Muhammad Ali

Petty-Ass State Representative of a Certain Party Chooses to Remember "Cassius Clay" as a Draft Dodger, of All Things

Republican Tennessee State Representative Martin Daniel even called Ali by his "slave name," and didn't back down.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Jun 6 2016, 3:05am

Nowadays, with greater access to information (read: internet), it's not difficult to assess the fabric of our politicians. And, not to take sides, but it seems like a certain party has taken to social media as a megaphone to represent the constant, flowing, milky stream of flaming crude oil that is their collective id. In a recent incident, one politician even went so far as to use their prominence to bash the very-recently deceased Muhammad Ali by accusing him of dodging the Vietnam draft.

Yes, Republican Martin Daniel—a state representative for Tennessee who was elected by actual people—saw the news of Ali's death as an opportunity to shame Ali's refusal to enlist in what has been hailed as one of America's most unjust and disproportionately deadly war for Black Americans. And to keep things racially charged—and Ali's decision was clearly racially charged—Daniel even decided to let us know that it was a "black cloud on [Ali's] character."

Let's pick apart a couple of other semantics here: 1. Daniel calls Ali "Cassius Clay," a name that Ali repeatedly referred to as his "slave name" after his conversion to Islam and 2. Daniel refers to Ali's love of the Nation of Islam, when in fact, after, yes, being a member in 1964, Ali later denounced—and repeatedly rebuked—them after 1975.

This all is coming from a representative who once asked "Why does a fourth-grader need to learn about race?" Oh, and then there was the time that he proposed a bill to cut diversity funding for the University of Tennessee.

And of course, being the heinous, sniveling, petty coward that he is, Daniel deleted the above tweets, instead leaving the following to try to clean up his act in the wake of what was a rightful firestorm against him.

Also, get this: Daniel is a "Legislative Advocate for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy." Muscular dystrophy, while not Parkinson's disease, is also degenerative disease—that affects the muscles instead of the nervous system. You'd think Daniel would take a moment to commend Ali on his struggle with a degenerative disease, as opposed to digging up something totally honorable that Ali did 50 years ago. Also, when you look up Daniel's involvement with the Parent Project, this comes up on his website. Yes, an actual blank page, with a gradient from white to black. Sweet, delicious irony.

And, just when you thought he was done—and in the midst of me writing this up—Daniel tweets again, reiterating his first bullshit tweet with an amendment to the original:

Notice the replacement of "black cloud" with "dark shadow." Classy. It takes a big man to wait until someone has passed before condemning him for something he did 50 years ago. Only one thing left to say: Daaaaamn, Daniel! Back at it again with the white superiority complex.