On this date in 1967, the Selective Service ordered Muhammad Ali to be inducted into military service. Citing religious beliefs he refused, saying “War is against the teaching of the Holy Koran.”

This was a courageous move, and given today’s war situation, a reminder that we are closer to our history than we think. That seems to be the theme emerging from the past week or so of big headlines.

There are people today refusing to fight in Iraq and explaining in great detail why our presence there is unjustified. I hope they keep telling it.

On June 22, 2006, U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada stepped forward as the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the Iraq War and occupation. He faces court martial and up to 6 years imprisonment for refusing to deploy and for speaking out against a war that he believes is illegal.

Four years ago, Boston Globe writer Derrick Jackson penned this prescient piece:

Black folks do not want to invade Iraq. The question for Americans is whether to view this as unpatriotic or as a tweet of sanity that warns us we are about to walk into a horrific explosion.

You hear that America? More than others, black folks told you so!

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