How Muhamad Ali made a Big Impact by Becoming a Conscientious Objector
How Muhammad Ali made a Big Impact by Becoming a Conscientious Objector
Muhammad Ali was a heavyweight boxing champion of his time Muhammad, 2006). He had garnered an impressive 56- win record. He was also considered a hero during the Vietnam war as a result of his stand concerning that war. His achieved cannot be full without mention that he was among the most renown activists of his time. In 1964, Ali became the heavyweight boxing after being the Olympic gold medalist in 1960 (Muhammad, 2006). Ali was suspended at some time when he rejected the military service, and this encouraged him to go back to boxing, where he reclaimed the title for two more times during the 1970s championships. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, a condition that pushed him to devote most of his time to philanthropy, and as a result, he earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 (Muhammad, 2006).
Muhammad was born on January 17th, 1942, as Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky (Muhammad, 2006). At an Ali age, he was courageous and showed that he was not afraid of anything he faced in life. Ali faced racial prejudice and segregation as he grew up from the South. When he was 12 years old, Muhammad realized his talent that he was good at boxing. As evidence of this, his bike was stolen, and instead of Ali reporting to the police so that they could take action against the thief, Ali claimed that he wanted to beat up the thief. The police officer challenged Ali that to fight; he should train and gain tactics on how to challenge people. The police officer was also a trainer who trained young boxers at a gym.
The challenge Ali was given by Martin, who was the police officer made him work with the police to gain some skills. From Martin, Ali learned how to spar, and this marked the beginning of his boxing career. While still being known as Clay, he fought and won the 1956 Golden Gloves for the novices in the light heavyweight class. Ali went on to win the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions and the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title after three years.
The consecutive victory in the Olympics and boxing branded him as the American hero. He furthered his profession after he received a sponsorship from the Louisville Sponsoring Group, where he continued winning all the matches he attended. One of the qualities he possessed that made a renown hero was that he objected to the war, and this action made him influential in many generations. During the time of African-American civil rights movements, he was seen as a high-profile figure as he was proud of being an African.
One reason as to why Muhammad was considered a hero is the various ways through which he mentored people on the way they should live. Ali was known for one of his quotes, which served as an encouragement to many people, which stated, “Don’t count the days; make the days count” (Ali & Hana, 2000). He used to say this while talking to people who get too worried about what will happen in their lives in the future without caring about what is happening in their current life. In his considerations, Muhammad claimed that the present life is what will make the future what it is supposed to be. In his advice to people, Muhammad claimed that the simple things done by people are what eventually gives meaning to the future. A person can live his or her life the way he wants it if they will plan well starting with the conditions that are happening in their lives in the present time. He claimed that for a person to get to his or her goals, he will have to start it in the smaller ways and nurture it to what he or she wants it to be in the future. He encouraged people that they will always get to their expectations if they did what was required at the initial level and dared to take some risks.
Moreover, Muhammad is considered a hero as a result of the contributions he made during the Civil Rights Movement in America. When Ali won the 1960 Olympics heavyweight boxing, he went back to his hometown in Kentucky. He decided to visit a store downtown, and all he received was humiliation as people looked down upon him for being black. As a result of this, he took the medal he had won, tore it into pieces and threw it into a river. He was angered by the fact that even though he had won the title, his brothers and sisters back lived in trouble for being black (Hauser & Muhammad, 1996).
During the segregation period, Ali was at the forefront, making sure that all people are treated equally. He spoke out against the unjust treatment that was being done to the African-Americans. With his figure as being a person who was known in public, Ali did not look down upon any African-American, he loved them as they were. In America, when there was tension concerning races, no one was allowed to speak out on something that was considered controversial to the public. Despite the law, Muhammad risked his life by speaking candidly to the media concerning the injustices and discrimination witnessed in America. Even though Ali was a celebrity who was known throughout the country, he took his position and spoke against discrimination in a society based on racial differences. It is not easy for a person who is a celebrity to do what Ali did; people who support controversial topics are not able to stand up bravely like what Ali did. For this reason, he is considered a hero.
