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.