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Another MJ post.. 
4th-Jul-2009 02:07 pm
I don't know about everyone else, but this Michael Jackson thing is still bringing up stuff for me.

My post is in response to this "essay" written by a recording artist named Phonte, one part of hip-hop duo Little Brother. Please be warned, I found this essay difficult to read.

I really, really do understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty. I honestly do. I just don't understand why possible victims should get a life sentence of hate, dismissal and judgment for not dragging themselves through a legal battle with a sideshow media circus.

Shouldn't they be innocent until proven 'guilty'?

Why should they have to go on trial?

It makes me so angry that someone would speak so irresponsibly about child abuse.

I'm not hating on Michael Jackson, but I'm certainly not going to whitewash these claims.

These claims were serious enough to be investigated. I'm not going to attack the character of a potential victim or child.

For anyone who is interested, this is a collection of in-depth Jackson-related Vanity Fairy articles written by Maureen Orth. These span the course of the allegations, as well as the aftermath.

Because I am so far removed from the situation, and the reality of Michael Jackson, I rely on beliefs, public knowledge of the case, and my own determination to remain unbiased/objective.

I will admit that it's pretty hard to be unbiased and objective when things hit you close to the bone. For me, abuse is one of those things.

I honestly believe that what went on at the Never Never Land ranch was inappropriate, even in terms of where the boys were developmentally. I'm not sure how the experience of sitting on a 40 year old's lap at the age of 13 would register for an adolescent boy. Did he see it as normal!? Did he feel it was wrong or shameful? Did he feel comfortable with it?

I worry that because the interactions were strange or, we'll say, unconventional, the young participants may have processed them negatively. They may look back on them negatively, or even have experienced it negatively at the time.

I don't see how people's concern for children can go out the window because the potential abuser wrote a few songs and tried to do good. We all try to do good. So many people are scurrying to reclaim Michael Jackson as some perfect human being, some exemplary piece of mankind. Yes he did good, but he also had the potential to do bad. He was obviously a vulnerable and troubled man. He definitely had some psychological problems. He visibly struggled. He publically made mistakes.

I'm not going to charge him with anything, I'm not qualified to do that. But it hurts me more to see children dismissed and allegations undermined by the public because people struggle to believe it. They struggle to see the good and the bad. They think in absolutes. It hurts even more to see negative reactions towards possible victims because if Michael is Good, they are Bad, Bad, Bad.

Good, Evil, it's not either/or. I've known some people in my life with the worrying ability to do both.

I thought we all had the ability to do both.

I know we don't know Michael Jackson, the victims, or even the complete circumstances, but this public bias towards Jackson godliness is hard to stomach.

I hope the media stops reporting so irresponsibly on this. Yes, it's important to remember and honour an icon in pop music and popular culture. But we are in no means qualified or obligated to speak out or lay judgment on the events of his obviously very personal life.

Do we really have to believe he could do no wrong?

I'm sorry, but if my children came to me and said they were abused, I would take the allegations very seriously, irregardless of the potential abuser.

I take the allegations against Jackson very seriously, not because of who he was, but because child abuse is a serious.

I'm not going to pretend it doesn't happen, or couldn't happen.

Michael had a successful public career, and was extraordinarily talented as an entertainer. That is not enough to convince me that he is absolutely good or godlike.

It also makes me think of other famous abuse allegations. This reminds me almost identically of what happened within the Catholic Church. The public believed that priests loved children, that they did God's work, and could not be capable of doing bad. The church did everything they could to irresponsibly further that belief and DISMISS THE CLAIMS OF INNOCENT VICTIMS.

Look where that got us.

I really hope i haven't hurt or offended anyone with this.

I just feel that people are purposely chosing to disregard the evidence and testimonies of the alleged victims in order to believe that Jackson is innocent.

If anything, I would rather the case was left to rest than dragged up and shoved in our faces.
4th-Jul-2009 03:18 pm (UTC)

The media treats Michael Jackson like a hungry dog treats steak, and I'm so sick of turning on the TV to hear about the court cases, and his drug usage, etc.

I have a lot of unpopular feelings about Michael Jackson, but I just want to say that I can relate to your frustrations.
4th-Jul-2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
*hugs back*

I wonder how many people mourning him also disowned him when the allegations emerged. I'm pretty sure that most of the journalists/editor/publications heralding him now are the same ones who tore him apart over the last 2 decades.

I don't know who to be angry at.

Do people forget so easily?
4th-Jul-2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I think what you wrote is about spot-on with how I feel, for the most part. I especially agreed with this part:

I worry that because the interactions were strange or, we'll say, unconventional, the young participants may have processed them negatively. They may look back on them negatively, or even have experienced it negatively at the time.

Like you, I'm not qualified to charge Michael Jackson, or say with any certainty whether or not he actually abused children. But I do think that what he was doing definitely had the potential to be very confusing, especially to boys who are battling the throes of puberty and are already unsure of the changes going on physically and psychologically with themselves.

I'm also really amazed by society's ability to deify human beings in film and music.

Thanks for posting. I enjoyed reading your opinion, plus the links you posted.
4th-Jul-2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and commenting.

I think I kind of had to get that off my chest.
4th-Jul-2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
"this public bias towards Jackson godliness is hard to stomach."
No kidding. I hate how it's nothing but MJ, MJ, MJ, ad nauseum right now. I think it very likely he did abuse those children, and even though I like some of his music, I don't agree, as one person put it, that "The world has lost a hero". The man was seriously messed up.
4th-Jul-2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
This is an unpopular opinion for this community, but I don't think he did that stuff to those kids. He himself was horribly abused as a child, but he was the one with the unchanging story when it came down to it. I think that those kids (god bless em) who put up allegations against him, didn't feel nearly half the backlash most individuals who make these allegations do. I think that he had a really sad life, and that in his death, it is disrespectful to completely forget the INCOMPARABLE impact he had culturally on music, fashion, and race relations. I don't think he's guilty, but I think it is a shame that someone so talented is still (even in death) being called a horrible person, even AFTER being proven innocent twice.
4th-Jul-2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
So you know, my abuser - who abused me for nineteen years, who's tried to kill me?

