Public Figure Essay: Muhammad Ali- Legend Boxer, Defender of Social Justice, and Philanthropist
It is amazing how marginalized individuals, groups, and communities in society silently suffer exploitation and oppression, without as much as voicing a whisper of resistance. They meekly submit to the demands of their oppressors, and with dog-like loyalty, obey the rules that enslave them to their masters. Why don’t they complain? What spirit of endurance, what sense of reverence, prevents the oppressed man from rising against the powers that be, to demand for his rights, freedom, and space in society? In “Why don’t We Complain?,” William Buckley identifies three reasons that compel individuals to sit back and watch in silence as their rights are violated by others. The first is the expectation and hope that someone else will take the initiative and complain on the others’ behalf. However, nothing happens as everyone expects someone else to act. The reason is being afraid to complain, “Being increasingly anxious to be unobtrusive” (Buckley 33). Finally, the establishment of powerful governments “drains” people’s power to resist oppression and violation of their rights. What if no one is willing to be the first to complain? What would have happened if America’s founding fathers, and other freedom fighters around the world, from Mahatma Gandhi in India to Nelson Mandela in South Africa, had been afraid to complain and fight on behalf of their people? The United States of America, as great as it is today, would not have been created. Free and independent nations would not have been established, and millions of people would have been condemned to live in bondage. History is full of such heroes, individuals like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many others, who were not afraid to be the first ones to complain and fight against oppression. The boxing legend Muhammad Ali is among the rarely celebrated champions of human rights and social equality. Ali is remembered for his defense of the rights of black people in America at a time when racism was at its worst, and for dedicating his time and resources to charitable activities aimed at empowering the youth in society. He is also renowned for popularizing boxing among underprivileged African American youths, condemning unjustified wars, and fighting for equality in America. This essay examines the life of the legend fighter Muhammad Ali, focusing on his contribution to civil rights and philanthropy in society.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on 17 January 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He began boxing in the amateur ranks at the age of 12, and won his first gold medal in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. He subsequently won 18 straight fights, defeating his opponents by knock outs in fifteen of them. In 1964 Clay, Jr. converted to Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Ali. In 1966, Ali made news for resisting conscription...