Asian Americans fight against “the perpetual foreigner syndrome.” That is the sentiment that no matter how much they try to be American — or in fact have always been American — they must be secretly loyal to another nation. The suggestion to some Asian Americans to take opportunities for proving their patriotism is to them only another infuriating indication that they face bias. They are being told they, unlike others, need to overcome doubt about the matter.
For despite what an average guy will tell you, deep down inside he would like to do more than watch the action. He wants to be a part of the action.
On occasion, ‘the itch’ to experience the boxing experience calls others to enter the ropes. Primarily not as a challenger, but more as an observer. Peeking inside from outside the ropes is not sufficient. They need to get inside either once or now and then.
The drive is not to prove something as it is to be a ‘part of the boxing world.’ But there is more to the world inside the ropes than merely putting on the gear and getting inside. As I noted of my first experiences of witnessing boxing and getting inside the ropes, I felt I was drawn into this experience. That I was called to box. And after this surrender, I immediately felt safe and at home within the boundaries of the ropes.
Here are a few guys, writers, who for their own reasons, needed a closer view than being a spectator to the action inside the ropes. They are not the first, and they will not likely be the last. For despite what an average guy will tell you, deep down inside he would like to do more than watch the action. He wants to be a part of the action.
Boxing has always been – and always will be – run by underworld types taking advantage of boxers in an attempt to cash in. That makes it the perfect sport for film.
In short, Body and Soul is a story of a boxer and his knockout skills. It is also a tale about the lure of money, corruption, violence, and temptation (1947) (sex 1981) and how it can derail common man in his pursuit of success.
The 2020 HBO documentary, The Soul of America, explores pivotal historical events when demagoguery, conspiracy theories and “alternative facts” spoke the loudest to justify slavery, Jim Crow laws, a culture of white supremacy, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, McCarthyism and other dark chapters of the nation’s history. The film recognizes forces of hatred and division as recurring themes in American life, but ultimately gives hope that the lessons of the past may bring the nation closer to achieving its democratic ideals. It is based on a best-selling book by John Meacham
Floyd Patterson (January 4, 1935 – May 11, 2006) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1952 to 1972, and twice reigned as the world heavyweight champion between 1956 and 1962. At the age of 21, he became the youngest boxer in history to win the title, and was also the first heavyweight to regain the title after losing it. As an amateur, he won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 1952 Summer Olympics.
Jens Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson (September 22, 1932 – January 30, 2009) was a Swedish professional boxer who competed from 1952 to 1963. He held the world heavyweight title from 1959 to 1960, and was the fifth heavyweight champion born outside the United States. Johansson won the title by defeating Floyd Patterson via third-round stoppage, after flooring him seven times in that round.
“If I cannot beat this fellow, I will never fight again. I did not expect the bout to go 10 rounds.”
This was the first of three fights between Canadian Tommy Burns (47 win, 35 KO; 4 loss, 1 KO; 8 draw) and Bill Squires (12 win, 18 KO; 11 loss, 10 KO). It took Burns one round to take down Squires. The other two bouts took place in 1908, and Burns won both by knockout, rounds 8 and 13 respectively. Looks like Squires learned something from boxing Burns.
“It’s not enough to say you’re not a racist. “I was taught that we don’t judge other races, we don’t join in on any racial conversations, we open our home to people of all colors,” she says, recalling growing up in San Jose with predominantly Black and Hispanic neighbors. “But sadly, I’ve learned today that not being racist is not enough.”
“I remember this ongoing dialogue in my house of ‘Jeannie, we made it here, we escaped communism to make it here, America was so nice to let us live here and reside here,’” she recalls being told by her parents. “‘So you need to not make a peep. We don’t want any trouble.’” That sentiment, she says, still exists in Asian communities, deterring people from raising their voices, even when violence plagues neighborhoods like San Francisco’s Chinatown.