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Cross-examining the Cult of Ali

Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali v. George W. Bush
in response to reader comment: Ali is the greatest

Submitted by Bart J. Stinson (United States), May 29, 2006 at 04:12

Cassius Clay was propped up and filled with meaning by left-leaning mass media in a feat of journalistic taxidermy. The fact is that Clay, admittedly a gifted athlete, was a self-indulgent, narcissistic, sexually promiscuous, treasonous, cowardly and ignorant uneducated young millionaire. Through the worst of his legal showdown with America, he never suffered poverty and was never incarcerated. As a martyr, his credentials are exceptionally thin.

He was cruel in his comments about the physical appearance of opponents, and helped to degrade norms of civility in the sport as well as the broader society. He found an enthusiastic constituency among foreign masses herded into the Cult of Ali by anti-American foreign media and government propagandists. Muslim extremists with a chip on their shoulders against Christendom could always count on the poorly educated apostate for an anti-Christian slur.

His cowardice in the aftermath of Malcom X's murder should disqualify him from any claim that his decision to shirk military duty was principled or heroic. He was transparently concerned, first and foremost, with preserving his own "purty" skin.

I do not wish to condemn Mr. Clay. He was just a kid when he made most of these bad decisions, and he obviously did not have good advice from mature, decent elders at the time. In some ways he, too, is a victim of the nihilistic manipulators who have crafted him as a weapon, and by the power elite who have shrugged their shoulders and attempted to absorb him into their agendae. But it's important to cross-examine the Cult of Ali if we are to reject its legacy of narcissism, irresponsibility, disloyalty, cowardice and apostasy.


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