MOHAMMED ALI LIKE TRUMP IN MANY WAYS,
YET NOT GETTING THE SAME RESPECT
Many in today’s ‘PC’ culture will get offended by any comparison between Mohammed Ali, who we just lost, and Donald Trump.
But, in fact, Ali and Donald Trump have many things in common. Besides being highly charismatic individuals they were both considered loud and bombastic, perhaps sometimes talking before thinking some would say. Yet, Ali would win back a good share of praise while Trump has not-yet
Ali was considered a radical, of sorts, way back in the EARLY 60s before it was popular. Only years later, did Ali gain more widespread acceptance as he backed up his statements, truly becoming the greatest boxer while also showing a softer, humanitarian side. And, with his strong Islamic beliefs for which he had changed his name from Cassius Clay, Ali went out of his way to accept everyone, from someone as different as Howard Cosell, to Ronald Reagan, yes, President Reagan the Republican – who Ali actually supported for a time. Ali was anything but ‘PC.’ Remember him calling George Foreman the ‘Gorilla from Manilla“?
Trump is getting much of the same negative reaction today that Ali got in the early 60s , but it’s coming, surprisingly – or not so surprisingly- in these more modern, supposedly ‘accepting” times. While Ali is getting most positive (deserved) eulogies, Trump the candidate is the bain of the mainstream media (and much of America) despite a very similar personality and style to that of Ali. Despite a long, positive track record, some will say Trump hasn’t done enough to back up his words -yet- or perhaps our society is still too ‘PC,’ even though Ali’s remarks considered outlandish at the time have become accepted. In fact, Trump has established himself as one of the great businessmen of our time – and continued efforts by the media and political opponents to find fault have mostly gone nowhere as Trump has surprised everyone by coming from a business background to Republican frontrunner for Presiden
Don’t know if Ali and Trump were friends but they would, no doubt, have respected each other and probably could be good friends, despite background or religious differences. It seems that neither Ali or Trump’s bravado came out of dislike or hate for others but more out of self-confidence and a desire to be the best they can. Some may call it braggadocio – and Trump and Ali are not the only ones – and if people can truly back it up there should be a place for them as we seem to have granted Ali- only four years Trump’s senior. Whether Trump will ever get fair due – if and when he finally has earned it (if not already) only time will tell. We believe in giving Trump the chance we gave to Ali. Sure, it was more difficult for Ali as a black man in the era he came up and he should be given that extra due – along with the fact that Ali had to suffer with Parkinsons in later years,. but in a society, which was pretty color blind from the 1970s until perhaps the Obama administration, everyone should be given be the same fair chance. It’s been 50 years since the 1964 equality act was signed by President Johnson – and only another 20 years since anti-semitism was rampant as recently as the 1940s.
Ali Didn’t Emphasize Race, Religion in Public
Sadly, religious and race relations have taken a big hit in recent years . We no longer see the same acceptance accorded others by Ali by many of today’s politicians and religious leaders and celebrities . Ali never seemed to use his Muslim-ness in a mean-spirited way. It was merely a religion he followed, not intended to be held up against those of other faiths . In addition, as with Trump, we saw a happy humor in Mohammed – not the mean-spirited resentfullness we see today in some of our celebrities and leaders who will wear race and religion all over their sleeves.
It’s a sad irony to say it’s too bad Ali’s voice was all but silenced the past several decades -as he might have been an even ‘louder’ role model that society so sorely needs today. And LOUD can be good. For someone they called a civil rights activitst, but he did it in the most quiet of ways, which can also be good.