Ali’s Death: A Contrast Between Two Time Eras in US
Ali’s death was a loud and clear reminder of how things used to be and how they are now, a stark contrast between two time eras that might as well have been separated by 500 years, instead of just 50.
On the eve of Ali’s funeral, a standup comedian started his TV performance with: “salute to our troops” and “tribute to Muhammed Ali”, in that order! I’m not sure which is sadder: Ali’s premature passing or the irony that was on display with that opening and which was completely lost on the comedian himself, an African American, which spoke volumes of the state of the consciousness of the American people, at a time when not one war, as was the case when Ali was speaking up about the unjust war against “the brown people” of Vietnam, but multiple wars are being waged against “brown people” by US imperialism. It’s almost as if the comedian’s tribute was not just for Ali’s death, but also the death of a generation of consciousness and activism against devastating US wars.
Today, Black “leaders” speak of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on one day and hold hands with and express praise and support for a Democratic Party candidate for president who has advocated and pushed for unjust wars for most of her political life! Dr. King and Malcolm X were assassinated twice: once physically and a second time slowly, killing their legacy and what they stood for. By the time of Ali’s passing, the social and political conditions were such that his legacy could at once be buried with his body. No waiting was required this time.