Pardons should be about rectifying injustices. You wouldn’t know that if you looked at the pardons given by former President Barack Obama. Who did he pardon or commute sentences of? Drug dealers. Chelsea Manning. A Communist terrorist head of a group who bombed and killed people. But the man who President Donald Trump is considering pardoning has been ignored for years, despite numerous efforts to get him a pardon. His crime? A relationship with a white woman.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 22, 2018
From Fox News:
President Trump Saturday said that he is considering a “full pardon” for boxing’s first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, after being urged to do so by “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone.
Trump said that Stallone had called him and told him about Johnson, and that he is now considering a posthumous pardon. Stallone is a Trump supporter and attended his New Years’ Eve Party in 2016, according to The Associated Press.
“[Johnson’s] trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial,” Trump tweeted. “Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!”
Johnson, born in Galveston, Texas, was the target of racial resentment, particularly after he defeated white boxer James Jeffries in the 1910 “Fight of the Century,” a bout that sparked race riots. Three years later he was convicted by an all-white jury of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport a woman across state lines for “immoral” purposes.
In their efforts to prosecute Johnson, authorities first targeted Johnson’s relationship with the woman in question, Lucille Cameron, who later became his wife, but she refused to cooperate.
But they got another white witness to testify against him and he was convicted. He then fled the country but later came back and did a 10-month jail sentence. He died in 1946. His family has been pushing for a pardon for him for years.
People from Mike Tyson to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. have called for him to be pardoned. Even the despicable Sen. Harry Reid called for his pardon.
But prior presidents never got it done. And despite being petitioned, Obama never gave him one.
It’s long overdue to correct a historic wrong and clear his name.