Social Order Scrapbook

/ K. / Society & Its Pathologies / Social Order /

On July 4, 1910 Jack Johnson beat Jeff Jeffries, retaining his world heavyweight boxing title, humiliating Jeffries and driving racist passions into a frenzy. On July 5, all over the country, perhaps all around the world, race riots erupted. Some blacks pushed whites on the streets, venting centuries of frustration. Watch carefully now: Ken Burns’ doc on the subject quotes media around St Louis without emphasizing its irony: I do however emphasize it:

Squads of patrolmen clubbed the negroes into “order”.

Notice the racist meaning of “order” here. Order is not something the people form by their behavior; order is something imposed: by terrorism: tactics that work 99.999% of the time: so when they cease working, even for a few hours, even mere minutes, something fantastic has happened. Jack Johnson!

I’ve been a huge Jack Johnson fan since I found a boxing magaine with a JJ biography in the NCO lounge in Camp Drum (now Fort Drum), summer of 1963. Little Lord Fauntleroy did a damn good job here (except for how he still overplays his couple of racial-experts card. PBS could really benefit from a few yards less of Stanley Crouch and James Early. Wynton Marsalis’s music though was for sure great.

2016 09 14 It’s a day later. I’m taking my time with this doc. There are jewels that Burns leaves out of this crown, I’ll wait till I seen the whole of both disks before I complain or add. I know a fair amount about JJ. My Camp Drum boxing bio was very good, covered a lot, but I’ve studied other sources since then: a great subject. Bravo bio. Other stars in the roster too. Excellent Ali tie in.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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