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June 30th, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Michael Jackson on race – his race

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/26/michael.jackson/art.michael.jackson.gi.jpg]

Carmen Van Kerckhove | BIO
Race and Diversity Consultant
President, New Demographic

I got a call yesterday morning from a radio show producer asking if I thought it hypocritical for African-Americans to celebrate Michael Jackson as a black man, since it seems to many people that he spent most of his life turning himself white.

She stopped short of calling Jackson a race traitor, but the implication was clear. And it did get me thinking about the strange role that race played - and didn't play - in Jackson’s life and career.

Race is never simple, especially when it comes to a complex artist like Michael Jackson.

Jackson often expressed in his music a hopefulness - “It don’t matter if you’re black or white” - about race relations that many found naïve. And yet had no qualms about using anti-Semitic lyrics in his song “They Don’t Care About Us” - "Jew me/Sue me/Everybody do me/Kick me/Kike me."

We will never know what drove Jackson to alter his appearance so drastically during his adult life. Jackson said that he suffered from vitiligo, a condition that eliminates pigment from skin leaving white blotches. His dermatologist and others close to Jackson, including Deepak Chopra, have also said he had vitiligo, even though many people have expressed doubt about it, fueling debate over whether Jackson was "trying to be white."

But what about the plastic surgery, the nose, the hair, and other obviously altered aspects of his appearance? On our blog Racialicious, Readers have been speculating about whether he was driven by internalized racism or something else: an extreme form of artistic expression, an obsessive desire to fix one's appearance called "body dysmorphic disorder," or a desire to erase any resemblance to Joe Jackson, his abusive father.

One of the best insights we have into Jackson’s emotional life is a television interview he did with Oprah Winfrey in 1993. He admitted then to being a perfectionist and added, “I'm never pleased with myself. No, I try not to look in the mirror.”

Whatever drove this apparent self-loathing, I don’t believe we can separate race from the equation. Race cannot be separated with precision from body dysmorphic disorder, hatred of his tyrannical father, or any potentially relevant theory being discussed right now.

Why?

Because if he hated his body, he was hating a black man’s body. If he hated his father, he was hating a black man. Race ran through it all; we cannot and should not dismiss its effect.

Does that mean we should take the alterations he made to his appearance as evidence that he hated being black?

Not necessarily.

Apart from the changes to his physical appearance, there is little compelling evidence that Michael Jackson tried to distance himself from the African-American community.

From Wesley Snipes in “Bad” to Eddie Murphy and Iman in “Remember the Time,” Jackson consistently featured black actors and models in his music videos. He also collaborated frequently with black producers such as Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley, and Rodney Jerkins, as well as with black recording artists such as Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and R. Kelly.

And unlike some other celebrities who express unease with racial or ethnic labels, there was never a parcel of equivocation when he talked about his racial identity.

In fact, during the same interview with Oprah, Jackson stated emphatically: “I'm a black American, I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am.”

So was Michael Jackson a unique contradiction in terms? Is it possible to be filled with racial pride and self-loathing at the same time?

Of course it is. Race is a complicated thing.

My mother, for instance, is a fiercely nationalistic Chinese woman, to the point of near-bigotry. She rarely misses an opportunity to throw a spotlight on the supposed superiority of Chinese culture and often claims that the Chinese people were inventing gunpowder, paper money, and printing presses at a time when Europeans were still living in caves.

Yet as a teenager, this same woman collected photos of Caucasian babies and longed to have white children. She eventually married a European man and went on to have three biracial daughters - including me.

Like Jackson, my mother suffered verbal and physical abuse from her father - a compulsive gambler who once pawned the wedding ring he gave his own wife to pay off his debts.

Of course, not all racial self-hatred can be traced back to an abusive childhood. Each of our individual histories and the histories of our ancestors act in concert to shape who we become and what we value. And when personal histories are complex (as most are), they often result in a racial identity that is equally complex and sometimes even contradictory.

A rush to judgment accusing Michael Jackson of being a race traitor is unfair to the complexity of his life. Unless we take sufficient time to develop an understanding and empathy for his story, it’s easy to make simplistic claims or assumptions about why he wanted to change his appearance.

From what I have been able to discover, Michael was not trying to erase his race; he was trying to get comfortable with his face. He wanted, as we all do, to love the man in the mirror. Why he never did, we’ll never know.

Millions of people around the world loved the man who wore that face, no matter how many times it changed over the years. Had he known that, perhaps he would have left well enough alone.

soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. fan 4 ever

    michael jackson you are in our hearts 4 ever. you inspired me and my family. you were an inspiration to me. yor music will live in our hearts forever. R.I.P. michael jackson.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  2. Pete MICT/RN

    Slight pulse is as good as no pulse. If you can't feel it you do need to go ahead and do compressions.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  3. Brenda Emmerson

    I'm not going to speculate on Michael's changing color except to say I remember watching The Making of Thriller documentary 15 years ago. There are two moments in it that are particularly painful to watch. Michael is sitting in the makeup chair and looking at one of the prop-cast of his face. Just the look that appeared on his face..it was so obvious that he did not like what he saw. I felt so embarassed for him. I know how it feels to view what the american media defines as beautiful; then realize that you don't fit it. I wish he knew how beautiful he was..by any measure. I love you Michael.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  4. Wanza

    "When A Man pleases The Lord, He maketh his enemies even be at peace at him." Michael's turmoil is just Michael's. To say that he hated his skintone is crazy. Non-Blacks always questioning the Black population from the way we actulate the English language to our fashion choices. Sadly, Michael and his life is no different.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  5. Shirley

    I don't know much about Michael Jackson just what the new say about him, but I do think he was a very nice person. The only think that i'm concern about is if his soul went to heaven. Forget all of this stuff down here it's not about nothing if you gain the whole world and loss your own soul.

