Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Senator John McCain Is Right - Boxing Champion Jack Johnson Deserves A Presidential Pardon

Jack Johnson took it on the chin for a lot of folks. He was convicted on trumped up charges and railroaded out of the country. President Obama needs to strongly consider Senator McCain's request.

11 comments:

lincolnperry April 1, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

Professor
I'm a fan of Unforgivable Blackness, but the brother was a whore monger, especially white women! Its like extended a long deserved pardon to Assata Shakur; GOP critics like former NJ Gov Whitman would jump all over this.

Obama has to watch this one...McPain is a shrewd cat, smells like a setup!

Professor Tracey April 1, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

Sorry Lincoln,

I don't care what his motives are. Jack Johnson was falsely convicted. You need to review his case before comparing his situation to Assata Shakur. Apples and oranges, not even close. Whore mongering and white women have nothing to due with being falsely convicted by an obscure law just for the purpose of stopping him from boxing in the U.S.

And as far as Assata Shakur is concerned - many folks are still wondering how she got convicted of the crimes she still faces. Many of the cases of the Black Panthers are extremely fishy. Every single one of their cases should be reviewed.

TJ April 1, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

Good move, but definitely a random one esp. from the man who voted down the King Holiday twice.

lincolnperry April 1, 2009 at 6:49 PM  

@Professor
I’m familiar with the Mann Act, obscure law created to prosecute Johnson for taking white women across state lines for lewd acts, I believe she had to be underage as well, I’m fan of Johnson, even if he chases white whores, if Obama gives him a pardon, they will raise the issue of Johnson’s morality.

Shakur like Johnson, had to leave the country just like Johnson, and deserves a pardon as well; however, any President that extends it will get the same scrutiny and righteous indignation. Lets first get him on a postal stamp

ch555x April 1, 2009 at 6:57 PM  

I had thought they already pardoned him. Dementia setting in!

Renee April 1, 2009 at 11:42 PM  

Of all the people to suggest a pardon, I must admit that I am shocked to find out that McCain suggested it. I agree the crime that he was convicted of does not even exist today and at the time that it was illegal existed to maintain white privilege. It negatively affected his life and severely impacted his ability to make a living. When he finally had a chance to make a comeback war broke out and he had not choice but to turn himself into the US gov't.
What he may or may not have done sexually had no real baring on the crime he was convicted of. Jack Johnson was man larger than life and without him many of the sports stars that we respect today would not be in the positions that they are.

baiskeli April 2, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

Umm, yeah!

That's all I have to say to McCain. So we care about historical racial injustices 80 years old but not about those occuring now. There are 2 things that might be going on here.


McCain is still stinging from the justified accusations of racism during the campaign. This is his weak assed attempt at recovery.

McCain is stirring the pot. He knows that interracial marriage is still a huge barrier for some whites. This action will further lodge in their minds that a: Obama is black, b: Obama is a product of interracial marriage. Dog whistle anyone.

Sorry to be so cynical. But McCain and some Republicans have shown their true colors so many times that if they told me the sky was blue I would step out and check before believing them.

ps: I do believe that Jack Johnson should be pardoned, but I hardly believe that McCain of all people should be the one leading the charge.

Edrei April 2, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

Actually McCain isn't the first to suggest a pardon for Jack Johnson and while his name is getting all of the publicity, he is doing so in conjunction with others. Rep. King (R), Ken Burns, and members of Johnson's family were pushing for legislation back in '04 -- it failed to pass both houses. Ken Burns has also publicly stated that Karl Rove told him that a pardon wasn't going to happen. [If you have access, check out yesterday's Cleveland Plain Dealer].

I don't really care what Sen. McCain's motivations are for lending a little weight/gravitas to this request - it is deserved and overdue. The fact of the matter is that the family's push for this flew under the radar until now. And for those who are concerned with his "whore mongering," let's be careful about throwing stones. The more history is revealed, the more we learn about the extracurricular activities of our beloved black heros. Had they lived in the time of TMZ, Perez Hilton and the camera phone, I suspect we'd all be a little disappointed.

BTW, where are the CBC heavyweights on this? Rep. King (NY-R) has been assisting the family from the get go. Guess Rangel's been too busy cheating the taxpayers to lend a hand.

wisdomteachesme April 3, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

For Me=it's not about mccain-God Used a jackass to speak to the fool that was riding on his back;

it's not about the fact that racial injustices are still occurring, they always will be around as long as there are hate filled hearts, they have been happening before any of us were even born-another lie from evil that too many Still believe that differences are wrong;
it's about righting a wrong- no matter how long ago the wrong was made.

I don't think 'all' the white women johnson 'dated' were whores-if any where at all-we really have no proof of that-he also dated black women.

so, are the white women that black men today 'date-marry' whores also--i think not.
Again, For Me, i'm pleased to see this done.
And HOPEFULLY, this will lead to the righting of other wrongs done from long ago.

Renee April 4, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

it's about righting a wrong- no matter how long ago the wrong was made.

Exactly. The man deserves to have his name cleared and it matters not who suggests it. I also think all this judgment about who he slept with needs to stop. The slut shaming of women who are sex workers is ridiculous especially women dating from that time period who had so few opportunities to earn a living. If you are not paying someones bills it is not your business how they buy butter for their bread.

Professor Tracey April 5, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

Everyone -

Jack Johnson is a part of my academic research. He was married to at least one black woman and at least three white women. Sometimes without always being divorced.

The man was a dandy. He lived his life to have a good time - ALWAYS! He loved women and they loved him. He was a colorful figure when black men were expected to toe the Jim Crow line.

The woman in the case where he convicted of white slavery was a willing participant and later became his wife. The case was phony and trumped up, period.

Jack Johnson deserves a pardon. I don't care who helps him get it.

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