MUST READ – Dancing with Michael Jackson by Toni Bowers
Baltimore and its discontents- –
An amazing review/article has just been written by LA Review of Books – Bower’s look at the current racial inequities being highlighted in America’s legal system and how it relates to the way Michael Jackson was treated. It is very much worth a read and SHARE — the more the world is awakened to the injustices meted out on Michael Jackson the more they might realize why it happened and what was the reasonings behind it.
“I asked a 20-something friend what he thought of Michael Jackson’s music: do kids still dance to it? My friend’s response was instructive. “Great music,” he said, “but when someone got up to what he did with little children, he’s better forgotten.” I was stunned. Is it possible? After one of the most expensive and intensive trials in American history resulted in “not guilty” on all counts, after repeated demonstrations that Michael Jackson engaged in no wrongdoing but was targeted by extortionists, and in the face of the now huge amount of consistent testimony to the honorable, damaged human being Jackson actually was, can it be that the media bottom-feeders who saw his lynching as a profit opportunity continue, to this day, to define Jackson and limit the power of his work? Apparently so. The slow-motion crucifixion of Jackson’s reputation that took place more than a decade ago still goes on. . . .
The same nation of viewers who were willing to sit by and let the nightmare engulf Jackson now watches even more harrowing experiences overtake dozens of others. Some observers are using the irresponsibly selective footage from Baltimore that the national media have presented as fodder for reinforcing their prejudices. (Who would guess, watching TV, that destruction has been less common than orderly demonstrations and gestures of solidarity?) Jackson’s experiences and those of the many, many people of color who have recently run afoul of the police and died for it are not the same. But they are, in certain ways, related. They are disgraceful in similar ways, and for similar reasons. They expose similar pathologies that are eating away at us, and make us see more than we want to see about ourselves.
Here is one thing that Michael Jackson’s experience makes clear: the acts of injustice that we are witnessing now are founded on, in a way authorized by, an appalling, long-standing fact of life in the US: that when it comes to respect, civil rights, and justice, it does matter if you’re black or white. Jackson was the most visible American of color in recent years who found that he had only to be accused to be treated savagely. But the discovery was by no means unique to him. (What was unique was how directly responsible the media were for what Jackson suffered; few actual criminals have to endure the ignominy he did in front of a global audience.) In Jackson’s case as in every one of the sickening cases we have heard about in the past couple of years, an American of color was denied one of the most precious rights all Americans supposedly enjoy: the presumption of innocence. Each of the cases is different, but in that important way, each is alike, too.”
READ and SHARE Full article here – “Dancing with Michael Jackson by Toni Bowers: Balitmore and it’s discontents