Today marks the fourth anniversary of Muhammad’s passing. The pain of losing him is still as fresh now and it was then. Knowing and feeling that pain makes me understand on a visceral level the pain that is being felt by the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and the many others whose loved ones died at the hands of those who are charged to “serve and protect” the citizens of their respective communities. I was fortunate in that my husband was able to lead a full life. His life was not cut short by a bullet or brute force. For those left to mourn the lives of those who were, I know their pain is amplified and hearts heavy with tears of despair and anguish: all of which begs the question, “Why?”
The “Why?” could be the start of many inquires that demand answers for “the pandemic of racism” (a term used by Kentucky born George Clooney in a recent essay) that has plagued this country long before its inception. Something people of color have endured for 400 years and something many Americans have chosen to ignore or deny. Like it or not racism and injustice are alive and well and continues to be a cancer in our society and a clear and present danger to the promise of America for every American. The ugliness of its inhumanity has been laid bare on video tape for all of America and the world to see and not to deny. Too many are frustrated, exhausted and have been pushed to their breaking point. After all, we have not fully emerged from three months of wrath and devastation from a global pandemic, one that brought death and havoc to every community, especially the black and latino communities.
As I’ve watched events unfold in real time over the past week, people have reached out to me with the same basic message, “If ever there were a time we needed Muhammad’s voice to be heard, it’s now”. Their search and plea for someone to bring calm and leadership to this crisis is palpable, as is the anguish.  Over the past few days, I’ve given much thought to what Muhammad would say and do at this very moment. I’ll never pretend to be as wise as he was in these situations but I know some things to be certain. 
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Co-Founder, Muhammad Ali Center

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