In Louisville a proposal has been made to solve 2 problems…remove the statue of the Confederate soldier and replace it with one of Ali.
Better we put up a plaque at that downtown diner that refused him service when he came home from winning an Olympic gold medal...because he was black, and Louisville/Kentucky was segregated.
We need reminders of our past history, and what courageous blacks did to stir our consciences and get us to correct past wrongs. Ali is a fine example of that---maybe even The Greatest.
We need to remember him when he exercised the right of every American to protest unjust laws and policies...as when he took his stand against the Vietnam war—saying his religion forbade taking lives in war, that “no Viet Cong had ever called him nigger," and he didn’t want to go kill brown people in behalf of their white colonial oppressors. (And the more you know about French policy of its former colony the more you know he was right.)
He stood against war—always dangerous in our society (remember more recently the Dixie Chicks?) It took 3 years for the Supreme Court to decide Ali was right. Meanwhile professional boxing (always a sleazy sport) blackballed him from fighting in his best years.
How do we look at the 'Nam war today? Or Iraq and those great WMDs?
That’s how to remember Ali…as the Conscience of our Nation (and our World.) I think he’d like that...and as he also said "maybe how pretty I was.”
I'm just sayin'...