Apparently my recent Newsbusters article about Muhammad Ali ruffled some feathers. Last week USA Today sports writer Jon Saraceno wrote a puff piece about Ali and the Medal of Freedom, in which he couldn't resist taking a jab at me for bringing up Ali's treason during Vietnam. In classic left-leaning media manner, he copied and pasted one sentence out of the context of the entire article condemning Ali. I expected as much; this is the MSM, after all. But what was inexcusable was the fact that he provided no link to the article or even to my website so that his readers could judge for themselves what was actually written.
Look, I wrote then and will do so again now that Ali was indeed a gifted boxer and athlete. But that does not now nor will it ever make him a hero. He has everything he does because there were men in the past who knew there were things out there bigger and more important than themselves, and they were willing to seal that belief with their youth, their time, and even their lives. THAT is a hero. Ali took what this country had to give, but when asked to help others gain the same freedoms, his answer was a resounding "Not I." Like the selfish barnyard animals who refused to help the hen sew the wheat to make the flour to bake the bread, Ali was only too willing to take a piece of what he was NOT willing to help create.
When American warriors hand over the loaf of freedom to us for safekeeping, they expect us to take our turn in not only preserving it, but in helping opressed peoples everywhere create their own. That is what we are supposed to believe. Ali lived better than 95% of the people in the world, and he was able to use his talents to live that way exactly because of others who paid the price. When he was asked to help the South Vietnamese gain their "bread," Ali turned away. He has written checks for many causes, had gala events in his honor, movies, books, and articles galore. But when he was asked to fight in the unglamorous and more dangerous world outside the ring, he proved that the only person he's willing to fight for is himself. That is the epitome of selfishness...he has all he has because of the price others have paid. Never forget that, because apparently, everyone else has.
I wish Ali the same general health and decency and kindness that I voluntarily give to all human beings. I hope he doesn't suffer pain or anguish, never knows hunger or opression, and always gets to see a kind face looking back at him. I really, truly do.
The trouble isn't that I believe that, but that Ali apparently doesn't. I guess there are some people worth fighting for, and that in Ali's world, dark people in Southeast Asia aren't among them. Hero? Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Keep the faith, bros, and in all things courage...real courage--in and out of the ring.