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Muhammad Ali

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

Submitted by Dan Rusen (Canada), Dec 1, 2005 at 19:44

So Ali got an award. Up here in Canada the Liberal Prime Minister last month named none other than Michaelle Jean, a black female academic who in her youth was the wife of a Quebecois terrorist - as Governor General. Who KNOWS what's behind this foolishness? Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Somehow I just can't bring myself to think of Ali as a bad guy. As a young man he was undereducated and became the pawn of Black "Muslim" leaders. That sort of thing can happen to any young person, especially a cocky kid looking to make a name for himself. Thousands of upper middleclass kids have fallen prey to various sects and cults over the past 40 years.

As for the rest of it - about Don King, Joe Frazier, etc. much of this can be written off as being tricked (by King) or mere bravado. George (Rope-a-dope) Foreman is a good example of this. And how many perfectly good men stray from their wives? And about paying court to those dictators, the same could be said of thousands of seasoned western politicos. Even Israel had friendly dealings with Idi Amin early in his career.

I agree with you that Ali was never a poster child for for American patriotism, but as he said himself long ago, no Vietnamese ever called him "nigger". However, now that you point out all his shortcomings...bad guy or not, he is surely not qualified to receive awards from the President.
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