Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great White Hope or New Republican Joke?

Republicans know no boundaries when it comes to their racism and stupidity. A female Republican, Lynn Jenkins, spoke about Republicans finding the next 'Great White Hope' as a counter to Barack Obama. Anyone who knows the history of that term knows that it comes from a time at the turn of the 20th century when Jack Johnson had become the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. While this energized the black community in the decades after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, it was particularly hard for white people to deal with. The search then went on for the 'Great White Hope', a white boxer who could bring Johnson down (something NO ONE was able to do in the boxing ring). So really the term is rooted in the fears and racism of white people. When people like Jenkins use the reference, they are only showing their bias and ignorance. That kind of rhetoric is despicable. I would be offended by even the mention of the term if I was a black person in America. Hell, I am a white boy from Western Canada and I am outraged. If you want to see a terrific film by Ken Burns you need to check out 'Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson'. It is one of my all time favorite documentaries. I am a big fan of the 'sweet science' and I believe that Johnson is the greatest heavyweight champion ever. I find this whole era to be a fascinating look at the effects and reality of racism in America. The slaves may have been freed in 1865 but it would be nearly a century or more before blacks could achieve true equality with whites in America. Seeing as the USA just elected a black President, this documentary takes on special historic significance. You can see the parts of the documentary on 'You Tube'. My favorite vocal talent ever, Kieth David, narrates the production. I could listen to that man say anything. Watch this short clip below and tell me you don't agree.

"Johnson in many ways is an embodiment of the African-American struggle to be truly free in this country — economically, socially and politically," said Burns. "He absolutely refused to play by the rules set by the white establishment, or even those of the black community. In that sense, he fought for freedom not just as a black man, but as an individual."

1 comment:

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

WOW...I don't think Vicente is a regular visitor but I appreciate the addition to the discussion. Thanks for finding my little post worthy of comment. HEY...he does have me on his blog list. Here's to stickin it to 'The Man' Vicente.