President Donald Trump holds a signed Executive Grant of Clemency for boxer Jack Johnson in the Oval Office of the White House on May 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Oliver Douilery (Getty Images)

In one of the weirdest White House scenes ever, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis and former imaginary heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone joined the current heavyweight champion of bullshitting, Donald Trump, for a ceremony on Thursday pardoning boxer Jack Johnson.

In 1913, Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury of violating the Mann Act, a federal law that made it illegal to transport white women across state lines for immoral purposes—in this case, having sex with a black man.

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All-white juries are still not immoral.

It is not clear why Trump decided to pardon the late heavyweight champ. Some critics say that Trump’s decision to pardon Johnson, the first African American to hold the heavyweight title, was the latest in a long list of swipes at former President Barack Obama, who, despite pleas from Sen. John McCain and filmmaker Ken Burns, declined to pardon Johnson, at least in part apparently because of the boxer’s history of domestic abuse.

Others have speculated that Trump’s Executive Grant of Clemency (pdf) is a subtle signal to co-conspirators like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn that he might issue them a pardon if they don’t snitch to Robert Mueller’s special prosecutor’s team investigating obstruction of justice.

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“It’s my honor to do it,” said Trump, ABC News reports, although he seemed unfamiliar with the term. “It’s about time. ... He was treated very rough, very tough.”

Meanwhile, in a separate ceremony, Jack Johnson heard these remarks and responded by telling Trump to go fuck himself.

“I don’t even know this dude,” Johnson told The Root in an exclusive séance. “I was just chilling when I got a message that some orange dude was going to pardon me for something. I didn’t even know what a pardon was until Muhammad Ali told me it was something white people do after you’re dead and gone in hopes that no one will remember they treated you like a piece of shit when you are alive.”

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He continued:

Ali said it absolved you of a criminal conviction. At first I thought: “Man, I ain’t no criminal!” Then I remembered that I was convicted of riding around with white girls. That was 100 years ago! I had forgotten all about that shit! But you know white people, always bringing up old shit. I still didn’t believe it until Martin Luther King Jr. told me how much white people loved him after they put a bullet in his head.

When asked what he thought of the recent heavyweight champions who had gathered to celebrate his pardon, Johnson said that the black dudes in the room looked like formidable opponents, but when he looked at Stallone posing for Instagram, Johnson noted that he could probably beat Stallone with both arms tied behind his back.

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“To be honest, I wasn’t really that great a fighter,” Johnson added. “Most of my success was because I only had to fight white guys. Take that decrepit carrot-colored dollop of an old white man signing the papers, for instance. I could have whipped his ass with all four arms tied behind my back.”

After I reminded Johnson that he only had two arms, he advised me that he would have ripped Stallone’s arms out of their sockets and used them to fight the orange guy shaped like the second scoop of a triple-scoop waffle cone at a carnival on a hot summer day.

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When told that the fat, balding orange man was the current president, Johnson replied: “No, I’m talking about the one with the bad toupee who looks like he reads on a fifth-grade level. He’s the president? There’s no way.” Then the newly pardoned boxer sat up erect on his cloud and said:

Wait ... I recognize that dude! When I first came here, I used to always say, “God don’t make no mistakes,” until one day God said, “Well, actually ... ” Then he pulled me aside and pointed to the ugliest, most hateful person in creation. I said, “Is that Satan?” And God responded: “Nah. His name is Donald Trump.”

When asked for comment, Trump did not point to the time when the most famous black man in the country was incarcerated because of white supremacy and reveal the real reason he pardoned Johnson: “This is actually what I was thinking about when I said, ‘Make America great again.’”

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Meanwhile, nonviolent felons still serving mandatory-minimum sentences for dealing crack that are as long as sentences for dealing 100 times the amount of powder cocaine issued a group statement: “Y’all see us standing here, right?”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this post included a quote from Ken Burns that was incorrectly attributed to President Donald Trump.