.

Infidel753 said...

The epithet "draft dodger" should be borne with pride, always. It is praiseworthy, not reprehensible, to refuse to submit to temporary enslavement and be sent to do immoral and vicious things to other people. There is literally no stance I despise more in a politician than support for a draft.

This is all the more true in the case of black Americans in Ali's time, who were routinely subjected to such brutality and degradation that no one could legitimately expect them to feel any loyalty to the country -- as Ali himself so eloquently explained.

It's true that others suffered more in the struggle against the draft and the Vietnam war, but Ali's fame gave him the opportunity to be heard widely and make a real difference, and we owe him for the fact that he used it. Also, his prominence didn't mean he was safe -- quite the contrary. Remember the assassinations of prominent black leaders in the same era. He was taking a risk.

Thank you, you progressive liberal bastards said...

Muhammad Ali Hero? —Not!!!!!!! I don’t think someone who would NOT defend the country that made him a Famous Millionaire, that gave him fame and fourtune should be a Draft Dodger, no matter what he called himself.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Flying Junior said...

Flying Junior, I'm sorry, I have a house full of people, and I'm blogging on the fly. I hope you understand, since you're flying as well...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Sid and all the other trolls who are denigrating Muhammad Ali. The goal of winning a boxing match is not to kill your opponent, but to throw better punches. The goal of war is to kill your opponent.

Get it now?

P.S. I've never been a fan of boxing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Thank you, you progressive liberal bastards said...
Muhammad Ali Hero? —Not!!!!!!! I don’t think someone who would NOT defend the country that made him a Famous Millionaire, that gave him fame and fourtune should be a Draft Dodger, no matter what he called himself."

From Ty,yplb's own blog says this on its banner:

How the hell should I know?
I only act like I have all the answers

I think that describes his comment perfectly. He's only acting.

Your description sounds like Donald J. Trump who, because he was the son of a very rich man, managed to avoid serving the country that made his family wealthy. Muhammad Ali was willing to walk the walk and take the consequences for his refusal to serve.

What did Donald J. Trump do during the Vietnam war except screw around with women, then say that behavior was "his Vietname?"

Rational Nation USA said...

If football is a violent sport what is boxing (fighting)? A rhetorical question actually for me as I used to box.

Hahahahahahaha said...


BREAKING: Trump Faces RICO Charges Over Trump University Scam, Could Face Massive Prison Sentence

Won't it be hilarious to see Trump frog-marched to prison after Madam President takes her Oath of office?

Call Me Hank said...

Muhammad Ali was one of America's greatest heroes. May he rest in peace. There'll never be another as great as he was.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753: "...his prominence didn't mean he was safe -- quite the contrary. Remember the assassinations of prominent black leaders in the same era. He was taking a risk."

Most of the blockheads here trashing Ali aren't smart enough to get that.

Red Herring said...

You liberals can say whatever you please to say, and it was truly expected, but I and hundreds of thousand people of others especially the people in the military Will concur with that Ali was a Draft Dodger. But they wouldn't call him that because of his celebrity.

Dave Miller said...

Red... Many did, and still do call him a draft dodger. The Supreme Court thought otherwise.

An Old Draft Dodger said...

I spent time in jail for burning my draft card and not showing up for my induction.
Ali lost his case, so it didn't help change the position of someone in my situation. I told the government my religion (Catholic) forbid me to kill, but they simply didn't believe that.
The whole thing did not get settled until Carter issued his amnesty.
Being in college was the easy way to get away from the draft, but that only worked for a couple of years. In those days college attendance was not as high as today and the draft hit most. Also, at that time, there was a lottery system for induction. Each day of the year was assigned a number (yes, the government was picking numbers out of a revolving ball on TV) if that day was your birthday, that was your number. If you got a high number (I did not) then you were not drafted. I can't remember, but I think they were drafting up to about 220.
That jail record kept me from getting a job (for years-even after the amnesty) until I found an employer who was supportive of someone with my kind of criminal charges and jail history.
The government didn't really accept a religious exemption unless you were a member of an accepted non-violent religion like Quaker. A religion with 100's of years of history of not fighting. The Quakers wouldn't even fight in the Civil War. I always found it an irony that Nixon was a Quaker, but his administration allowed few religious exemptions. I knew nothing about Ali's religion at the time, but he was refused also.
Ending the draft (after the Vietnam war) defused protests and has reveled that only a small (1) percentage actually chose to enter military service. It also eliminated a basic debate on sending people to kill, or get killed. I'm not sure missing that debate is good for the country. After all, it wasn't about objections to military service, but that Vietnam was not a reasonable reason to kill, or be killed.
I don't look at LBJ's lie about the Gulf of Ton-ken being central. LBJ was going to enlarge that war some way, or another. It would have happened anyways, but it was legal permission from the Congress.
Ali should be praised for his actions, but that still leaves the bad treatment of Vietnam Veterans an open American wound. I give my time to Vietnam Veterans in jail. Oh sure, they all have criminal reasons they are there, but it all goes back to their war experiences. I lost a lot of good friends over in Vietnam, and most of them hated to be there. A hell neither I, or Ali ever had to go through.
If there was a draft during the Iraq war, I wonder what protests, if any, would have raised the conscience of Americans.

Shaw Kenawe said...

An Old Draft Dodger,

Thank you for your comment.

I hope you had a chance to read Infidel753's comment above.

In my family we had one conscientious objector who did not have to serve, and one whose lottery number was 366, so he didn't serve because the war was over before they got to his number, and one who served as a Marine in Vietnam and who eventually died from the effects of Agent Orange.

Ahab said...

It took courage for him to defy that draft in that era. May others demonstrate Ali's bravery in the face of America's war machine.