As I celebrate my 32nd birthday, I am saddened at the news that Muhammad Ali has passed away. He indeed was the world’s greatest in more ways than one. Muhammad Ali wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He was unapologetically Black and unapologetically Muslim. What separates him from so many artists, athletes and people in general is that he did not let money dictate his stance on politics and the ills that plagued the black community.
I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for four or five more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home!
What artist today would sacrifice their millions of dollars and their lavish lifestyles for their beliefs? Which artist have done that in last 40 years since Muhammad Ali? Name one.
Laila Ali posted a message stating that even after her father’s organs failed, his heart continued to beat for more than 30 minutes. Muhammad Ali was a true warrior, a true fighter and his spirit, his strength and his courage will truly be missed.