Jack Johnson was a helluva boxer and led one interesting, flamboyant life — which was dramatized in the award-winning play The Great White Hope. He was also a victim of the explicit and legislated racism of his day. Ken Burns’ excellent documentary, Unforgivable Blackness, tells the story well.
I can understand why fans and ex-boxers would want to see this conviction — for dating a white woman — obliterated from the records.
But why now? Is there nothing more pressing politically, economically, culturally, than this? I can’t believe it’s that slow a news day. Is this a play for African-American voters in the age of Obama?
Isn’t it just a tad insulting to same to think that McCain and Rep. Peter King could suddenly win the allegiance and gratitude of millions of voters otherwise disinclined to vote Republican by virtue of what a more cynically minded writer would call a publicity stunt?
If there is life on other planets, may I put a call out right now for help? (Unless, of course, they’re morons.)