As always, Greg Fischer grandstands, but Muhammad Ali International Airport certainly does flush out the racists.


I have little use for Greg Fischer. His purportedly “brave” stands for human rights and freedoms rarely amount to much; he dazzles the scattershot progressives with Oz-like choreography, while tightening the grip of the special interests, oligarchs and apostles of neoliberalism who are the ultimate problem in society, not the solution.

But I’ll give him half credit (it surely wasn’t Fischer’s original idea) for attaching himself to the rebranding of Standiford Field/Louisville International Airport as Muhammad Ali International Airport, if for no other reason than the proliferation of crackpots and racists oozing to the surface to spout bile.

But hey — they’re late to the game, aren’t they? Their fathers and grandfathers were plumbing the very same subterranean depths a half century ago.

Meanwhile, insofar as Louisville entertains foreign guests and tourists via the airport, they may well drink bourbon, bet on the ponies or even eat wretched “Kentucky” Fried Chicken, but most of them make a beeline for the Muhammad Ali Center, because guess what, mouth breathers: he’s the symbol of Louisville for populations residing outside the US of A.

Greg Fischer? He’s not qualified to launder Ali’s jockstrap. For those in desperate need of a refresher — New Albany’s eternal “Fischer Democrat” Jeff Gahan springs to mind — there’s this.

Muhammad Ali and Vietnam: His refusal to be drafted to fight in the war transcended the boxing ring, which he had dominated, at great personal cost, by Krishnadev Calamur (The Atlantic)

Muhammad Ali’s stand against the Vietnam War transcended not only the ring, which he had dominated as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but also the realms of faith and politics.

“His biggest win came not in the ring but in our courts in his fight for his beliefs,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general, said Saturday.

On March 9, 1966, at the height of the war, Ali’s draft status was revised to make him eligible to fight in Vietnam, leading him to say that as a black Muslim he was a conscientious objector, and would not enter the U.S. military.

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America,” he said at the time. “And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. … Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”