Michael Jackson: Congressman Calls Out Those Glorifying His Departure

U.S Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) recently called Michael Jackson a “pervert” and urged everyone to stop “glorifying” him.

King also made overtures that our society glorifies Michael Jackson while ignoring teachers, police officers, firefighters and veterans.

“He was a pervert, a child molester; he was a pedophile. To be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country?”

A makeshift memorial for Michael Jackson.

A makeshift memorial for Michael Jackson.

If we ignore for a moment that King is using Jackson’s death to show his support for teachers, police officers, firefighters and veterans; if we ignore the fact that he’s a continent away from the epicenter of Jackson support; if we ignore the fact that even major new media outlets have devolved into nothing more than entertainment; and if we ignore the fact that honoring Michael Jackson doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t honor anyone else, the congressman does raise a very good question.

Many of the people we’ve seen on television wailing at make shift Jackson memorials were the same people calling for his imprisonment during his 2005 child molestation trail.

Michael Jackson was found not guilty of ten charges including four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor, one count of abduction, and one count of conspiring to hold victims captive. Despite the acquittal, the trail featured some damaging testimony and unflattering revelations about the singer.

Even if we believe Jackson is one-percent innocent (which is unlikely) his actions, mainly platonically sleeping with children (which he admitted too) was highly inappropriate.

There was a reason why Jackson had to launch his comeback in Europe and not in the States. Americans were appalled by what they heard during his trail. Although judging by the amount of people vigorously mourning his death, you can hardly believe the man had a detractor.

The loss of Michael Jackson was felt all around the world.

The loss of Michael Jackson was felt all around the world.

Beyond the allegations of sexual misconduct, it’s clear that Michael Jackson was weird. Not to excuse his behavior, but being famous for 45 of the 50 years you’re alive has a tendency to do that to a person.

Suffice to say, and regardless of what Reverend Al Sharpton proclaimed, “he’s not a freak, he’s a genius,” Jackson was a “freak” and quite possibly an immoral freak.

This leaves us with dilemma. How exactly do we classify Jackson since he’s simultaneously the King of Pop and a world class weirdo?

Does his music trump his nefarious actions?

Do we forgive his transgression because he made Thriller?

Can we praise his work while concurrently condemning his behavior?

Do we necessarily have to eschew his music in order to protest his lifestyle?

Does race have anything to do with his glorification?

Michael Jackson's music earned him million of fans and mourners.

Michael Jackson's music earned him million of fans and mourners.

In an epoch of 24-hour media and ubiquitous cameras, this is far from the last time we’re going experience this type of duality. How will we eulogize O.J. Simpson, Phil Specter or Mike Tyson? While those are bad examples, like Jackson, all three were at one time or another, the best at what they did.

No one, no matter who they are, will go from the womb to the grave without disappointing us. Certainly some of the men and women Representative King wishes society would honor have erred in their lifetime. Moral transgressions aren’t the sole property of the famous.

As for Michael Jackson he should probably be remember as leading an incredibly flawed life except when it came to making music. Anything more than that is just too weird.


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