Monday, July 17, 2006

No Vietnamese Ever Called Me A Nigger

Mohammed Ali is thought to have said the title of this post. Unfortunately as great as this soundbite is, it was likely never said publicly, on record*. However it is possible he may have said it privately. It was well known to the Boomers at the time but forgotten to Generation X and the Echo that Cassius Clay refused millitary service. He risked his career and everything he had in order to stand up for what he believed in. He knew the difference between two men who agree to hit each other with padded mittens and going to the other side of the world to kill strangers. What Ali probably said was this:
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? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.
Which he said in Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties (1999) by Mike Marqusee

In light of all the bloodshed going on in Lebanon this past weekend and all the mutual defense pacts we and other nations hold with each other, here is a link that may come in handy in the very near future.

As for me, I'm medically unfit for combat. Bad eyes, ankles and teeth. I'm severly anemic and to top it all off... the amphetamines or "go pills" they give to combat troops put me to sleep. So yeah, maybe I'm a pussy. I'd rather be home with my family then out pillaging people I know aren't doing me any harm.


* Ralph Keyes' Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations

22 Comments:

Blogger cumatac said...

i get his point, but im a generation X'r and i know full well the heroic demonstration of courage Mohommed Ali displayed and maybe its because i am an African Born here in Amerikka, maybe its simply because im a boxing fan? i dunno but almost all of my GX aquaintances know full well in fact as far as im concerned us GXr's may be the last hope in this world addmittedly most of us have our heads up our asses but, knowing me and my small circle of "comrades" im confident that we will continue to struggle against the Bullshit goin down in the world today

gamba

Jul 17, 2006, 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

What would happen if we all said "No! Enough of this!" We have big problems here at home that need solving.

Jul 17, 2006, 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also from Generation X and am also quite aware of what Ali said (and what they say he didn't say - if he didn't say those famous words, many older friends and older relatives of mine and acquaintances of theirs definitely did)

Maybe if a man from New Orleans chose to run for president and tell our Dear Leader to his face: "Ain't no Iraqi ever left me to drown...", then our generation could have its own Ali moment.

Jul 17, 2006, 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

Closest thing we've had to that was Kanye West. With all due respect to Kanye, our generation never quit slackin' if that's the best we can do.

Jul 17, 2006, 3:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with race? These wars are illegal not too mention the gov't caging peaceful protestors, banning books like "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III and illegally wire-tapping all phones. Whatever race you are, these are 2 illegal wars based on a false-flag operation known as 9/11.
Last link (before Google Books is forced to drop the book):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

Jul 17, 2006, 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"To call someone 'anti-American', indeed, to be anti-American, (or for that matter anti-Indian, or anti-Timbuktuan) is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you're not a Bushie you're a Taliban. If you don't love us, you hate us. If you're not Good you're Evil. If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists." - Arundhati Roy

Jul 17, 2006, 7:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

israel
america
the Bible
its real
the people
do kill
these governments
well really
families
control everything
you are not free
welcome to the rabbit hole
protect your soul
russia is ready
Iran is jus chilling
get the feeling
how you take land
stand and say freedom
how you have slaves
ghettos
capitalism and say
Jesus
touch Syria
I dare you
dont do that
silicon in chests
and in brains
TV and xbox got kids up late
your jobs are where?
support a family?
better have more than a college degree
10 years of carpentry
trust funds

ok heres one for you


separation of
church and state
we set up a church
as a state
wait
yep
because of concentration camps
even though we know who caused
hyperinflation
reichstag
9-11
iraq, the liberty
now this

trip off this
everybody bringing in aircraft carriers
to rescue their citizens from Lebanon
pray

its about to go down
down down
like down folks wake up
up
its to late
you put him in
you saved this date
because you thought you was saved
now we get erased

a lot survived
a lot rode high
don't know how many died
dont care
reparations
got it
for us
not yet true
and never will be
oh well
my ancestry survived the passage
over ten million in the bottom of the ocean
the world keeps coasting
boasting
05 got my JD
Just passed the bar
in CA
yeah its hard
the life

knowing wrong from right
yah just now seeing it

this country has been a sore sight
boo boo and pee to its lips


republican democrat
it doesn't matter
you don't get it
they all run it together

Jul 18, 2006, 4:12:00 AM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

I love poems.

there's a great article about marines and drugs in this publishing rag.

http://www.yetipublishing.com/

I'm sorry I can't just give you a link to the story. I bought the book at a independant bookseller and read it on the way home.

In time of trouble... said
we walk away with the
wind of years
vomit, destroyer.

Bush is a shrub... salivation
like watching the people's
court unfold in
Alabama.

(just for you)

;)

Jul 18, 2006, 2:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Ali. One of the greats for all kinds of great reasons.

Jul 19, 2006, 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Watts said...

Cassius Clay said this when he refused to serve in Vietnam. Use the Google. Do your homework. Make an effort.

Aug 3, 2007, 12:55:00 AM  
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Jul 14, 2009, 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stokely Carmichael, a civil rights activist first said that, but used "vietcong," get your facts straight bud.

Aug 25, 2010, 10:03:00 PM  
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