Tags: | Jesse Jackson | Muhammad Ali

Jesse Jackson on Ali: 'The Sense of the Dignity Over the Dollars'

Image: Jesse Jackson on Ali: 'The Sense of the Dignity Over the Dollars'
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By    |   Saturday, 04 Jun 2016 07:39 PM

Muhammad Ali risked his career when he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in 1967 because "he had the sense of the dignity over the dollars," longtime friend the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday.

"In so many ways, Ali was not controversial but the laws were," the civil rights leader told Jim Sciutto on CNN. "Blacks could not use the public toilets, that was controversial, and blacks had to pay taxes and not vote — and that is controversial.

"The controversy was on the society, but he helped to change the society," Jackson added. "Those walls have become bridges now — and in no small measure because he used his celebrity to make it happen."

Ali, 74, died Friday in Phoenix, Arizona. Former President Bill Clinton, along with sports journalist Bryant Gumbel and actor-comedian Billy Crystal, will deliver eulogies at his funeral on Friday in Louisville, Ky.

Jackson, who worked with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., told CNN that when Ali "gave up his wealth and his popularity and fame for his principle, that made him a very different kind of guy.

"Some people went to a demonstration or two back in the day, but very few people gave up what he gave up," he continued. "He gave up his life, and few gave up their whole career, and suspended their whole career on the principle.

"The U.S. government tried to destroy him and discredit him and undermined him — and yet, he was facing the threat of jail, and no abilities to work, and he stood tall.

"That just gained him strength all over to the world."

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Muhammad Ali risked his career when he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in 1967 because he had the sense of the dignity over the dollars, longtime friend the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday. In so many ways, Ali was not controversial but...
Jesse Jackson, Muhammad Ali
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2016-39-04
Saturday, 04 Jun 2016 07:39 PM
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