« The one contradiction in the black community is that there are no contradictions. » Bobby E. Wright, PhD
I love Michael Jackson…love him!
… but I do not even like contradiction, which is why this causes me so much pain.
Michael Jackson is, as Berry Gordy referred to him, ‘the greatest entertainer that ever lived’, but he was one of the most self-destructive people of African descent in the history of the world.
…but black people adore him.
As much as black people continue to love Michael Jackson it is damn near impossible to find any evidence that he reciprocated that same love for black people. Perhaps the only black person heloved was his mother, Katherine, and the black person he loved least was undoubtedly himself.
So, where does that leave all the black people in between?
If Mike was just a regular dude, who did all the things he did to himself physically, became the father to three children that anyone with the slightest degree of common sense knows thatCANNOT be his children genetically, what would the vast majority of black people think of him?
You may ask, ‘how do you know those are not his kids?’. Well, would a person who has gone to the lengths he has use his kinky hair-full nose-brown skinned sperm to create children who would look like the person he has spent the last 30 years trying to not be?
That’s how I know…
Some might say that even when they look at the 2009 Michael Jackson they still saw the little boy from the 70s, but how can you really?
Does it not make you even the little bit uncomfortable that a person you love doesn’t see the same beauty in you, that you saw in him?
Again, I love Michael Jackson as much as anyone, but does my love for him in some way compromise the love I have for myself?
I know we as black people love to rationale our contradictions, and some of you might say that you love who was inside and that his physical self doesn’t matter to you, but it mattered so much to him. And if you’re honest with yourself, it matters to you too.
Each morning we brush our teeth, comb our hair, iron our clothes, take a shower, and all sorts of other things to make our physical selves appealing, but somehow we deny the relevance of our physical selves when it fits our needs. It’s just like that bullshit line that people of all races use, ‘I don’t see color’…which is the most insulting phrase ever uttered in the english language.
Of course you see race, the very fact that you say you don’t means that you do. Race is not something to be dismissed, it’s something that people acknowledge about a person, and respect about a person. I always ask people who say they don’t see race if they believe in God. And most indicate they do, and then I ask whether or not they believe God makes mistakes, and of course they say they don’t think God makes mistakes. Well, the next logical statement from is that then God must have a divine reason for making you the color/race you are.
Who are we to disaffirm what the Creator intended for us to become? If you love your God, how can you find fault in the divinity of that God’s most perfect creation?
Again, I love Michael Jackson.
And more than that, I understand Michael Jackson suffered from severe mental illness that rendered him incapable of appreciating who he was most fundamentally. People say that when he looked in the mirror he saw his father Joe, whom he said abused him, but did he not see even the smallest piece of his mother, Katherine, in that same mirror?
All of Michael’s fans and supporters are quick to point out that Michael loved all people, but the facts tell us that his love for black people was ‘complicated’, at best. As a human being, I love all of humanity, but I think it’s clear that most people, naturally, have a deeper affinity and connection with people who share the same culture, history, and heritage. That’s a naturally occuring phenomenon throughout nature. it doesn’t mean you love person of other races any less, it just means that you acknowledge that you do love people of your own race/culture.
However, Michael has made the transition to the realm of the ancestors, so asking those questions of him seem less important than asking questions to those of us who are still here breathing.
1. Who do you see when you look in that mirror?
2. How does it make you feel to love a man whose love for you was at best ‘complicated’.
3. Do we make excuses for people we love that we would not dare make for people we don’t share the same connection with?
Again, I love Michael Jackson…but I love myself so much more.