December 24 1908 — The color line is soon to be broken in championship boxing, with a bout between Tommy Burns and Jack Johnson in Australia. Herriman offers up this cartoon, and writes some provocative paragraphs taunting other white fighters to join the fray:
Dark clouds hover over the house of Fistiana and the very fact that they hover has a few lily white scrappers framing up all sorts of excuses as to exactly why they are timid of things that are dark and of stormy tendency. They seek protection across the color line.
Tommy Burns has howled his color line pretext from every point of the compass. He has sought every hole, every closet, every nook, niche and cranny to hide and yell through a crack his color line discord. Whenever something black hovered near his horizon he made all possible haste to skip to the rim of the opposite horizon, turning to give a breathless color line reason for being there.
Now we find Thomas, champion Thomas Burns sedately, serenely and with suspicious complacency awaiting in that most opposite spot of land the very black he so long evaded, to grind him (perhaps) in its ebony mangles with not even a ghost of a whisper as to the color line.
Has it been pride, the pride of a champion, a monarch, that kept him from putting in jeopardy the title of titles? If so, would not that pride still hold? Does Tommy feel so sure that the black man is unable to wrest the crown from him? Langford and Johnson — surely the pugilistic sky threatens to be totally enveloped in darkness, unless Burns proves himself a champion in reality.