The wall-to-wall coverage earlier this week of The Gloved One’s memorial on major network TV, small network TV, local news channels, radio news channels, and everything else in between, was a bit much. I kept thinking, ‘Am I watching the passing of the President of the United States or what?’
Of course, I agree that Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers in the world and indeed a great humanitarian in terms of donating to charities, but I simply was not comfortable as I listened to the various song tributes and speeches lauding this man as if he was a great civil rights leader, and an all-around great human being.
Let’s be honest, when Rev. Al Sharpton got on stage saying that Jackson contributed to everything from having black music played on music television, to being partly responsible for Barack Obama being elected the first black President of the United States, I cringed. And, when Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Texas), showed up with a resolution honoring Jackson for his charitable acts, his music and for being a world humanitarian, I nearly fell out of my seat. The resolution has since been tabled by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. However, Jackson Lee will continue to fight on. At this writing, only one other person, Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA), co-sponsored the resolution.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t recall Jackson being someone who spoke out about racial injustice or demanding civil rights for African Americans in some major way. In fact, it can be argued that Jackson lightened his skin and changed his nose to erase his blackness. Sure, he did songs and projects that brought people together, such as “We Are The World,” but he was definitely no Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – as some of the memorial speakers would have you believe.
Now, what about his other weird behavior? While he was never convicted of child molestation, it still puzzles me about that $20 million settlement paid out to shut up the earliest alleged child molestation abuse claim. That’s a heck of a lot money if one didn’t do anything wrong! And, what about the wearing of the mask and the same clothes (red shirt and black pants) all the time? How about his alleged addiction to prescription pills (which may be the cause of his death)? The list goes on and on.
I’m not saying that I believe all of the stories about Michael Jackson, but from what I have observed on the outside, some of Jackson’s actions should be questioned and scrutinized. Should Jackson have been recognized in the media in a special way? Of course. But, I still say it was over-the-top.