May 26, 2018

Just hours after congratulating the NFL on stripping its players of their free speech, Trump posthumously pardoned boxer Jack Johnson, the first black man to win the World Heavyweight Championship. He'd been convicted of violating the Mann Act, by "transported a white woman across state lines 'for immoral purposes.'"

Let's be clear. Johnson's arrest and conviction was the result of deep, brutal, and unconscionable systemic racism against Black people in the United States - all of which remain in some form today.

His pardon, no matter how deserving Johnson was of it, will now always have a dark cloud over it. The cloud that is Trump - who has done everything in his power to perpetuate modern-day versions of the systems under which Black people have suffered when Johnson lived. This "president," whose pathological goal is to undo everything President Obama accomplished tarnishes this act. This "president" who takes grotesque glee in accomplishing things President Obama (and other presidents before him) carefully avoided for good reasons belies his ulterior motives.

President Obama didn't pardon Johnson because of concerns he had a history of domestic violence. Could it be any more obvious why this "president" would have no problem with that?

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