McCain calls for presidential pardon of Jack Johnson

Senator John McCain has asked for a resolution from Congress calling on the president to pardon Jack Johnson, the Black boxing champion who first won 100 years ago. Ken Burns put together a 2005 documentary film on the fighter, who served 10 months in prison for dating white females.

McCain appeared with Republican New York Senate candidate Rep. Peter King. “‘We need to erase this act of racism which sent an American citizen to prison on a trumped-up charge,'”(1) McCain said.

“Burns helped form the Committee to Pardon Jack Johnson, which filed a petition with the Justice Department in 2004 that was never acted on. He called Johnson ‘the greatest boxer of all time,’ and said when Johnson proved unbeatable in the ring, ‘the white power establishment decided to beat him in the courts.'”(1)

The notion that interracial dating is the most difficult of social challenges is found in the Islamic holy book. Islam does not tolerate any shenanigans on the question, and even someone from slave background is supposed to be able to marry into the highest elites.

Sayyid Qutb put it this way:

“There can be no such thing as blue blood or common blood; and as for one being created from the head and another from the foot of a god . . . And the Prophet repeats this truth in the Traditions: ‘Each of you is man; and man is of dust.'”(2)

Qutb said that male-female relations brought the highest test of racial equality. The Prophet Muhammad crossed ethnicity and class in introducing couples who married. Egypt hanged Qutb in 1966, but his 1953 book was able to boast that the united $tates was still as of that day not as advanced as the Prophet Muhammad of centuries ago:

“Marriage is a sensitive matter in which the question of of human equality arises more than in any other. . . . In the United States we see today that slavery has indeed been abolished by law, but a negro cannot marry a white woman — any white woman; he is forbidden by law to sit beside a white in public vehicles; he may not live beside a white in an inn or a hotel; he is not allowed to sit beside a white a college classroom.” (3)

MIM is not Muslim, but we find these pages of Qutb still fresh after 50 years. Perhaps the West should learn that not all aspects of Islam are inferior. From our point of view, the major religions each have flaws.

Jack Johnson became the first Black U.$. heavyweight champion December 26, 1908.(4) President George W. Bush refused to sign the pardon for Johnson, and the papers stayed on his desk.(5)

2. Sayyid Qutb, Social Justice in Islam John B. Hardie trans. (Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 1953, 2006), pp. 69-70.
3. Ibid., p. 187.


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