Saturday, November 8, 2014

CRAIG EDWARD KELSO, The Greatest American Athlete Ever

Born Cassius Clay, then taken into the Nation of Islam under the guidance of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali was the greatest American athlete ever.

This awful, truly disgusting country engaged in yet another imperial foray into Southeast Asia, Vietnam. THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION was the major proponent of the disaster (and most US wars and destruction have come at the hands of DEMOCRATS) with subsequent administrations following. And what ALL American athletes did was capitulate. They gave in, joined up, and supported.


The United States can reinstate the draft at ANY time. It’s easy now to think Ali’s stand in not joining the war effort as quaint and publicity-filled.

It was not.

He did what NO ONE in his position would do: HE TOLD THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO GO FUCK ITSELF, and he did so with dignity and grace. He never backed down. They took his license. They dragged his name through the mud. They sentenced him to five years in prison. He did not give-in. He answered elegantly how NO ONE in Vietnam called him a nigger. He told the indignant and complicit press he could not and would not fight OVER THERE for YOU when YOU wouldn’t fight for him here.

He didn’t change his mind.

He broke with the Nation of Islam a little too late in my opinion, and I’ve always thought it was the Nation, and in particular Farrakhan, who ordered the hit on Malcolm. But Ali did finally leave, embracing the more orthodox faith of pan Islamic nature. Yes, of course, Islam is a sick, sick religion. Yes, the Nation of Islam was/is filled with boobs, real knuckleheads. I often wonder what would have become of men like Ali and Malcolm if they’d had a fighting chance to not be reared intellectually by white racism. My personal love for Malcolm X (I have his autobiography, the same copy I read in college, on my bookshelf, duck-taped from wear) stops at his goofy religious musings. But Malcolm, THE MAN, cannot be denied. So much to admire in him. In the early 90s, I travelled with a friend to the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem where Malcolm was assassinated (the local college was converting it into a wing of some kind) – the personal strength of Malcolm could be felt many years after his death. Where King was a cheat and a liar, Malcolm was discipline and honor. Ali, on the other hand, was a mix.

Ali’s exploits in the ring were, at times, nothing short of brilliant.

Ali's standing up to the most powerful nation in the history of the world, taking on all social convention of the time, earned him my undying respect.

And I mean it. 


 Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.

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