Because of Ali’s race and beliefs, many people came out to oppose him and what he was fighting for. The negative sentiments he received from people did not stop him from pushing for the reforms as he came out strengthened and bold. He was portrayed as a force that the youth in the society was looking up to. It was realized that the white people were fighting for Ali to lose his Olympic heavyweight championship because of his beliefs and his stand at protecting the interests of his fellow black people. In the era when segregation was rampant in America, African-Americans were always ignored. The media did not want to recognize any black person who had achieved something incredible. It was considered that only White people could make incredible things in life. In his part, Muhammad Ali changed these beliefs. Although being a boxer, he was a compassionate person who always stood up for what he believed in and the fight against segregation. He was a civil rights activist as he always felt pity for his fellow countrymen and the type of treatment they received.
Apart from the civil rights movements, Muhammad also took part in ending the Vietnam war (Basheerddin, 2019). During the pick seasons of Ali’s career as a boxer, the Vietnam war was also at its pick. Many people at this point were supporting the war, not taking into consideration the conflicts related to this war. Ali was concerned about this issue as he was aware of the conflict caused by the war and was among the first people to speak against this war. He related the situation to his boxing career, where he said that his intention for engaging in boxing is to win, but on the other hand, the aim of the war is to kill as many people as possible (Mazrui, 1997). Most of the people who surrounded Ali were people who supported the war, but despite this, Ali took his stand and did not support them.
Being a Muslim convert, Ali claimed that it was not normal for a Muslim to kill. His Islamic beliefs pushed him to select peace at the expense of war. As a result of this, many people were against Muhammad. Both the media, the government, and the general public were against the beliefs of Ali, where they claimed that he was a traitor and a coward person. As a result of his decision being against the war, all the titles he had won were revoked, after which he was imprisoned, and the government banned him from taking part in the Olympics (Gorn & Elliot, 1998). Having been imprisoned and his titles revoked, many people would have given up, but Ali persevered and forged on with his stand that violence was not called for in the society.
Muhammad went on to prove to the nation that he is a man who stands by his word. He said, “I will not go 10,000 Miles to help Murder poor people, simply to continue the domination of white slave masters over the darker people of the earth” (Gorn & Elliot, 1998). His statement provided more insights into his stand as he refused. He was not willing to join other people in the war as he understood that the reason as to why people and the government were supporting the war was that they wanted to use it as an avenue for enslaving the black people. Finally, Muhammad served his five years of legal battle, at the end of which he won the case for refusing violence. For such acts, Muhammad depicted his bravery, courage, and compassion during the entire period when he stood with the poor people who were being segregated and fought.
Finally, Muhammad can be said to have been a hero for his acts of standing up with the people who were oppressed in society (Meyers, 2001). He was a brave man who always defended his stand no matter the situation at hand. He was among the people who spoke against segregation in America, and he used his advantage as a celebrity to save others from racial discrimination (Cosentino & Muhammad, 2001).
The birth name for Muhammad Ali was Cassius Clay, but he ended up changing it to Muhammad Ali. Clay decided to change his name in 1964, where he dumped his father’s name, terming it as his “slave name.” He changed his name when he joined the Islamic religion and became an affiliate of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Muhammed started attending the NOI meetings in 1961, where he continued to exchange ideas with fellow African-Americans who were Muslims. While attending the NOI meetings, Malcolm became the mentor who shaped the future life of Ali as he prepared in political and spiritual matters.
Muhammad denounced his birth name ‘Cassius Clay,’ claiming it was a slave name. He went ahead to clarify that he did not choose to be called that name, and therefore he also had the freedom of changing it to a name he could be comfortable to be called. Moreover, he said that he was pleased being referred to as Muhammad, a title he considered to be free and one which had a more profound closeness to God as it meant the beloved of God.