    June 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  6. Pete MICT/RN

    My question is why was the doctor doing CPR on the bed, according to the 911 tapes? Has he note had a CPR class, the 911 dispatcher had to tell him to move hime to the floor.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  7. Eric Jackson Sr.

    You can't turn yourself another color, he was born black and please respect that, he left us black.

    Keep it real.

    Eric Jackson Sr.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  8. Lily

    I watched in BBC a group of people discussing about Michael Jackson's life and they discussed about his skin colour and race. One person said Michael changed his skin colour because in the 1970s and 1980s white America and white Europe had given the image that black was ugly. I think Michael Jackson changed his skin colour not because he wanted to be Caucasian and not because he was not proud of being African-American, but maybe because he wanted to have fairer skin and because he was unhappy with his original look.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  9. Isa

    Anderson,

    I do not think that MJ's children should be any of the public's business. What if those kids where watching TV while you talk about MJ not being their real father. It is none of our business. Please leave them alone. Enough already with MJ's sad ending. Isn't there any news going on in this world lately beside his death?

    June 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  10. Betty

    The only thing about his Mother getting the children to me is her age. I am much younger than her and I would not want to take on that big of a job. They need someone younger, just my opinion.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  11. Tonya, Louisville,Ky

    Michael Jackson DEAD at 50. Enough said! I don't understand why people out there are being so nasty on here! If this was your family member you would just die to read some of things people are saying. I understand Michael Jackson is all over ever news channel. But rather you like it or not he was and still is an ICON! And this whole race thing has got to go, black, white, who gives a ( ya know). Look I'm a white girl from Kentucky and I loved Michael just as the next black person standing next to me. What does race have to do with it. Oh I guess only certain races can be Michael Jackson fans. Bull! I have 2 daughters that are also Michael Jackson fans. Now as far as the whole did he or didn't he do that stuff to those kids, Michael and GOD only know. I myself never once thought he did. In the end remember he was found innocent! Now the only bad thing I have to say to the news channels are, stop making it sound like he did something wrong. My oldest daughter can remember everything that happened in 2003 so she can make her own judgement, but as far as my youngest daughter, it's gong to take her a few years to understand all of it, and I don't want any news channels putting things out there that they don't know is true or not. Let them have there own opinion! Anyways we've lost our icon lets all have some compassion, and remember his family and kids now at there time of need. God Bless the Jackson Family, and may God be with you!

    June 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  12. K Steele

    We all feel sad that this happened to Michael. So many of us grew up with him and it's just difficult to accept this tragedy. But what I don't understand is how come no one is saying it like it is. Michael, in effect, did kill himself. From early on he did things to himself that he should have never done. The surgeries; the nose jobs; the face lifts; the bleaching (it was never reported that he had a skin disease) he must've never been happy when he looked at himself in the mirror. Not being happy with himself only caused him to draw further and further away from the society that so so adored him and deeper and deeper into a solitude that is unforgiving. The medications, over the years, were a self induced conscience coma that eventually lead to his premature death.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  13. Shaunte

    as i have said before to everyone who is tired of watching and hearing about MJ...change the channel! simple solution. try it!

    June 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Shaunte

    i believe he did have the disease, but because of his insecurities he did whatever he needed to do to make it blend. even if that meant changing his skin color completly. i gues we will never really know. my only question is, why does it matter so much?

    June 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  15. Paris

    I think the only news you haven't covered about Michael Jackson, Anderson, is what type of underwear he was wearing at the time of his death. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  16. marjorie

    My brother died recently within hours the ME knew my brother did not drink nor do drugs. No offense to Dr Gupta I tell you Drs in codes do not perform CPR. They usually give orders and call out continue CPR people. If Dr Murray panic on that day he would not have remembered what surface Michael was on. He found a weak pulse he should have right away call 911and provide breathing not CPR. If Michael got even a little diprivan he would go into respiratory distress. As much money as he had why didn't he have a ventilator at home anyway. If Michael wanted to play with these drugs the first thing he should have bought should have been a VENTILATOR.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  17. Als

    I dont think this is a race issue. Nobody is satified with the way they look or the Plastic Surgery offices woulld not be a billion dollar business. Hollywood celebrities lives in the Plastic surgery offices daily around the country. , People have tummy tucks, lip injections tans, boob jobs and removel of something thats not normal.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  18. Josh

    King of pop is dead. its sad. I thing he was take a lot more then drugs

    June 30, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  19. Ann

    Won't the autopsy finally settle whether or not he really had vitiligo or not?

