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A Note on Black Lives Matter

20
Jun

When Black Lives Matter was formed in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, my reaction was similar to that of many well-intentioned Americans: Shouldn’t we say that “All Lives Matter?”

But Black Lives Matter has now acquired a meaning that goes far beyond a literal interpretation of the phrase. It symbolizes opposition to systemic racism and injustice.

In recent weeks, many of our elected leaders and their enablers have made a point of refusing to speak those three simple words in sequence: “Black . . Lives . . Matter . .”

What does that have to do with boxing?

Refusing to say “Black Lives Matter” reminds me of the bigots who refused to call Muhammad Ali by his chosen name.

 

 

Thomas Hauser’s email address is [email protected]gmail.com. His most recent book – A Dangerous Journey: Another Year Inside Boxing  – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism. He will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame with the Class of 2020.