Muhammed Ali: Black Confidence, Black Excellence, Black Pride, Black Courage, Black Defiance

By N Oji Mzilikazi

29 June 2016

The Montreal Gazette, December 4, 2005, carried a lengthy piece on Muhammad Ali. Written by Daniel Pipes, a strident neocon. The article’s headline and drop head was: U.S. President George W. Bush was wrong to give draft-evader Muhammad Ali the U.S. Medal of Freedom. Award stings like a bee.

In seething anti-Islamic rage, Pipes does a hatchet job on Muhammad Ali, and describes the Nation of Islam as being “stridently anti-American and anti-white.”

Pipes dismisses the racial history of America and its racism by deliberately characterizing Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam as based upon “his allegiance to the Nation of Islam.”

Public recordings, radio, film and newsreels have Muhammad Ali refusal go to Vietnam as based upon the hypocrisy of going to fight to free a foreign people who never called him “nigger,” when in his own country, African Americans weren’t free.

In Islam, all members of the faith are brothers, regardless of colour. In Islam there are Muslims from more or less every ethnicity in the world. There are Muslims who are Black, white, Asian, South Asian and every shade and colour in between.

Islamic organisations tend to be anti anything that doesn’t subscribe to their religion. As such, Pipes’ statement of the Nation of Islam being anti-white has no standing.

It has always been fashionable for racists and opponents of Black Empowerment/Black Liberation Theology and astute and outspoken politicised Blacks to frame their position along the lines of “anti-Americanism.”

They deliberately invoke that emotional key-word phrase to raise the ire of the ignorant, to appeal to emotions, stir mob anger, and to elicit condemnation. After all, America is always spoken of as being the good guy as well as the pillar of democracy. Therefore, when one hears someone is “anti-American,” the immediate belief is he or she is against decency and goodness.

When Black Americans point their fingers and accuse America, it is from its failure to do the things it eschews as intrinsic to democracy, as well as upholding that Black Lives Matter. But racists make it out to be anything but…

I was never into boxing. Martial Arts is my thing. Ali’s successes and hype of upcoming fights did nothing for me. Ali’s bravado, Ali’s self-confidence/boldness/arrogance/courage and Ali’s politics drew me in.

That a Black man could boldly declare, “I am the greatest,” when being Black was equated to being sub-human, and engendered automatic discrimination and oppression was mind-blowing. Not to mention doing so in face of the “Self-praise is no praise/ Do not toot your own horn” adages, that were drummed into my head beginning in primary school.

Muhammed Ali gave me the confidence, courage and boldness to speak highly of myself when in ownership of undeniable skills.

A Black man standing up — daring to defy the most powerful government in the world was, to me, a child of colonialism and an acolyte of Black Power; Manhood personified, Truth speaking to power, and Black Power itself.

Muhammed Ali was a beam of steel implanted in my spinal column. Muhammed Ali facilitated my ability to walk with a bounce and with my shoulders still square. Muhammed Ali taught me to open my mouth; to unabashedly give voice. Muhammed Ali inspired me to be the best I can be and to do the best I can.

Muhammed Ali, born 17 January 1942; died 3 June 2016

Good Morning Vietnam! America’s Ill-Fated War of White Supremacy

By N Oji Mzilikazi

30 April 2015

Today marks the 40th anniversary of America’s disastrous incursion into Vietnam. And much like George W. Bush WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) based invasion of Iraq, it was a war predicated on lies (the fight against communism) by one U.S. president, and expanded to include other South Asian nations, by another.

On April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, forcing the American juggernaut; the world’s superpower to flee with her tail between her legs, ending a decade plus war with the North to unite Vietnam.

Vietnam was once the jewel of the French empire. There came a time when the Vietnamese were no longer accepting of French Imperialism and armed resistance was the order of the day.

When the French, bankrolled by America lost at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, American pride was hurt. America was more than willing to step in and teach those “yellow bastards” a lesson.

The Geneva Accord of 1954 stated that Vietnam would remain separated for two years, and then reunite in a free election. Afraid that North Vietnam would win the 1956 elections, President Ngo Dihn Diem of South Vietnam, refused to allow South Vietnam to participate. North Vietnam then decided to remove Diem from office.

America was not a party to the Geneva Accord of 1954. Rather than let the Vietnamese work out their problems; view the desire of North Vietnam to reunite the country as being in the same spirit as that which sparked the American Civil War (Some Southern American states seceded from the union.), America transformed Vietnam’s war of unification as protecting the democracy of South Vietnam from communism of the North.

America had learnt nothing from their involvement in Korea, and the needless deaths of thousands of U.S. soldiers.

In keeping with the American propaganda machinery telling that brave American soldiers were fighting in Korea for democracy and freedom, Americans at home were told it was the same with Vietnam.

More bombs were dropped on Vietnam than what was dropped in World War II.  Mind you, World War II was spread over areas far and wide, while Vietnam was a fixed area.

Thanks to Agent Orange, Agent Purple, and Agent White, Vietnam has the largest dioxin contamination in the world.

America used those toxic chemicals to destroy the forests and deprive the Viet Cong from a place to hide and launch an attack.  The severe and unparalleled bombardment of toxic chemicals resulted in residue diffused throughout Vietnam’s food chain.

Forty years later, children in Vietnam are still being born poisoned, blind, deformed, and handicapped because of those toxic chemicals, while the manufacturers of those poisons and their stockholders continue to enjoy the profits brought on by their usage.

Vietnam was a failed war of American aggression; a failed war of white supremacy.