A LEGEND PASSES: PERHAPS HIS FAITH WILL START A REAL CONVERSATION AND END THE HATE SPEAK
Yesterday the greatest, Muhammad Ali, passed away and Drumpf discovers Muslims actually do sportsYesterday a legend in our lifetime, perhaps the greatest in our history, who went beyond mere sportsmen to becoming an icon for the world in much more important aspects then just lacing up the gloves. On world politics, religion, celebrity, onstage, screen and in life, Muhammad Ali rose above most to become a giant in our world. And his impact on it will will not be forgotten.
As soon as I heard the sad news that the great Muhammad Ali had finally succumbed to his greatest adversary, Parkinson's disease at the age of 74, my memories of his great achievements flooded my head. His great boxing matches, his speeches, his appearances on ABC sports with Howard Cosell, and of course his faith. His Muslim faith.
I remember as a child when Cassius Clay changed his name. Honestly as a child I think I acknowledged racism in people. Mind you I grew up in a predominantly black and hispanic neighborhood. And I conceivably witnessed racism on a daily basis, but I never really heard it, and I never really saw it. I guess I was lucky that when I witnessed it it was more in the manner of cinema, and history now in my real world. But, when Cassius became Muhammad, I heard voices around me discussing about a faith, I had never heard of before, as different. I mean who changes their given birth name, how un-American can you get. In my world, the only people who changed their names were actors or criminals.
But that conversation seemed to die down as Muhammad Ali prospered under his new name. And as he got larger and larger in our life, his different, foreign sounding name, grew familiar. His faith, seemingly went to the background, now almost forgotten by most. I presume, the majority of his fans, were just fans of the sport. But anyone whose witnessed one of his many fights will never forget the beauty in his style. If there is an art to boxing, Ali was the definition of an artist in the ring. As a child, watching a boxing match next to my father was a blast, any boxing match. He was open of those that moved is body along with the boxers sparring on the television. My father loved boxing, and the boxer he loved to watch most was Ali. And I loved watching my dad watch Ali.
The beauty of Muhammid Ali was that he seemed to transcend race, in an age when race was the bogey man. Perhaps thats why his faith, didn't become an issue in his public persona. Of course it mattered too many, but as a kid, that part of his story wasn't important to me. In an era, the 1960's, when race was a major issue, Muhammad Ali was at the center of the political storm. But somehow, he among most earned the love of a nation with his fight against injustice and racism. I honestly don't remember his Muslim faith being part of the argument. I just remember our nation's war amongst itself about our involvement in Viet Nam and of course the color of people's skin.
Seemingly the Muslim faith has been the attack dog of this century's hatred and misunderstanding of others. Understandably after 9/11, as our President ratcheted up the fear, trying and eventually succeeding to getting back into the war business, the face of the terrorists was Muslim. I must say George W, did make that nice speech when he said something like it wasn't the Muslim people but a group of terrorists who happen to be Muslim, or something like that. So make nice with them (Of course, he then lied us into a perpetual war and helped Chaney's bank account tremendously). And lets not forget all the terrorists the prior decade that shall we say, assisted to transform the face of terrorism into a Muslim face, an Arab face. Is it funny or sad, however I write this, I come out sounding racist myself.
Every generation has something or someone that becomes the enemy of the people. The bogeyman. Every time it happens, the prejudice, the hatred, the ugliness of some create a nightmare for those that the hatred is directed at. Some of course as history showcases have shall we say earned the hatred, while others have been the victims of the hate, the American Indians, the Jews, and the current poster child for hate itself, the Muslim religion itself.
But, perhaps with the death of The Greatest, the Muslim faith could finally smack a certain orange-faced buffoon in his racist ass and end all of our worst nightmares, from becoming horribly real.
I honestly never thought I would use the names Donald Trump and Muhammad Ali in the same sentence, but in this current election season, and Drumpf's constant racist mantra against the Muslim people (and of course the Mexican people), the passing of a legend might actually open the eyes of millions of people to the reality of the Muslim faith. That the terrorists who are seemingly taking over our world don't represent an entire race, but a few nut cases.
But, Drumpf was the one who used, a tweet, his usual campaign method of throwing out his positions of all world matters, as a way to showcase his attacks on the Muslim people. So I find it hysterical now that, as usual he ignores his own past statements as if he ever actually wrote or said it. Notice his comments, especially the one about Ali's passing, his faith isn't mentioned. Hmmm, on purpose, I wonder…
As a jewish person growing up, in the 1960's and listening to people still discuss all German people as the Nazi's from the 1940's I understand the hatred and fear of the Muslim people today. And sadly I also understand, that this fear for the most part is superficial, its being brainwashed into the mindset of the world by the visuals showcased by the terrorists themselves, as well as the people who want to use the hatred against these monsters as a way to benefit their own political gains.
To have an entire party use as their mantra that our President is weak, that Hillary is weak, that the entire Democratic party is weak, because they simply won't use the term Radical Islamic Terrorism. That somehow, simply by not saying the words, calling all Muslims on our planet, Radical Islamic Terrorists, all 1.3 Billion of them, then how could they possibly figure out how to solve the problem. And save out way of life.To actually have the face of a network FOX FAUX NEWS agree with that mantra is honestly frightening.
Of course, the people saying this are the same people that got us into the never-ending war in the first place. The people who have made our President's skin color and heritage into their parties political mindset. These talking heads, paid spokesmen for the party of hatred, practically bankrupted our nation into oblivion. They simply won't believe anything is wrong with our over heating planet, and prefer to give tax breaks to the very people who don't need any and believe no minimum wage and no health care are the perfect recipe to winning back The White House.
Sadly with the election of President Obama, the racist leanings of many of our citizens has become a common every day occurrence. What had seemingly disappeared in our nation, except for the fringes in our society, has now become a proud vocal political power. What first really came to people's consciousness with the rise of The Tea Party, and its quick take over of The Republican Party. People have used this hatred as a way to try to wrestle the White House back into their power hungry hands. And one of the major players in that was and is Presumptive Republican Nominee Donald Trump. As the leader of the Birther movement, he more then most helped to promote the idea of the other. That a person of color isn't really one of us.
And once he announced his candidacy, this time, his attacks on the others, Mexicans and Muslims have only grown. Practically using that vile part of humanity as a way to ignore his positions of issues. That is if he has any at all. As Hillary perfectly expressed in her big Foreign Policy speech that woke up the world.
Trump's ideas are a mix of "bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies."And every time he's backed into a wall with one of his past business dealings, or questions about his taxes or the other 100 questions that seem to be swirling around his candidacy, he uses this attack to change the subject. To run out the clock.
My hope is that with all the discussions about the late great Mohammad Ali, his religion, his life, the love that emanated from his very being, that we get a better perspective on one of the largest religions on our planet. Perhaps now, the lies and hate can be replaced with real conversations, facts and understanding. And a person of Muslim faith can walk around this great nation and not be afraid for his life.
Just one man's opinion
© Neil Feigeles, Neilizms, Sunday, June 5, 2016