We will remember him, not only as “The Greatest”, but also as the voice of black people in a United States that was anti-black. Ali was stripped his well earned title in 1967 after he refused to be conscripted to fight in the illigitimate US war in Vietnam. In refusal, Ali said “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
He spoke strongly against white supremacy and was part of the generation of the Nation of Islam that was generally influenced by the ideas of Malcom X. He is known to have said about one of his fight that “I’m gonna fight for the prestige, not for me, but to uplift my little brothers who are sleeping on concrete floors today in America. Black people who are living on welfare, black people who can’t eat, black people who don’t know no knowledge of themselves, black people who don’t have no future.”
Ali will always be “The Greatest” and we salute him as the Economic Freedom Fighters. He is the greatest boxing fighter in the whole twentieth century. His death must inspire all the boxers in the world, in particular in our country to rise and attain much better than he did, whilst using their sportsmanship to be the voice of the voiceless and inspire possibilities under impossible conditions. In his words, Ali said of being remembered:
“I’ll tell you how I’d like to be remembered: As a black man who won the heavyweight title – Who has humorous and who never looked down on those who looked up to him – A man who stood for freedom, justice and equality – And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
Indeed, we will remember him as “the greatest thing that ever lived!” The “king of the world!” A “bad man” and “the prettiest thing that ever lived.” May his soul rest in perfect revolutionary peace!
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS