Michael Jackson. Legendary Icon of the entertainment industry, beloved the world over, soft-spoken, demanding perfection, success beyond most humans in the history of mankind. He endured difficult times, his childhood, accusations and personal judgements throughout his career. An amazing talent is an understatement, he was the G.O.A.T that was gone all too soon.
Now comes a new film with renewed accusations of sexual abuse against children. All the typical arguments are being made, and he is also vehemently defended by legions of fans and his family. The list of people in the public eye accused of sexual misconduct is an ever-increasing litany of sadness. Then there are those associated with the church, college and grade school campuses, etc.
I want to break this down a little for a moment.
Let’s begin with the family. They are standing up for Mr. Jackson and speaking what he cannot in his defense. Blood is always thicker than water, they will not believe what their minds cannot comprehend.
The fan’s are understandably upset and in denial. A talented and humble entertainer that brought all walks of life, all races, and even all age groups together marveling at the gifts he possessed.
As for myself, I was astounded by his talent and the outpouring of love he received everywhere he went. I often listen to his music, especially the Thriller album. As a vocalist, dancer, choreographer he was the gold standard, the one everyone else was measured by.
But let’s get to some not so popular thoughts. As a child who was sexually abused by my father, the closest people to him didn’t even see it. My own mother didn’t know. The church was unable to provide even the basic protections. The authorities weren’t notified, I was even put right back into the environment after the truth was finally exposed. I can vouch for the fact that people, even family can’t accept in their minds what they don’t want to believe.
When there are accusations over a period of years, even if some are “proven” to be false, people can rationalize away things. I heard someone the other day talking about the Catholic Church scandal, saying that this is in all walks of life. In every industry, every level of success and prosperity. It matters not if you are gifted or not, rich or poor, jobless or a leader in the world of business, politics or finance, there are abusers everywhere. They rely on threats, coercion, bribes, shame to keep their victims quiet.
I say this from personal experience.
So here’s the deal. Some will never believe MJ did anything wrong, and there is family that would never accept that anything remotely as despicable could’ve possibly happened between Michael and those children.
I can tell you, that often people come forward years and sometimes decades after they have been violated. It’s just a fact. I can also say that it takes a lot of courage to do this. When I finally was in a place to do something about my fathers abuse, my brothers didn’t want to prosecute. My therapist told me if it was my words against his, it would be a long and very difficult to walk.
So, what am I left to do? I am scarred by depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar disorder. I cannot work because of the panic attacks and overwhelming anxiety. I envision killing myself. And the perp walked away, free. No justice.
What am I saying? Withhold your opinions and defense and let these things play out. Your incessant chatter won’t make a difference anyway. What you believe isn’t important, you weren’t there. You didn’t spend a moment with MJ in private, or a second of time in Neverland.
Don’t blame the alleged victims. Let the judicial system do what it’s meant to do. Find the truth, prosecute the perp, and mete out judgment.