Greatest White Hope

by J.B. Cash

31 January 2005

Many years ago there was a Broadway play about the life of boxer Jack Johnson. Called "The Great White Hope," the play featured a fictional version of Johnson by way of a character called Jack Jefferson, the first-ever African-American heavyweight champion.

After becoming heavyweight champ Jefferson finds that he has provoked the anger of the government, labor unions, and the boxing racket itself because of his race, talent, and his romance with a white woman. Under investigation by the government, Jefferson travels the world fighting for a promoter whose main focus is to find a white fighter who can match Jefferson's prowess in the ring - "the great white hope" of the title.

There was also a forgettable movie made in 1970 starring James Earl Jones as Jefferson, and Jane Alexander as the white woman. (Note: the real Jack Johnson cavorted with prostitutes and other white women who, to put it delicately, were rather unattractive. Casting the undeniably beautiful Ms Alexander was a true travesty of fact, they should have picked someone like Shelly Winters.).

The term "Great White Hope" has worked its way into the common lexicon as shorthand for any white person who is attempting to achieve success in a situation, usually athletic, where white people are under-represented. The most common use of the term is in relation to the heavyweight boxing championship of the world. For most people, even educated sports media personages, there has not been a white heavyweight champion since Ingemar Johannson of Sweden in 1959. Johannson floored Floyd Patterson seven times in the third round, stopping him to win the heavyweight title in the Bronx. Since then, to most people, the heavyweight crown has been worn by an assemblage of black boxers ranging from trash-talking Muhammad Ali, to patriotic (then fat) George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, etc., etc.

In the old days there was one title. Whoever won it won the crown and the honor of being called "champ." Now, however, since boxing has been taken over by the likes of Don King, there are at least 4 groups (WBAC, WBA, IBF, WBO) claiming a true champion, few of which actually are. They rarely fight each other, because then two organizations will end up having the same champ, which halves the profit for the next title defense. It's all very confusing, which is why the heavyweight champ in most people's mind is usually considered to be the U.S. boxer that can get the most publicity.

That means that a white boxer can win a heavyweight championship and actually become the great white hope but be completely ignored. If the U.S. media does not want to crown him with reams of favorable publicity, guest shots on talk shows, and favorable reviews by the SI/ESPN talking heads, then he will not be considered a champ.

White society is supposedly longing for a white heavyweight champion so that the white people of the world can feel less impotent against the cruder, more primitive societies that seem to rule the boxing world and strike fear with their violent ways. The image of the great white hope is trotted out endlessly as if there were never to be another white heavyweight champion, as if the white societies of the world had become too weak and too civilized to find a single representative willing to shed the blood and sweat necessary to emerge victorious in the boxing ring.

Sylvester Stallone made it rich milking this cliché. The "Rocky" movies showed a hard-scrabble Philadelphia white kid pounding raw meat and drinking raw eggs to eventually dethrone an unbeatable black champion. It was almost pathetic as white audiences flocked to those movies to engage in the fantasy that maybe, just maybe, one of our boys might defeat one of those many African fighters in the ring.

Oh if only it could happen in real life! What a cause for celebration it would be! But oddly, it already has. In April of 2004, Vitaly Klitschko defeated Corrie Saunders for the WBC heavyweight title and defended it against Danny Williams in December. Klitschko is a well-built Ukrainian athlete fighting out of Germany. His younger brother Wladimir has also fought well in the heavyweight division.

The Klitschko brothers would seem to be the stuff of made for TV movies if not full-length films. Both men have masters degrees, if you can fathom that in a business where the average I.Q. is lower than Don King's conscience. The news media, which once fancied everything from the communist bloc nations (including their form of government), has suddenly taken a pass on noticing these two good-looking fellows from the former Soviet Union now fighting out of Germany.

Even though the news media can turn the story of a treed cat into a reality TV series they have no interest in two handsome brothers, both manly boxers, one a champion, educated with masters degrees, from the former Soviet Union? What is it about these likable fellows that has prevented them from garnering major face time on Leno and Lettermen? Or gossipy stories on "Entertainment Tonight"? Or interviews with Barbara Walters and Katie Koric? Or at least an E! Entertainment "Behind the Scenes" segment?

My guess is that these fellows are ignored because they are pigmentally challenged. Despite the hoopla that was to greet the next great white hope, the one that actually won and became world champion, our media establishment is a little reluctant to present a white man as the ideal of physical superiority and dominance.

Make no mistake in the little minds of people everywhere the heavyweight champ is a symbol of racial success. The media cannot mention Joe Louis without saying that he was a black icon for defeating Nazi Germany (Aryans!!!) with his victory over Germany's Max Schmelling.

Muhammad Ali is a liberal icon and establishment stooge (despite the fact that he hated America and white people) merely because he was a "hero" to black people. So why are Vitaly and Wladimer Klitschko ignored by our media, which professes to love immigrants and people from other countries?

Perhaps it is in the interest of the media to portray white people as weak. Weak people can be more easily manipulated. Fear is also a strong motivator. Programs aimed at "minorities" are popular among many whites because they see these programs as an opportunity to mollify or bribe those people. Lower class people of color are seen as more primitive and more likely to resort to violence to survive. Perhaps if they are fed, clothed, housed, and educated, they will be less likely to express themselves in a violent manner. Look at all the black and Mexican fighters. Aren't they scary? And they're invincible, white boxers can never beat them. Or so we are told to think.

Along comes a Vitaly Klitschko and crushes this notion. He pounds his opponents into submission. He can be just as violent, just as strong, just as brutal, as a black fighter. Plus he has a Masters Degree! The media does not want to hear of that. They do not know what to make of it. White man/heavyweight champ. How can that be? White people are too civilized, too weak. Where in the world could such a person come from?

He comes from the old Soviet Union. Soviet Russia was the only place on earth that could manage to turn the natural intelligence, beauty and creativity of the white race into something dark and sinister. When the Communist empire collapsed it exposed a world of poverty and desperation that had only existed previously among the colored peoples of the world. No other white society provided so poorly for its people. It was here where the same anger and the same brutality that is found amongst ghetto Africans, barrio Mexicans, and other third world people, could be found.

There is generally no reason for a white man in a white society to have to fight for a living. Around the globe every single white society has set up such a comfortable life for its people that the need to spill blood and live in pain to make a living is not needed. A poor white man is a rich man to the rest of the non-white world.

To box successfully sacrifices have to be made that one can only imagine. The consistently brutal workouts. Regular beatings from other boxers. Being cut, bloodied, bruised, and sore, on a daily basis. Bashed about the head regularly. All for a rare chance at making a desperate living at the sport. It is a poor gamble for a white man in a white world. Even in America the few white boxers to be found are either hobbyists -- rich enough to box for sport with no chance to be a champ -- or from poor and broken backgrounds, just like their colored opponents.

Boxing is a great proof of the caste system that exists in sports in the United States. White athletes, when raised in similar circumstances as other races, and free from anti-white athletic bias, produce athletes of quality just as good as any other. It is similar to the European invasion taking over the NBA. Since there are many other Eastern European boxers on the horizon, expect the ranks of champions to be filled with white boxers once again. The fall of the communist Soviet empire will continue to generate huge benefits for sports fans everywhere as those formerly dirt-poor white athletes are driven to succeed through their great athletic ability and rise above their poverty to fulfil the 'great white hope' of their people.


Mr. Cash writes for Caste Football.

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