Andrew Cuomo Would Have Blacklisted Muhammad Ali
by Dave Zirin
Governor Cuomos executive action to create a blacklist of those who stand with the Palestinian people would have undoubtedly caught Muhammad Ali in its web.
Muhammad Ali was many things: boxer, humanitarian, draft resister. He was also someone who unapologetically stood for Palestinian liberation. Despite the fact that Ali had already felt the sting of a blacklist, banned by boxing from 196770, he did not stop speaking out upon his return to ring. In 1974, Ali visited the Palestinian refugee camps of Southern Lebanon and, amid the crushing poverty and disease, said, In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.
Unlike some of Muhammad Alis polarizing politics on questions of racism and US empire, which faded over time as the movements of the 1960s dwindled and Parkinsons Disease seized brutal control of his body, the question of Palestinian liberation was something that he did not surrender easily. Here is a picture from a 1988 rally in Chicago amidst the First Intifada, a six-year period of mass resistance by Palestinians to Israeli occupation, where Ali proudly stood with solidarity activists.
To deny Muhammad Alis pro-Palestinian politics is erasure. Its whitewashing. Its violence. Its performing the ugliest possible sin: lying about someones life over their dead body. Upon Alis passing, Andrew Cuomo tweeted, RIP Muhammad Ali, you inspired us all and will always be #?TheGreatest. Get the Champs name out of your mouth, Governor, and tell the disturbing truth. If Muhammad Ali was in his prime today, he would be your target: someone denied the right to make a living in the state of New York.
Strapping an uzi (fake or not) to a kid is an awful idea.
Maybe it doesn't apply in this case but it seems like this would be challenged somehow.