Last week a GOP Representative, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, was under fire for a remark that suggested her party needed a “great white hope” to win the election against President Obama in the 2010 election.
When questioned, Jenkins quickly recanted her statement insisting she was unaware of the racial insinuation of her remark.
While most took her excuse at face value, The Ottawa Herald has found that the Kansas Republican supported a resolution that contained the exact verbiage “great white hope” making a clear reference to its historical origins, according to the Huffington Post.
In late July, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pardon one of the first African-American heavyweight championship boxers, Jack Johnson, who was successful in the ring but faced racial opposition outside the ring. His love affairs with white women and close friendships with white men were the focal point of his personal life. When the bill was passed on July 29, it included the following phrase:
“Whereas the victory by Jack Johnson over Tommy Burns prompted a search for a White boxer who could beat Jack Johnson, a recruitment effort that was dubbed the search for the ‘great white hope.'”
Johnson has to wait years for a chance to fight for the heavyweight title because top-ranked white boxers refused to fight him. Johnson quickly became the world’s heavyweight champ when he finally got the chance to fight and defeated the then title holder. His win took the sports arena by storm as the boxing industry went on a quest to find the “great white hope” to reclaim the title.
According to Media Matters Action Network, a potential “great white hope” was a fighter, Jess Willard, who liv a short distance from Jenkins hometown.