Author Topic: Will Our Biracial Presidential Pardon a Black Hero for Dating White Women?  (Read 2195 times)

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Offline George

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Like an embattled boxer returning to the ring, the question of whether the nation’s first Black biracial president will pardon the first Black heavyweight champion for the crime of interracial dating is back for another round.

Media outlets from ABC News to ESPN to the Taiwan News are speculating about the continuing quest of two Republican boxing enthusiasts—New York Rep. Peter King and Arizona Sen. John McCain—and their supporters to reintroduce a congressional resolution urging a pardon for Jack Johnson, who held the heavyweight champion title from 1908 to 1915.

The resolution was first introduced in April, 2009. Two months later, after gaining Senate approval, the Congress sent the President a formal request to pardon a man who is a powerful and still-controversial symbol of the clash of racial, sexual, athletic and political dynamics that permeate America as deeply today as they did in Johnson’s heyday.

Three years after beating a White boxer in the “Fight of the Century,” on July 4, 1910, Johnson was convicted under the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes, but was often used to punish interracial couples.

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