Trump might pardon legendary black boxer Jack Johnson. Why didn’t Obama?

Trump might pardon legendary black boxer Jack Johnson. Why didn’t Obama?
Jack Johnson (Image: Library of Congress)

[Ed. – Why indeed?]

President Donald Trump’s unexpected announcement that he is mulling the pardon of legendary boxer Jack Johnson raises the obvious question: Why didn’t Barack Obama do it first?

After all, lawmakers and civil rights advocates have argued for years that Johnson’s conviction for violating the Mann Act was a clear example of a racist application of the law. Johnson’s real crime wasn’t the trafficking of women, it was dating white ones in an age when it was socially unacceptable for a black man to do so.

The campaign to grant Johnson a pardon began back in 2004 with high profile supporters, like Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and John McCain (R-AZ). But it really gained steam early in the Obama years, when the resolution passed through Congress in 2009.

Trending: ‘Squad’ member Pressley on migrant detention centers: If people don’t ‘see the light,’ ‘we will bring the fire’

And yet, Obama never acted, neither then, nor when the pardon push reemerged in 2013, nor during his last year in office when it re-emerged once more.

Continue reading →

Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.