Muhammed Ali's First Military Draft

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In 1940, President Roosevelt created the first military draft to ensure that the United States of America always had enough manpower to protect our freedom. It was originally set up in a way that anyone could be chosen. The draft was not supposed to discriminate; it was supposed to randomly draw male citizens from all walks of life and all categories. However, as time went on, richer families paid off the government to keep their sons and fathers at home. Poor people, on the other hand, did not have this luxury. During the Vietnam war, a well-known boxer by the name of Cassius Clay, more formally known as Muhammed Ali, was drafted into the military. However, Ali evaded the military draft on the grounds of religious beliefs, and his actions …show more content…

During the trial, Ali was refused the “right to subpoena evidence to support his claim that the Selective Service discriminates against Negroes and that Negroes are systematically excluded from draft boards” by his trial judge (“Clay Appeals Govt. Ruling”). He also claimed that he was denied other basic rights due to a contradiction between the Justice Department and the evidence of the hearing officer. When he tried to obtain a copy of the hearing officer’s report, he was denied (“Clay Appeals Govt. Ruling”). These two actions alone show that his trial was not a fair trial. He described his situation as being “prejudiced by ‘the ingredients of fury which arouse hatred and passion’” (“Clay Appeals Govt. Ruling”). During this time, segregation was just ending, and prejudice was widely seen throughout America for African-American citizens, so it is not very surprising for Ali to feel discriminated against. The judge of his trial said that he was “going to impose the maximum penalty” ("Clay found Guilty, Sentenced 5 Years”). In most cases, the judge should be somewhat unbiased, but from this statement, it is shown that the judge in fact was biased and wanted Ali to pay for his actions. These quotes show that Ali believed he was not treated fairly due to his personal beliefs and not because of the crime he committed. His jury also only deliberated for a mere 20 minutes before coming out with a guilty verdict ("Clay found Guilty, Sentenced 5 Years”). Even his jury seemed to be biased. His lawyer, Morton L. Susman, said that “Ali became a Black Muslim in 1964 and ‘in my opinion that’s where his troubles began’” (“Clay found Guilty, Sentenced 5 Years”). Even his attorney believed he was discriminated against based on race and his religious beliefs. Even Ali was not surprised by the outcome and told his newsman that he expected the maximum penalty ("Clay found Guilty, Sentenced 5

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