Why We Love the Brotha
Michael Jackson: Why We Love the Brotha
Posted: February 29 2004 8:00PM
There has been much talk about Michael Jackson: who he is, his mindset, how he thinks, etc. But it’s time to have a serious discussion about why we love the brotha. The major reasons for that love are his depth of thought, his unflinching ability to be himself in the face of every nonsensical attempt to change him and his survivor mentality. And, dear reader, don’t dare attempt to dismiss the following points by claiming they are coming from "some crazed fan". Truth be told, I couldn’t care less how you feel about me. If you want to argue, argue over the points being made not the person making them.
Had anything remotely like this happened to me-although I doubt it because females don’t seem to have the burden than men do and had this been Janet Jackson instead of Michael Jackson, it wouldn’t even be an issue-I would say to hell with all of these lying losers and their dying children too. If you responded with silent outrage while reading that line, you better pray that Jackson is a much better person than I am. But that’s why we love the brotha.
This brotha is so deep that he would take on all of society’s insanely disgusting fears of what’s appropriate and inappropriate if that means he can positively affect a child’s life; give a child some time where they don’t have to see their parents crying over their beds in a hospital room; time when they don’t have to worry about how their parents will be able to pay their bills; time when they can see beautiful things and be amazed by how wonderful life is; time when they can be treated with the kind of love they deserve. If you wanted to know why he STILL would let children stay at his house even after the 1993 set-up, this could be one possible reason.
What someone should do is impress upon the brotha not to hesitate in calling people out on their bull*hit. It’s ok to challenge someone who is questioning his honesty, his words, and his actions. It’s ok if everyone doesn’t have a profound understanding of what he’s trying to accomplish so long as they respect his right to do so. It’s ok if people don’t feel "sorry for" him either because of their own hang-ups, or because they thought he was suppose to be psychic and see this coming, or because they simply don’t get it, or because they secretly feel guilty by not reaching out to him before.
This brotha is on a level that many people can’t even fathom. I’m not talking about economically, although he is. I’m not talking about socially, although he is as well. I’m speaking about the unbelievable level of love, respect, and understanding he has for humanity; in particular, our collective selves before we have our goodness ruined by corrupt adult society. That time is called childhood.
The charge by some is that he needs to "grow up". Mind you, this misplaced criticism is about someone who has had to be, essentially, a grown-ass man since the age of 6. He’s been grown since BEFORE he was grown. It is not he that needs to grow up. It is we who need to get out of that high school-like mentality where one has to "fit in" or else be relegated to the "geeks, nerds and losers" section of society.
It’s not even that he needs to change what he is in order to fit into some schizophrenic definition of what’s "appropriate" and what’s not, what’s "black" and what’s not, or what’s "popular" and what’s not. It is the coexistence of disparate AND antagonistic mores in society that makes his very existent so absolutely necessary.
It may not even be that he needs to be more aware of when people are trying to take advantage of him.
He may know when people are trying to use him. He just may be hoping somehow that their conscience would kick in and make it impossible for them to take advantage of him, or that they’ll use the opportunity to change their behavior.
I respect him because he has actually bought into all of the things we love to preach about, but never follow ourselves: "Be loving to one another", "be affectionate and caring for those who need you", "Honor your children because they are our future", "Respect the beauty
of childhood for it is fleeting", "Give of your best at all times", "If someone stays with you, give them your best as if giving them the very bed on which you sleep or the clothes off your back", "If someone comes under your roof, they are to be protected and respected at all costs", ETC. These are things we all love to espouse…in theory.
But when it comes to putting the money where the mouth is, society’s actions read more like "Take what you can get", "Look out for #1", "Do onto others before they can do onto you", "Your best isn’t good enough", "Show a child who’s boss", "Childhood is only something to be tolerated, not cherished", "If someone stays with you, make sure you check their bag before they leave because they’ve probably stolen something", "Don’t let people in your house because they’ll have your business all out in the street", ETC.
Is that behavior schizophrenic or is it "survival"? Regardless of the answer, one is not meant to only "survive" but to thrive as a part of a community.
It’s idiotic to think that this brotha should not be able to be who he is and change the lives of people just because we may not understand the level he’s on. Whether our collective mindset "gets it" or not, we should realize that he’s not owned by anyone. He is not to be beholden to anyone but God.
He’s not owned by a corporation. Symbolically, he’s not "Toby" (Jacko), he’s Kunta Kinte (Michael Jackson).
In trying to squash him, those very people are helping/forcing him to become the exact thing they were so afraid he’d become: a powerful, successful, wholly independent entity onto himself not controlled by any hierarchy, who follows the laws of the land but who isn’t afraid to call society out on it’s stupidity and hypocrisy, and who is unashamed of his past and who he is.
To be "bad" by this brotha’s definition, is not to take anyone’s mess; to be secure in oneself and one’s ideals. And it is those ideals that have helped shape him in my opinion. These same ideals are what all the rest of us have had thoroughly and soundly beat out of us as we’ve grown up in "normal" society.
He has managed somehow to sustain that level of basic goodness which should guarantee that his life is peaceful and filled with love, right? Wrong.
Our society says a grown man can’t possibly sleep in the same "bedroom" as a child without it being sexual. Let’s break that down. When I posed the question to a regular 42 year old man, who has gone on record insulting Jackson, whether it was possible that he, himself could simply sleep in the same bedroom with a child without wanting to sexually molest him/her, that person exclaimed with insulted outrage "Of course! I ain’t no damn child molester!" Without realizing it, he’d just said exactly what Jackson has said.
Jackson has said during the 60 Minutes interview that "if you’re going to be a child molester, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper" one should NOT be sleeping anywhere near a child. Jackson is neither a child molester nor Jack the Ripper. Neither is the 42 year old man to which I posed the question. They’re on the same side.
But of course, the "boogy-man" syndrome is pervasive in this society and in Mr. 42-year-old-Normal-Guy’s head. And someone like Jackson, even with all his idealistic and basic goodness, is forced into that boogy-man category by those who make themselves feel better by reveling in his tribulations.
Maybe if this brotha started to defend himself in an insulted and outraged manner, people would start to "get it". It is asinine to think that "we" (collective society) can sleep in the same room with a kid without it being sexual, but Jackson can’t; that he can’t possible feel that form of insulted outrage when "we" attack him for his so-called "inappropriate behavior"; that he can’t possibly have the same visceral reaction when the question is posed to him.
It is that unflinching ability to be himself that has helped to get him this far. So why, then, is it not ok for this brotha to live his life without running his decisions by "us" first? No one can satisfactorily answer that question.
This brotha has to go through hell and back just to get some form of respect; just to get some of society to ask the question whether or not he’s being made to struggle unjustly. He has to go to hell and back just to get people to question whether or not his way is the right way, and our way is the corrupt way.
He has to go to hell and back just to shake some sense into "us"; to wake "us" up from this ‘do it my way or you’re crazy’ type of selfishness inherent in "us" all. It is this feigned moral superiority in having a "normal" life that seems to keep tripping him up as he repeatedly attempts to pull some form of that normality into his existence.
So my advice to him as a member of "normal" society: Brotha you ain’t missing nothin’ here. I’m still trying to pull some form of your idealistic existence into my own. And so much the better I would be because of it.