#poem, «Paraphrasing the Champ» (In Memory of Muhammad Ali)

(Foto La Tercera)

This is what Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, 1942-2016 said before his military induction in 1967:

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand 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 am not going ten thousand 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 put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion.

But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right 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. But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail. We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.”


This is my tribute to the Champ

Paraphrasing the Champ

If I die, I’ll die fighting…
I give nothing to my enemies
and my enemies are those who take away from my brothers and sisters,
they black and they proud…
If you want to have something they don’t have,
I won’t help you get it…

I got no beef with the Vietcong,
with the Chinese,
they’re not wrong…
You’re my enemy, not them
and I don’t want to have to tell you again…

You stand opposed to equality,
you stand against my truth and my God,
you want me fighting in a strange land
so I won’t speak out at home.

C.2022, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, 10 DEC 2022, Valencia, España

(Photo Wikipedia)

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14 Comentarios

  1. Easymalc dice:

    I didn’t realise he said those words. All credit to him.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. He certainly was Cassa!

      Me gusta

  2. Susan dice:

    Well said, you and Ali.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Thank you so much Susan! Our greetings to you both and for tonight’s match: «Vive la France!!!»

      Me gusta

  3. beth dice:

    excellent tribute

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Thank you so much Beth!

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  4. Brad Osborne dice:

    You capture his spirit and beliefs beautifully in your poem. Powerful and compelling. Well written, my friend!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. So glad you liked it my friend, thank you!

      Le gusta a 1 persona

      1. Brad Osborne dice:

        My pleasure, as always!

        Le gusta a 1 persona

  5. Definitely sums up Muhammad Ali!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. I never knew so much about him, but I definitely admired him as a fighter.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

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