Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Birthday, Champ

"The Greatest" would be 75 today. The fights never get old to me. The person behind the fights doesn't, either. Maybe I should read some biographies of him. Do you remember the opening ceremony for the Olympic Summer Games in 1996? Who else could have been the one to light the flame, to represent all of us?

I have the luxury of youth, it is true. Those who were polarizing in their own days as they fought for black justice became straightforward American icons by the time I came along. When Denzel (Washington) played Malcolm X, that was the signal that it had become safe to revere radicals. Washington is the Poitier of his time, and the fact that I am understood shows perhaps that radicals are still needed.

Anyway, guys who punch other guys for money probably shouldn't be the social peacemakers in a sensible world, but you know. Anything you can do to disarm people so hard words and high ideals can be heard is a good thing.

Rest in peace, champ. And happy birthday.

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