Now that we have said our goodbyes to The Champ, The G.O.A.T, Muhammed Ali it is time for the world to take a look at the messages that were delivered at his memorial service. It surprised me that the memorial service was broadcast live here in Morocco. I was actually overjoyed to see that this amazing man, from my hometown, was making news here in Morocco. I remember years ago seeing on the tv where he was visiting Morocco and that the King was to give him a prestigious honor, I think that was back in 1998. Never did I actually think that 18 years later I’d be sitting in Khemisset, Morocco watching his last cruise through The Ville. Many years ago a retired Fed Ex pilot told me that it didn’t matter wherever he went in the world he could never escape Louisville, Kentucky. Every time he was in a different country and turned on the news there was news about Louisville, Kentucky and at the time it was in the 1970’s. Next thing you know I moved from Kentucky and even in New Mexico there it was Louisville, Kentucky making the news. Now here I am in Morocco and there it is again Louisville, Kentucky. Literally I believe he is correct as it’s come true for many of my friends who travel internationally. As Mbarek and I watched the motorcade tour my home town we were in awe of all of those who came out. I think it shocked everyone that the turnout was so great. When the memorial service started we had begun to watch it on WHAS streaming it live because watching France 24 had too many interruptions by the commentaries. I will tell you that he and I were glued to the TV. There were a couple of the speakers that we enjoyed less than others but all in all we were glued to the TV. Now Mbarek kinda has ADD when it comes to sitting still, he always has to be doing something but in this case he was tuned in. If you watched it then you know why. The messages that were delivered were just real. I must say that I loved John Ramsey, The Rabbi John Lerner, and Billy Crystal. I did enjoy the family as well but I was speaking about everyone else. The one thing I love about my husband is that he is very intelligent, he has vast knowledge of the history of The United States and many other countries. I remember one of the things that attracted me to him was the fact that he could hold intelligent conversations about other countries. I teased him when we first met about the fact he passed my test when I asked him to name the last 3 presidents of Russia. He got them all correct and elaborated on them as well without me asking, that was when he had me, right then.
Almost immediately after the broadcast ended I got on Facebook to post. I wrote, “Many important things were said over the last few hours. Will the world learn from it?” I wonder if the world will learn. My heart tells me yes but my brain says no. Now for those of you who missed it, you need to set aside some time and watch the entire service. Muhammed Ali had many speakers but I must say that the most outspoken was the Rabbi. The Rabbi really brought to the forefront many of the issues that are still lingering. He mentioned the fact that people hate too much based on religion, the fact that there are still many racial issues in our country and around the world. There is so much injustice in the world and there needs to be more peace. Now all of that is known unless you live in a paper bag but to bring it to light in such a public way and with no apologies was phenomenal to hear. I just know I watched in awe as many of the injustices against us as a people were called out. I think his part of the service should be broadcasted everywhere that there is a communication venue. So many people live in their own little world and rely on what you were taught to define who you are. Many people I know are still that way. Now Muhammed Ali, one of the most famous Muslims in the world, was able to do many great things during his life, some of which I’m still learning about even today.
I was born in 1973 in Louisville, Kentucky and yes there were racial issue back then but my parents really instilled in me that people were people and only their actions made them a good person or bad person. If you stole, killed then you were a bad person. Of course it’s more complicated than that but we all know some bad people in this life. We all know good people too. It’s only one’s ability to apply what you were taught and apply it to the world using your values. I want to share a story about myself from when I was a little little girl. I must have been 5 years old and was in kindergarden at a southern Baptist school. I remember my parents took me to the park to play and my mom and dad were talking to this couple on the park bench, a black couple. Their children were playing with me on the play ground when one little girl fell off the swing. I walked over to her and helped her up. I took her over to my mom and dad and sat next to her on the bench, she was just crying and crying and crying. I put my arm around her and I said “don’t worry little n*^^er girl it’s all gonna be ok” and I kissed her on the cheek just holding her in my little arms. WELL…come to find out my father was talking to her father and this man was the head of the NAACP in Louisville. The first questions out of my parents mouth were asking where I heard that word… the N word. I told them I heard it in school at my Baptist school. My parents made the decision to send me to another school for first grade. And yes they made me apologize to the parents and the little girl even at 5 years old. I learned from an early age that the N word first of all is not something you ever say because it hurts people. I’d like to think that my parents were teaching me not to label people and to be kind to everyone. As an adult I look back as to how I’ve treated people and I may have hurt a few people in my life but it never involved race I can say that. My parents taught me to see the person on the inside. I mentioned that I went to school at a predominately white school and Baptist schools through 4th grade then in 5th grade I went to public schools where it was more integrated. It was the first time I’d really had the opportunity to make true friends who were of different ethnic backgrounds and I loved it. I loved learning about everyone’s home life and how some homes were different from mine. I learned about cultures that I’d later read about. I learned about different religions that eventually lead me to becoming a Muslim myself. I have always been one of those that was a truth seeker wanting to know the real truth about things. When I listened to the service and it was said that there is a little Ali in everyone. I’d like to believe that. I know that hearing the powerful words spoken in the service it has planted seeds in me that I could be more, I can be a champ in my own way. In reality I feel good with myself and in my faith believing in the greatest God. One of the things that made Ali so great as a person is he used his fame to better others. I think that only certain people realized it when he was famous, he gave a voice to many. He was outspoken and he was generous, he stood for what he believed in one of which was human rights. Without great leaders like him I wouldn’t be able to have many of the equalities that men do. Even though he didn’t speak out on women’s rights he did speak out on human rights and to that women in the United States should be appreciative of that because we wouldn’t have the rights we do without the civil rights leaders.
It’s taken a couple of days to write this and I just see that the US didn’t learn a damn thing from his passing. I’m getting to writing another blog on that.
I will just finish this by saying I have been re-inspired by The Champ’s passing and the seed has been planted in me to be a better person and to look at life a little differently.
Adios big guy!