As a young man growing up in the 1980’s, I like most of the world was enthralled by Michael Jackson. His Thriller album is what first caught my attention, and as I learned more about this mysterious man, his brilliant music and otherworldly talent, I knew, even at a young age, that I was witnessing something special.
As the years went on, Micheal seemed to grow even more secretive and enigmatic. As people often do, unfortunately, I assumed that must be a bad thing.
As Michael became the target of criminal probes based on allegations of inappropriate conduct with young men, I, along with much of the world and media, assumed the worst about him. Even up to his death, I thought he probably had done something wrong.
While my individual opinion on Michael Jackson would not matter much to the man, I have to say now that I was wrong. I did not take the time to really educate myself and learn the facts behind the cases against Michael. Because he seemed different, it must mean that he was guilty of the hideous acts that he was alleged to have committed.
And yet, all the while, the evidence was right in front of all of us. The fact is, Michael’s accusers have been discredited based on the facts. The fact is, even while being accused of horrible acts, Michael continued to talk about peace and love in the world. The fact is, Michael was by almost all accounts very nurturing and loving to young people in his world and loved children and the promise they hold.
The amount of media attention that Michael’s trial and accusations garnered dwarfed that of the attention given to the admission by Jordan Chandler, his accuser in 1993, that stated he had in fact made up the accusations against Michael. I only recently read about how Jordan Chandler recanted and admitted that what he had told investigators was a lie.
If the media were being fair and balanced and if they had the interest of truth in mind, why would this not have been big news? Why would the media not have reported the details of Chandler’s admission in the same breathtaking fashion in which they reported the original and ongoing accusations?
This bothers me a great deal. Brilliant artists are, by their very nature, often times eccentric. They often times act differently than the rest of us. They see and feel things that the rest of us do not. This is part of their specialness. Does this mean that they are automatically guilty of the things that they are accused of doing? Should they be ostracized and criticized simply because they think of things and see things differently?
I intend to do whatever I can to investigate the media reports and allegations concerning Michael and report them as I see them. I intend to present the facts in as clear a fashion as possible. If everybody does their part and tries to treat people with the respect that they deserve, perhaps Michael Jackson will be able to rest in peace.