Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pardon Jack Johnson

There are very few things I agree with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on, but I do think he's done some genuinely good things in pressing for reforms in the sport of boxing -- a fanship that he and I both share. Now I see that along with Rep. Peter King (R-NY), McCain is pushing for a posthumous pardon for Black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, convicted of violating the Mann Act in a racially charged and motivated case (Johnson was reviled in White America for not only being a nearly unbeatable boxer, but also for openly having relationships with White women).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My total support for Sen. McCain and Rep. King in seeking a pardon for Jack Johnson. His conviction under the Mann Act remains one of most disgraceful example of prosecutorial abuse and malignant racism ever seen in the pubic arena. His only real "sin" was that he was a man far ahead of his time - a truly post-racial individual. It is far past time to not only pardon him but to recognize his unique place in
American history, as the first African American to win sports greatest prize while doing so under constant threat and destroying forever the myth of white athletic supremacy.

Realizing sports' important history in gradually breaking down racial barriers it is time to both erase this public symbol of racial intolerance but to acknowledge the importance of not only his athletic accomplishments but the fact that Jack Johnson was perhaps the fist American to try to live as an openly free man.