“Maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses, but I love people all over the world. That is why stories of racism really disturb me. You hurt my heart and soul when you told me of your boyhood in Texas. (To William Pecchi Jr.) Because in truth I believe all men are created equal. I was taught that and will always believe it. I just can’t conceive how a person could hate another because of skin color. I love every race on the planet earth. Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
Naked we came into the world and naked we shall go out. And, a very good thing too, for it reminds me that I am naked under my shirt, whatever its color. I’m sorry to bring up such past news, but in the car I was hurt by what you said. I am so happy that you have managed to overcome your childhood past. Thank God that you have graduated from such beliefs of ignorance. I’m glad I’ve never experienced such things. Teach your kids to love all people equally. I know I will.”
“MEASURE YOUR NET WORTH NOT BY HOW MUCH YOU HAVE, BUT BY HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU IMPACT.”
There is a sense of urgency creeping deep down into my soul. I feel it early in the morning while laying in bed…and, again just before my eyes close in the dark, giving way to worry-filled dreams. I am told that in the presence of a seer, the stone is softened… accepting that, my sense of urgency increases, because I believe that statement to be true. Media blindness foists their inner demons onto a society weakened by their paranoia. In these days of information, refusing to be enlightened is a choice…an ignorant one. I am drawn back to the page because I feel an obligation to share what I have learned and what I know to be true. In that way, I may help to transform ignorance into enlightenment…its ripples washing over a damaged world and advancing a knowledge which says, “Maybe we just need to finally listen to Michael Jackson.” (Blacklives Matter)
Faith is a journey taken with others. Michael knew that and called upon all of us to join him, reminding us that HE WOULD BE THERE…WOULD WE? Resisting prejudice and hate, working for peace and justice, standing up against evil and oppression take bravery, resilience, an enormity of strength, an unwavering faith in God, and, a devoted love and faith in the people and their ability to use their power together. The relevance of this journey embedded in Michael also touches profoundly every other human being on the planet, the animals and, the very earth itself. Michael’s artistry remains transformative to this day. It has transformed me. Reaching deep inside, where I find ME, I know without a doubt…the entire world needs Michael Jackson…TODAY!
Our power of togetherness and strength lives on love. That love comes from knowing Michael; his artistry, his legacy, his life, his messages. The universal truths he lived and showed us…his teachings, are needed TODAY.
“Michael Jackson was never afraid to put himself out there for the truth as he saw it. We could always count on Jackson to be the global leader of the band, to give voice to everything we were feeling. His adult catalog is a trove of social activism…starvation, AIDS, gang violence, race relations, the environment. It was Jackson who put on concerts for war-torn Sarajevo. It was Jackson who put together a group charity song and concert after 9/11. It was Jackson who used every ounce of his global celebrity to make a difference. HE WAS THERE.”
“What happened to Jackson for his politics was so much worse than losing sales. For speaking truth to power, Jackson made himself a target and he took a pounding for it. The worst shots at him were taken by a white district attorney in California, who pursued him relentlessly for 12 years and charged with heinous crimes that were utterly disproved by trial.”
“They Don’t Care About Us, in large part, was a response to the failure to convict police officers of the videotaped 1992 Rodney King beating, but also to Michael’s own degrading experience of police brutality in 1993. To reread the criticism of the song today is to shake your head in disbelief at its disingenuousness. It’s obvious that for some in power at the time, this was a dangerous song, and the objections were merely an attempt to deflect.
“Michael not only named and shamed the ignorance of prejudice, but he himself was without judgment when dealing with others. In an exemplary way he succeeded to set an example of a sort of love that was not tied to conditions, a love which does not demand anything and not expect anything from others.”
From King of Pop to Mahatma
Speaking to power brings with it resistance and retaliation. Michael received both with the force of modern day lynchings…unprecedented selective persecution. His physical and emotional pain through decades of life had no affect on his determination and will. Seeing need, he showed up, always saying, “What do you need, and how can I help?” With an understanding of what his forefathers had faced, he used his music, wrote powerful lyrics, challenging those in power…giving voice to voiceless victims around the world. He was here to CHANGE THE WORLD. And, CHANGE THE WORLD HE HAS DONE…
In Ferguson, they blasted Michael Jackson’s “THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US” through car windows.
In Baltimore there was a magical moment when the Morgan State University choir answered protest with a rendition of “HEAL THE WORLD.”
“The price has been paid, but the check was never cashed. Maybe, we just need to finally listen to Michael Jackson.”
“Light gives itself freely, filling every available space.” Michael Strassfeld
Joining Michael’s voice is where we find ourselves today. It is up to us to educate the world. We are the enlightened ones. We are the hopeful ones. Our strength comes from love, giving us power that no lie or hater can match. We are obligated to share what we have benefitted from, and in that way…WE ARE HERE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
Thank you, Michael, for never giving up and never giving in.
Thank you for showing us enormous bravery in the face of unparalleled cruelty and unprecedented dishonesty.
Thank you, Michael, for loving unconditionally, with a light that shines on.
We are here for you.
WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.