November 26, 2003

Dirty Pop
There are many lessons to be learned from this entire Michael Jackson fiasco.

The first is, if people THINK you're a child molester, maybe you shouldn't hold sleepovers with the children of complete strangers. It just might not look too good.

I really, really, really want to believe Michael. I really want to believe that he's innocent and that this is all a witch hunt. But the fact that the sleepovers continued for a decade, even after he'd been publicly accused of being a pedophile, with a gravy train of dozens of random children......

I recently watched The Wiz for the first time in nearly 20 years, and Michael as the Scarecrow was a simply mesmerizing musical/dance performance. Every time I think about the Motown 25 special, I get goosebumps. I mean, people lost their minds watching Michael perform that night ("Oh, my God! He's walking...... BACKWARDS?!?!?!?!?!?!")

Michael was magic.

A black Harry Potter in penny loafers.

I am part of a generation of Black children who grew up in the age of "Billy Jean" and Thriller and Off The Wall, where Michael seemed to be a living embodiment of all of the promise and hope that our community had placed in us for the future.

And maybe that's the point. Maybe Michael's madness (and, believe you me, I'm still not convinced he's a child molester, but Michael Jackson is clearly insane, perhaps dangerously so) is a visible, visceral symbol of the sickness that still pervades young Black America. He had the world at his fingertips, yet his mental scars run so deep that, instead of using a razor on his arms like most cutters, he's opted for a plastic surgeon's scalpel to help externalize his suffering. He claws jealously for the closeness of babies, as if he can become young through association.

I pray he didn't do it.

But I still hope for some court-mandated therapy.

God knows he needs it.
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