Friday, July 10, 2009

It Is Time To Bury Al Sharpton's Brand of Racist Demagoguery

In the midst of the fawning media coverage over Michael Jackson's life and death, the loudest and most belligerent voice was that of the Most Hateful Man in America, Al Sharpton. Beginning with the tribute at the Apollo Theatre, Sharpton demonstrated that he does not have the capacity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Michael Jackson (or of anyone else, for that matter). His purpose at that tribute was the same as every word that comes out of his sleazy, vile pie hole. It was an opportunity to stoke the fires of racial division and convince Blacks that they are always only one step ahead of the lynch mob. It was also another chance to apply another layer of White guilt.

Rolling Stone covered Sharpton's diabolical hatefest, masked as tribute.

“It was absolutely disgraceful. If you look at how they deal with Michael’s so-called shortcomings and then the shortcomings of Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley, it’s nowhere in the same world.”

By the way, the "so-called shortcomings" that Jackson was most disparaged for involved child molestation. I've never heard that Sinatra or Elvis diddled with little boys during sweet little sleepovers. To be honest, I'm not sure that Sinatra was in any way comparable in any "shortcomings." I do know that to anyone born after 1970, Elvis Presley seems like a punch line. Skinny Elvis vs. Fat Elvis. Elvis sightings. The Jungle Room. Elvis on drugs. Elvis' bad movies. If Sharpton wants to accuse "White America" of protecting the memory of Elvis he is as clueless as he is vicious. In truth, Presley's greatness as a performer has been turned into a pathetic caricature. And, adult Elvis didn't sleep with little boys and put on music and give them milk and cookies while they laid in bed. Elvis, Frank and most Americans do not agree with Michael that such behavior is "charming."

“There’s been an unprecedented allowance of negative, exaggerated and scandalous stories told about Michael Jackson and the Jackson family… In the temple of black entertainment on the stage that produced the Sarah Vaughns and the Ella Fitzgeralds, and the Jackie Wilsons and the James Browns we want to send a message around the world that you can write what you want and say what you want, Michael Jackson was ours and we are Michael Jackson and we love Michael Jackson!”

Jacko's oddities were no more scandalized than any other celebrity. Sharpton is clearly making this a black vs. white issue. Is he saying that Black people support pedophilia? That is the biggest criticism Jackson received. Is he saying that is a non-issue for Blacks? I'm pretty sure a large percentage of Black parents would not have allowed their children to spend the night with Michael Jackson no matter how much they admired his music.

“The reason we don’t listen to what you tell us on the news is we Remember the Time when nobody heard our culture, nobody would listen to our words…. You can scandalize him but we know better! Michael wasn’t no freak. Michael was a genius. Michael was an innovator. You can’t take someone with extraordinary skill, extraordinary talent and make them an ordinary person.”

Chuck Berry? Fats Domino? the Temptations? Wilson Pickett? the Four Tops? Diana Ross and the Supremes? Little Richard? Ray Charles? Charley Pride? Otis Redding? Aretha Franklin? Smokey Robinson and the Miracles? Nat King Cole? These are just a few of the Black artists who were superstars before Michael Jackson appeared. Yes, he was an outstanding performer and worldwide phenomenon, but he was hardly the Jackie Robinson of pop music.

It would have better to just celebrate Michael Jackson the entertainer. But, that sweaty, smarmy cretin Al Sharpton does not have such joy in his dark soul. Jackson was a gifted performer, but one with deep personal issues that range from his deranged father, the pitfalls of uber-fame, and the inappropriate behaviors that marked his relationships with children. The Apollo tribute and the funeral would have been a great opportunity to tune out the troubled person and focus on the performer. Instead, the lowlife punk threw pedophilia into America's face and essentially said "if you think that is odd, you are a racist!"

From Sharpton's rambling eulogy at Jackson's memorial service:

It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together! It was Michael Jackson that made us sing "We are the World" and feed the hungry long before Live Aid!

Because Michael Jackson kept going, he created a comfort level where people that felt they were separate became interconnected with his music. And it was that comfort level that kids from Japan and Ghana and France and Iowa and Pennsylvania got comfortable enough with each other to, later, it wasn't strange to us to watch Oprah on television. It wasn't strange to watch Tiger Woods golf.

Those young kids grew up from being teenage comfortable fans of Michael's to being 40years old and being comfortable to vote for a president of color to be the president of the United States of America.

Michael did that! Michael made us love each other! Michael taught us to stand with each other!...

...Michael rose to the top. He out-sang his cynics. He out-danced his doubters. He outperformed the pessimists.

I thought Coca-Cola taught the world to sing in perfect harmony? This was so over the top it became comical rather than inspirational. People of the world get along better because of Michael Jackson? Gimme a break. Sharpton's total dismissal of other great Black artists is insulting to dozens of great performers who sold millions of records worldwide and broke down barriers. What did Michael Jackson have to overcome? In the early 1970s, there were the Osmonds and the Jackson Five. Pre-teen girls and little old ladies preferred Donny and the boys, but the rest of America, white and black, was much more into the Jackson Five. We didn't need a speech from a hateful demagogue or to have Black music explained. It was good. We got it.

I also don't remember any cynics when Michael went solo. As I recall, his music was all over the radio and he was everywhere. I was a teenager at the time and I don't recall anyone saying, "don't listen to that Michael Jackson stuff, he's Black, you know. Let's push Leif Garrett up the charts!" His ascendency to mega-stardom coincided with the growth of MTV and the video craze of the 1980s. Was there agitation to keep Jacko's music and videos off the air? Quite the contrary, he was huge. People only cared about the talent. He didn't have to fight "the Man" to get ahead. "The Man" was too busy doing his own clumsy imitation of the moon walk.

The worst thing about Sharpton's loud and disgraceful call to racial disunity during the Jackson mourning period was that the media once again made him the voice of Black America. I've never known a Black person as hateful as Al Sharpton. His existence and his wealth (by the way, where does he get his money?) depend on fomenting racial suspicion and distrust. Yet, there was Bill O'Reilly once again providing a forum to this scumbag. Sharpton has nothing to offer except an ability to loudly divide Americans. Michael Jackson is being laid to rest. It is also time we lay to rest Al Sharpton's bully pulpit as a racist rabblerouser.

1 comment:

  1. If only...and could he take Jesse Jackson with him?