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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

McCain Looking out for the Interests of Long-Dead Blacks

Sen. John McCain, continuing his long regret over voting against the MLK Holiday in 1983 and equivocating over flying the Confederate flag in the South Carolina primary in 2000, is bravely stepping up in a grand effort to have first black heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, pardoned for his trumped up conviction on violating the Mann Act (his real crime was womanizing with white women, and then--egads!--marrying one!) The story is at

Of course, Johnson has been dead for over 60 years, so the pardon won't exactly get him out of jail or help him with potential employers.

Curious that McCain is willing to "stick his neck out" for this cause that will cost him and American taxpayers absolutely nothing, instead of fighting for better schools, job training, scholarships, compensatory rewards for discrimination suffered, etc.

The article says, "Both McCain and [U.S. Rep. Peter] King [R-NY] said a pardon, particularly one from Obama, would carry important symbolism.

"It would be indicative of the distance we've come, and also indicative of the distance we still have to go," McCain said.
Not sure what that means--that we still have more 90-some-year old convictions of 69-some-year dead blacks to overturn?

Distressing in another way is documentary filmmaker Ken Burn's take: Burns, however, sees a pardon more as "just a question of justice, which is not only blind, but color blind," adding, "And I think it absolutely does not have anything to do with the symbolism of an African-American president pardoning an African-American unjustly accused."

So the fact that Johnson was black has nothing to do with it? I don't get it. Again, I say, I am color blind. No, I don't mean I don't notice race. I mean really, literally, I'm likely to match blue and purple socks, a green shirts and brown pants, to pull over for a tow trucks yellow lights thinking it was the emergency red lights of an ambulance or cop. I see all of three colors in a rainbow if I'm lucky. Colorblindness for real is nothing to be desired. Neither is ideological colorblindness. To deny our differences, to refuse to recognize the lingering significance of race is to elevate the status quo, to set in stone the unquestioned, unexamined privileges of whiteness. Just say "No" to mindless parroting of the inane ideology of colorblindness!

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