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The Will Of The People

Bush's pandering to the religious fanatics today was a political ploy as we know. This move also brought back memories of another terrible time in our

Bush's pandering to the religious fanatics today was a political ploy as we know. This move also brought back memories of another terrible time in our history.

Jack Johnson was a famous African American boxer in the early 1900's. He caused quite a stir throughout our country which was captured by PBS in a great documentary about his life.

In December of 1912, an amendment to the Constitution was introduced to abolish racial intermarriage: "Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians . . . within the United States . . . is forever prohibited." These anti-micegenation laws were declared unconstitutional by The Supreme Court in 1967.

Corante: Because of Johnson's arrogance and love for white women, many whites considered him a serious threat to racial order. After Johnson married Lucille Cameron (a white woman), two ministers in the South recommended lynching him (Gilmore, 1975, p.107). In a reaction to the Johnson-Cameron marriage, in 1911 Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry of Georgia introduced a constitutional amendment to ban interracial marriages. In his appeal to congress, Roddenberry stated that

"Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant. It is subversive to social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery to black beasts will bring this nation to a fatal conflict" (Gilmore, 1975, p.108).

Influenced by Roddenberry and others, miscegenation bills were introduced in 1913 in half of the twenty states where this law did not exist.

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