Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Racially Biased Media

We all sort of knew that this would be coming. While watching television interviews of African American celebrities who discussed the passing of Michael, I noticed a certain …..ummm…defensiveness whenever they were asked about Michael’s use of prescription drugs, the allegations of pedophilia that were brought against him, or his ever lightening skin complexion.

There is no doubt that Michael Jackson was a very talented artist and like most artists: Van Gogh, Elvis Presley, Picasso, Woody Allen, Mr. Jackson led a very colorful or colorless life depending on how you look at him. Michael had some issues (you know he did) and I see nothing wrong with the media bringing up those controversial issues during interviews. There is nothing racist about it. Michael’s iconic status is not only about his musical gifts and tremendous dancing ability, it also encompasses our memories of him as a person- a human being who was indisputably talented but like all of us, not without sin or mistakes.

During the BET Awards....

(side note: BET means Black Entertainment Television. My TV doesn't get a "White Entertainment Television Station. Doesn't that say something?)

... Sean P Diddy Puff Daddy Combs and Jamie Foxx railed at the media charging that coverage of Jackson is racially biased against him and his legacy. Fox News commentator Dr. Lamont Hill charged monday on the O'Reilly Factor that white deceased entertainers are treated differently and with more respect than black entertainers.

Excuse me?

I guess the media has never mentioned that Elvis was an over eating, self indulgent drug abuser prior to his premature death in 1977.

Nobody every mentioned that Anna Nicole Smith was a gold digging, drug abusing whore. That slipped right past the media pundits who painted her as Mother Theresa.

You'd have to dig really deep to find that Jerry Garcia complicated his uncontrolled diabetes with a heroin addiction which ultimately cost him his life.

We live in the age of the first black POTUS. The memo says we are officially living in post-racial America. Yet I have seen more phony racism / faux discrimination claims on the part of the black .... er, I mean, the African American community than ever before. Everyone is a racist now. If you are against affirmative action, because you feel that reverse discrimination is wrong (or just plain discrimination, really), you are a racist. If you mention child molestation charges that Michael Jackson faced, you are being a racist. (Don't forget, Jackson admitted to having children share a bed with him).

And by the way, according to Jamie Foxx, Michael Jackson belongs to black people, anyway.

What is going on should actually alarm people who really care about race relations. Phony charges of racism and phony racist outrage, such as what is going on surrounding the Jackson coverage, dilutes efforts to combat real racism.

Ideally, this should be a watershed year in race relations; an opportunity for healthy and balanced discussion. Instead we get faux outrage and gratuitous accusations.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruling on the Ricci case sent liberals scurrying and whining that our civil rights are being eroded because the court ruled (5 to 4) that white fire fighters were treated unjustly because the city of New Haven threw out test results simply because the results did not FAVOR minorities.

We live in a day when black ...er... African Americans can lift their heads with pride. When people of any race can say to their children that they can grow up to become anything they want to be, including the President of the United States. It's well past time for the African American community to grow up and take responsibility for their own problems and issues.


LL June 30, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

I can't help but completely agree. There has become a sense of "entitlement" based on race alone by many.

Racism may be impossible to eradicate completely, and Michael Jackson should be remembered for his iconic performances, for changing the music industry forever, for his contributions.

His failures of character and abuse of drugs put him in company with many of the great and near great of all races in the entertainment industry. His sexual kinks, while reprehensible should not be the basis of our recollections of him.

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