John McCain Still Wants Boxer Jack Johnson Pardoned -- Nearly 100 Years After Violating Racist Law

Categories: Sports?
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Senator John McCain, as well as several other members of Congress, are renewing efforts to get boxer Jack Johnson pardoned -- despite the fact that Johnson's been dead since the Truman administration.

McCain, as well as New York Representative Peter King, plan to reintroduce a congressional resolution urging a pardon for Johnson for his 1913 violation of the Mann Act.

Johnson, a black guy, apparently had a thing for white women, which didn't sit well with the racists of the day.

Johnson was convicted of "transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes," a crime for which he was sentenced to one year in prison.

Rather than do the time, Johnson fled the country and lived abroad until surrendering himself to the U.S. government at the Mexican border in 1920.

Johnson ended up serving just under a year in prison, which is apparently long enough for "the Maverick" to take up the cause.

In August of 2009, McCain rallied members of Congress to support a posthumous pardon for Johnson. He sent a letter to President Obama urging him to consider the pardon, to which he claims he got no response.

In a letter sent to Obama in October of 2009, McCain urged the president to "right this wrong and erase an act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison."

As we argued at the time, of all the black people who have unjustly spent time in prison, McCain picks a guy who did less than a year and has been dead since the 1940s? The Justice Department seems to agree with our assessment.

While Obama has not commented publicly about a pardon for Johnson, a Justice Department attorney who advises on pardons sent McCain and King a letter explaining that pardons tend to be reserved for people "who can truly benefit" from them.

In other words, what's the point in wasting time and effort advocating for a symbolic pardon for a guy who did less than a year in jail and has been dead since the end of World War II?
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8 comments
I Ain'T In Checotah Anymore
I Ain'T In Checotah Anymore

Broadcast of Jack Johnson and friends from the Kokua Festival in Ha. ... As we reported, Jack Johnson's new All At Once community offers social networking for those interested in contributing to a number of charities.

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Marie
Marie

Too bad the senator isn't interested in vigorously addressing the racism rampant in his home state TODAY.

I guess it'll take another 100 years for him to get around to THAT.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Yet, McCan't won't support reparation for slavery! Billions for Afghans, Trillions for Iragis, Marshall Plan, Aisians, all get to hold the U.S. Government accountable but not the African Americans who really built this country.

XSoldier
XSoldier

You know, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist pardoned the Doors' Jim Morrison for allegedly exposing himself at a March 1, 1969 concert, which resulted in Jim fleeing to Paris and eventually dying there in July 1971 at the young age of 27. That was a great 67th birthday present (it happened on Jim's birthday, December 8) for Jim and I don't see why Mr. Johnson cannot be pardoned.

I do believe that Mr. Johnson would truly benefit from a pardon, as this smeared his good name and Americans really didn't get that African-Americans are people until about the 1960's.

I also agree that Senator McCain, Arizona's second Flaccid Fool, needs to pull his head out of Senator Jon Kyl's ass and do some work for the people of Arizona.

Do some work Mccain
Do some work Mccain

OK!! What about keeping jobs in AZ ,fixing the budget deficit, while fixing the defunct housing market. I know Jack Johnson needs to be pardoned but lets do some work at helping AZ constituents...

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