Remembering Ali's Fight for Justice

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Ali was a great boxer. Like

Ali was a great boxer. Like most of us, he was a deeply flawed man that should not now be lionized. Once suffering from Parkinson's he seems to have become kinder etc. but never disavowed fully his cruel and reckless behavior of his youth.

Ali invented (inspired by professional wrestler "Gorgeous George") "trash talk," treated many of his children and former wives in an unconscionable manner, advocated the death penalty for interracial dating (see below), and embraced religious fundamentalism. As Mark Kram details in his 2001 book, his noted refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War was a scripted event forced on the boxer by the NOI. In fact, Ali refused to back the anti-war movement and other social justice movements. I consider his contribution to the anti-war movement much like I think of Jehovah Witness litigants in those hallmark First Amendment cases.

Here's what the fighter told Playboy's interviewer right after proclaiming that all interracial sexual relations be met with death:

"'And what if a Muslim woman wants to go out with non-Muslim blacks - or white men, for that matter?' asked the man from Playboy .

'Then she dies,' Ali replied. 'Kill her, too.'"

Vince Killoran 327 days ago

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