Monday, February 21, 2011

ESPN on a Possible Johnson Pardon

ESPN reports lawmakers "are going another round in their fight to get a posthumous presidential pardon for the world's first black heavyweight champion, who was imprisoned nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman."  The startling new development in the Jack Johnson saga which has led to this new effort?


Johnson is still long dead. He is still someone who never even asked for -  much less applied for - a presidential pardon. He is still someone who would very likely mock the idea of being pardoned. He is still highly questionable as anything like a decent role model for the young people of our Nation (of any color). He is still best remembered as a disorderly, reckless driving, heavy-drinking, wife-beating, financially irresponsible whore monger who, apparently, had few, if any, serious concerns in life beyond satisfying physical pleasures and lining the pockets of his expensive outfits with loads of cash. A world of maudlin self-righteous, self-serving, "symbolic" and opportunistic crooning by politicians and sports fans about racial discrimination and the bigotry of the early 1900s can never really change any of that.

Nonetheless, Rep. Charles Rangel said he will "talk" to William Daley and Eric Holder about Johnson, because there are no living individuals in his great State (New York) serving ridiculously long mandatory minimum sentences, who are unjustly convicted, who are rehabilitated but still in prison or who have been waiting in line for decades to simply have their rights restored by pardon. Nope. None of Rangel's constituents are represented in this chart.

Charles Rangel lives in a perfect state, where only famous dead people, memorialized in moving pictures can spark a fire under his rear to push so very loudly, so very publicly, for justice via clemency.

Geoffrey C. Ward another objective, wildly disinterested individual who has written a screenplay for a documentary on Johnson as well as a biography, says he cannot "see" any "harm" to further trivializing the pardon power on a dead person who never sought a pardon. We suspect we are not capable of explaining it to him. See story here. See our own coverage of this depressing silly effort here.

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