Back in the early 1900s, boxer Jack Johnson was charged with violating the Mann Act, which forbid “transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes.” This act was intended to put an end to prostitution and an amended version is actually still in place. In 1913, Jackson was the first to be prosecuted under the act, and he was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to a year and a day in prison. After fleeing the country and living abroad for seven years, Johnson returned to the United States and served his sentence.
Since Johnson’s death, there have been a couple attempts to grant him a posthumous pardon, and Sen. John McCain is now asking President Obama for a second time to pardon Johnson. He and New York Rep. Peter King requested one in April of this year, but the White House did not respond, so they’re trying again. Today, the two sent another letter to Obama, saying they hoped he would be eager to erase this “act of racism.” Posthumously pardoning Johnson won’t get rid of what the boxer went through almost a century ago, but do you think doing so would send a positive statement? [ESPN]
John McCain Wants President Obama To Pardon Boxer Jack Johnson | The Frisky