Proven not-guilty twice. And not guilty for threatening neighbors with a gun. Guilt is difficult to prove, no matter what the situation.

People say my abuser's a great man, contributed a lot to his community, and that any "indiscretions" at home were just misunderstandings. Doesn't mean that the abuse I survived wasn't real.

If those allegations the kids made were true, they're still almost impossible to prove in court. People have a right, to feel the allegations merited investigation, and to express that. This poster is not saying to forget all the good things - she's saying to acknowledge them alongside each other. One does not need to be forgotten for the sake of the other.
4th-Jul-2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Very well said: I think those allegations needed to be investigated, fully. I despise the public bashing of people who come forward. Child sexual abuse is very difficult to prove in a court of law, very difficult, and I don't care how publicity-seeking it may seem to bring a celebrity before a judge - if it's an allegation of child abuse, it needs to be taken seriously.
4th-Jul-2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
And that would be exactly my point if I had the presence of mind to condense it properly!

To my mind Jackson was never cleared, I wish people would give some thought to the families of all those involved and respectfully and delicately leave this to rest.

The people being judged are possible abuse victims, and human beings.

No one should be persecuted for seeking justice.

4th-Jul-2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
I honestly believe that what went on at the Never Never Land ranch was inappropriate, even in terms of where the boys were developmentally. I'm not sure how the experience of sitting on a 40 year old's lap at the age of 13 would register for an adolescent boy. Did he see it as normal!? Did he feel it was wrong or shameful? Did he feel comfortable with it?

As a guy if I'd been having that done to me at 13, it would at the very least wig me out and cause me to worry.

Proving CSA to get a conviction is a bit like trying to nail jello to the wall, my abuser is still free/uncharged b/c I can't "prove" what happened to me in court. Sad but true, dosen't mean nothing happeend. Just the reality of the court system.

The whole MJ case hits very close to home for me, I can't help but think there are other kids that haven't spoken up and may never(even as adults) come forward b/c of the hero worship going on right now. My abuser is still viewed as a good man/family man,pillar of the community..in short nearly beyond reproach.

Am staying away from the tv,esp this Tuesday. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your not alone in feeling that way.
5th-Jul-2009 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you for replying, I wasn't sure this was the right forum but I felt like it was at least relevant to issues a lot of us have experienced.
4th-Jul-2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I agree whole heartedly with you. I read that Phonte piece on ONTD and I was, for lack of a better word, repulsed by it and by the vast majority of the comments on there.
To me, it's just like glorifying the dead. Those who believe that he was innocent are the ones that are bringing up the case the most, and it's just insulting to the victims. It's fine if they want to celebrate the good in his life, but they need to leave the case be. It's not the time.
5th-Jul-2009 06:26 am (UTC)
I completely agree.. celebrating Michael Jackson as an icon of popular culture is one thing, attacking and undermining the characters and experiences of innocent children is another.

As you say, it's not the time.

It's not even vaguely appropriate.
5th-Jul-2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, I didn't even see that post. I don't have the community on my friends page because I just am not always in the mood to read it or I'm afraid of getting triggered. The comments I saw in some of the posts about MJ's death are bad enough- people attacking the kids or saying they should have died instead and it makes no sense. I mean why do people believe that a kid is capable of making up things like that in such detail? I can't imagine how bad it must be to have no way to escape all the hatred and ridicule. I do feel sorry for Michael because he obviously had problems and had been abused, but his victims don't even have anyone pointing out anything good about them or trying to distract from any negativity towards them.
5th-Jul-2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
I agree with you. In fact I read a book about one of the first publicized epidemic of priests abusing children, and they were usually the ones that preached the most vehemently/obsessively against ANY type of sexual sin. It's kind of like how Rush Limbaugh got called out for having hundreds of painkillers in his house while he always was saying there should be no excuses made for drug users, and they should get the harshest punishment possible. It's like it's only bad and the perpetrators should only have consequences if it isn't THEM because they are so narcissistic.

The first case in particular, at least to me is pretty much irrefutable because how would the kid know what Michael's genitalia looked like unless someone else looked at them and told him what to say? This happened about when I was 12 or 13, and we had to bring in CD's we liked for music class. I brought in a song and the teacher said it sounded like Michael Jackson and I got really upset,and he asked me why I didn't like him and I was so humiliated.My grandparents always told me not to talk about what happened to me and that there was something wrong with me or I was on drugs because I couldn't get over it,and if I would just stop talking about and thinking about it I could get over it. So I felt like the teacher was asking me to make a fool out of myself in front of the whole class, and since stuff about his trial was on the news constantly I felt like he shouldn't have even had to ask me.

People always defend my abuser. They say "Oh he didn't know any better because he was only 13 and he has a sick mind and you should forgive him" or that he must have been abused himself. Or people think he's a good person just because he goes to church. So I completely relate to everything you're saying and I can't imagine how terrible it must be for anyone that Michael possibly did do anything to, because people are publicly doubting or ridiculing them all over the place and there is no way for them to escape it. The priest thing really angered me as well, because instead of making the priests suffer consequences they just moved them to other parishes and didn't warn anyone, leaving statewide trails of destruction.
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