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Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali's "Beautiful Soul"

Submitted by Toni (United States), Jun 4, 2010 at 15:38

* Ali knowingly betrayed Malcolm X, a betrayal that led at least indirectly to Malcolm's assassination.
That's BS. Malcolm was murdered because of a rift with Ellijah Muhammad.* Ali publicly turned his back on his press secretary, Leon 4X Ameer, which led to Ameer's death.
Also BS.

* When Nation of Islam activists executed five friends and family of the Hanafi sect—four of them children—Ali did not quit the Nation or even publicly protest.
This was tragedy, but Ali wasn't obligated to protest it, as he wasn't involved.

* For at least four years running Ali publicly degraded Joe Frazier, often along the crudest racial lines.
Ali "dissed" most of the guys he fought, but it was for reasons of fight promotion and psychological warfare.

* Ali also verbally and physically abused Floyd Patterson and Ernie Terrell, two men who did not deserve it.
Untrue. During the pre-fight stages with Terrell and Patterson (as well as Joe Frazier) these fighters would deliberately call Ali "Cassius Clay" for the express purpose getting under Ali's skin. Believing that they were siding with white establishment of the 1960's that didn't respect his name change and his religious conversion, Ali would retaliate by calling them "Uncle Toms." Patterson in fact had said that Ali's religion "stinks"and that he, as a Catholic, wanted to defeat Ali and "win the title back for America." Malcolm X put it best, "It was a sad case of a brainwashed black Christian man (Patterson) preparing to do battle for a white man who wanted no part of him"

* Ali was an unapologetic sexist. "In the Islamic world," he told Playboy, "the man's the boss, and the woman stays in the background. She don't want to call the shots."
His "sexist" views emanated from his religious beliefs and based on the traditional wisdom that the man must "wear the pants" in a marriage.
* While the black family was under assault, with its rate of unwed births nearly tripling during these fifteen years, Ali was fathering children out of wedlock with at least one teenage girl.

When white star pro athletes--or just white man in general--commit infidelity are their families "under assault "as well? True, Ali was a philanderer, but isn't this the norm for mega star athletes? You have to be realistic. If any man, (assuming he's homosexual) is in the situation of Ali as the world's most celebrated pro athlete and has numerous hot women throwing themselves at him from every angle in the world, it's highly unlikely that he will be a monogamist animal. (This is why during recent times I feel sorry for Tiger Woods.)

* He also was about to leave four of his children without a father in the home after rejecting their Muslim mother for a more glamorous, only marginally black eighteen year-old.

Isn't it common for celebrities to re-marry? And don't even get me started on the many white male celebrities who have re-married and left their "children without a father in the home." And what exactly constitutes "marginally black"?

* Ali remained an unabashed racist, calling for an American apartheid and the lynching of interracial couples as late as 1975. *

The NOI , of which Ali was a member, advocated black nationalism. During the 60's and 70's, many black Americans became disenchanted with the slow process of integration and believed that separation from white American society was the only realistic way to resolve the plight of oppression that blacks had historically experienced in the U.S. What many whites coin as "black racism" is in actuality black reaction to white racism. But it should be noted that by the late 70's, as the militant mentality in black America began to wane, Ali parted from the NOI and adapt\ed a more orthodox form of Islam.

* He routinely denigrated black heroes who did not share his point of view, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall among them.

Not only did these individuals "not share his point of view," but they also publicly criticized Ali for his religious conversion and refusal of military induction. Ali simply retaliated by calling them "Toms."
*Ali helped launch the career of Don King.

Oh yes...shame on Ali for "launching' Don King, the man who enabled Ali and George Foreman to make the highest purses ($5 million) in boxing history in the "Rumble in the Jungle." It never ceases to amaze me how so many white folks single out King as some sort of "bad guy," when in truth, he was no more exploitative than any other white fight promoter in the history of prizefighting (or any agent in pro team sports for that matter).

* And, oh yes, he rejected his country in its hour of need and expressed no regret at the fate of those millions we all abandoned.

Assuming this is a reference to Ali's refusal to fight in the Vietnam War, his famous remarks sums it all up:
"Ain't no Viet Kong ever called me n@gger!"

Ergo, get all the facts before you pass judgment.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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