Muhammad Ali lost his boxing title, and almost lost five years of his life to prison, for refusing to fight in the racist and imperialist war waged on Vietnam. If one truly admires Ali for speaking out against the war on Vietnam, then, by principle, one should vehemently oppose today’s imperialist wars of aggression.
Muhammad said he was pleased to come to Ghana - from an America where black people had to struggle for their ordinary human rights - to find back people running their whole country “beautifully”. Americans, he said, were being misinformed that Africans were eating each other and climbing up and down trees.
When Cassius Clay stood up in Miami, Florida, and said my name is Muhammad Ali, he was in fact the greatest boxer and African patriot. When he stood up in front of a federal courthouse in Houston, Texas, and said “my fight is right here with you,” that was the Ali of the people. That was the greatest. But he, too, had his contradictions.
His often weightless songs came in cascades and cemented his reputation while he avoided opening his mouth so as not to put his foot in it. The absence of substance was disguised and presented as something else but in order to get to it, you had to wade through an endless litter of frilly things and hesitant, incoherent silences and arrogant attitudes. This is indeed Prince’s most remarkable achievement.