WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate urged President Barack Obama to pardon the late black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, who was sent to prison nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman.
Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion in 1908 — 100 years before Obama was elected America’s first black president. The boxer was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. The law has since been heavily amended, but has not been repealed. The resolution was sponsored by Obama’s 2008 opponent, John McCain. Similar resolutions offered in 2004 and last year failed to pass both chambers of Congress.
He said that there would be “tremendous historic significance” in the nation’s first black president pardoning the nation’s first black heavyweight champ. King added that he hoped Congress will take up the resolution next month. Neither McCain nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment. But in unveiling the resolution in April, McCain said, “We need to erase this act of racism which sent an American citizen to prison on a trumped-up charge.” It (the resolution) says a pardon would “expunge a racially motivated abuse of the prosecutorial authority of the federal government from the annals of criminal justice in the United States.”
Freestyle with me, is this actually a good thing? Jack Johnson is dead and gone after spending years in prison. It seems that this sweep under the rug would actually erase the countries conscience and memory of what Jack Johnson went through. Is this the best way to fix his reputation? I am curious what you think…