There an instance when Ali is seen to have disobeyed the government. He defied the government with an argument that the government was violating the rights of its citizens even though they were from a different race. Ali refused to heed the directive by the government concerning the Vietnam war. He is seen to have disobeyed the government from the time he rejected induction into the U.S. army. When asked to join the military, Ali said, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong” (Ali, Muhammad,& Clare, 2019). Ali is seen to be against the government in this as he was sure that many innocent people would die in the war, and this happened in reality as, by 1968, 19,560 Americans had been killed in Vietnam as a result of the war. It was also approximated that in the same year, another 16,502 Americans would die as a result of the same fight.
Among the people who joined Muhammad in speak against the war was Martin Luther King Jnr. He went ahead to quote Muhammad’s stand by saying, “As Muhammad Ali puts it, we are all black and brown and poor-victims of the same systems of oppression,” (Gorsevski, Ellen & Michael, 2011). By the reason that it was considered a disrespect for the government when Muhammad chose to stand by his words, he endured suffering. His titles were revoked as the government considered him a coward person. Ali continued to push for the rights of his fellow black people by speaking against segregation and racial discrimination in America. Although he underwent the torture by the government, Ali used his position in society to speak against the injustices that are done to black Americans. The government was doing all it could to oppress these people, and for this reason, Ali decided to disobey the government and do what he knew was right for his fellow African-Americans.
Muhammad Ali is portrayed as a person who has been continually fighting for the rights of black people. Being a black person, Ali was concerned about the treatment of black people in America. The type of discrimination and segregation as a result of the race was on the rise in America, and Ali was not in good terms with this. He actively spoke against segregation, and luckily, he lived during the time of Civil rights Movements. He was an active activist who feared nothing, even being imprisonment when it came to fighting for the rights of his fellow black people.
Ali has been in trouble severally as a result of fighting for a fair and just society for all. The reason as to why he was imprisoned for five years is his decision to go against the directives of the government so that he could save the black people from the type of oppression they were experiencing in the hands of the government. He was intimidated by the government, where the government believed that by intimidating him, Ali would change his stand and decide to adhere to the directives by the government. Still, he proved otherwise (Myers & Walter, 2016). All the intimidations he encountered left him strong and willing to fight more for the rights of black people. As an objector, he was not ready to lead a good life as he was already a celebrity and see his brothers and sisters being oppressed. For this reason, he dedicated himself in any way he could to ensure that the government heard the pleas of the black people. He later won the battle when the courts ruled that he was not against any rules of the country by defending what he believed was right and ought to be done by the government to all.
Muhammad has been seen to embrace the Muslim religion, as is evident from the time he changed his name (Roberts, Randy, & Johnny, 2016). Muslim faith later defined his legacy and career as a fighter. After his conversion to Islamic, he was involved in a fight that led him to elaborate on why he decided to join the Islamic religion. The battle was not his usual Olympic games but some argument with his wife, Belinda. Belinda argued that his husband had run out of control, and he was doing weird things that a person would consider him to be God. But Belinda was ahead to inform him that no matter what he did, he would never be equal to Allah. After this quarrel, Belinda instructed him to write the reasons as to why he joined the Islamic religion.
In the letter, Ali said that when he was still young and hunting for pretty girls, he noticed a man in a black suit selling newspapers for the Nation of Islam. He said that he had heard of Elijah Muhammad, who was the leader of the religion, but until that point, he had never thought of joining the faith. Ali finally convinced Belinda detailing the central concept as to why he joined the Islamic religion. He took a newspaper that had a cartoon that depicted a white slave beating up a black slave while insisting that the slave had to pray to Jesus. The notion being described by Ali in this story is that Christianity was a religion that was being imposed and forced on the slaves by the white masters, and this was the main reason he decided to join Muslims considering it as a free religion.
After the death of Ali, he was more remembered for the good things he did than for the bad things he had done. In his life, Muhammad had tried to strive for equality and fair treatment in the community (Tischler & Barbara, 2015). It is for this reason that he is remembered for the right things. His devotion to making sure segregation is brought to an end in America, and the fact that he was among the activists who took part in the Civil rights Movement are reasons for which many people remember him. He is seen to have been among the people who brought equality among all races in America. His concern for other people is seen when he rejected the offer of joining the Vietnam war as he was aware of the negative impact of the fight to the black people who were being enslaved in America.
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