    June 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  20. W.A.T.W.

    The moment i found out of the death of Micheal Jackson, of course i was very very sad.

    I have three questions.

    my first Question is:
    Why would the MD check on Micheal while he was asleep in bed.
    If he didnt know that there was anything wrong with him?

    My second Question is:
    Micheal had a light pulse but, he wasnt breathing,
    As a medical doctor, should'nt he have known to put Micheal
    on the floor (or a hard surface) while giving CPR.

    My third Question is:
    When the peramedics arrived did they find the doctor giving
    Micheal CPR, the reason i question you this if you have already begun to conduct CPR you cant stop, unless you get the peramedics to take over. unless the doctor already pronounced dead.

    But no matter what the situation, we all know that Micheal is in a better place and his legacy will live on forever. God Bless his children and family.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  21. Florence Emerson

    I agree Patriot, with your comments, but people are interested in this story..I know it is repetitious, but the public has an insatiable need to know more and more.
    With regards to the passing of Michael Jackson, (this being my first post on the topic) I am deeply saddened by his passing. He was a wonderful entertainer and artist, and will be sadly missed by those who loved him the most, his family, and especially his 3 children, whom he will never see grow up.
    I'm glad they will be with the grandmother, and I hope they grow up to be wonderful contributers to society.
    I heard that MJ had a will at the office of one of his lawyers, and that Joe Jackson has been cut out of it....Good! He was an evil man to Michael and does'nt deserve a dime.

    June 30, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  22. Pierce

    I am shocked about the "Lupus Factor" & the comments that he had this disease. I have had Lupus for 6 years and I can't even begin to explain to you the tremendous amount of pain that I suffer through daily. A patient with Lupus "looks" like a drug seeker, "quacks" like an addict, "sings & dances" like a healthy icon; but every minute- of every day -of most of our lives is filled with the most excrutiating pain that no volume of drugs can diminish. If MJ had Lupus then he would probably have had the same cocktail of highly potent opiods, respiratory depressants, stimulants and various drugs that the 'doctors' legally prescribe for me, every single day. The difference is that my 'doctors' require a C-PAP machine to keep the refills coming & me alive through the night. It takes everything I have in my drug arsenal to push down the pain and get out of bed just to go to the bathroom. Talk to "qualified" Lupus Doctors: Pain Management Specialist, Rheumatologist, Neurologist...........

    June 30, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  23. Vee

    MJ has moved on to a "much better place", if it is true he wasseeking muliple MDs for opiods and opiates, and if his pain was real, then let him R.I.P. His pain is over, let him get the rest he longed for.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  24. Judith Daum RN

    Let;s talk about propofol ie Diprovan. I have been an OR nurse for many years and Diprovan has been used extensively by anesthesia practitoners for concious sedation and anesthesia. It is given only by IV and can cause respiratory depression or suppression in high doses. Therefore it must be administered wtih constant monitoring of cardiac and respiratory function. This drug is also used in ICU for sedation as well as in some physician offices that do procedures requiring concious sedation
    (sedated notrequiring respiratory assistance) Examples of these offices are oral surgery, plastic surgery etc. Perhaps Mr. Jackson had opportunity to receive this medication during one of his (many documented) plastic surgeries. Please give the public factual info

    June 30, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  25. Dr. Frank Ferrer

    Dear Anderson:
    Proprofol, is what Anesthesiologist use to induce
    Anesthesia may it be as a sedative, or to induce Anesthesia. It is given
    intravenous and the practioner must ready to control the airway. It is used with close monitors as in a operating room setting.

    Frank Ferrer, CT

    June 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  26. Wendy

    I believe MJ misunderstood a lot of things as a young child, which were not explained or went unanswered in life, thus carried over in his adult life, where he became misunderstood...RIP MJ.
    ---------
    NOTE: If you are among those that do NOT wish to hear about Michael Jackson, turn off the TV or turn the page to your News of interest or go to the Interest where you can be in control. When the Playboy Bunny Anna Nicole Smith died in February 2007, I did not hear such complaints or remarks while the media discussed her for MONTHS afterwards, happily distracting Americans from World events. TIP: CSPAN has not changed its discussion.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  27. Marion

    Insensitivity = Division
    Seems as though many are attempting to cause a divide between Michael Jackson and the African American community...This happens all too often. Michael Jackson was a black man and treated as one by the media and the many who hated him because of his many accomplishments. I challenge CNN and the many bloggers to have a discussion of his many charitable contributions ($300 million) and how he looked beyond race to help others. What some of you dont understand is that some people are above race and view all of US as just people.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  28. Joanne Osinkowski Ontario Canada

    My suspicion is that The Dr. @ his home gave into michael's demand for a sedative and administered propofol intervinously and gave to much. Propofol is used in I.C.U. and the O.R. to sedate patients for surgeries and patients who are intubated or on life support to keep them asleep and comfortable. This is a very dangerous drug and should never be administered out of Hospital. However this drug leaves the body and wears off very quickly so They may not be able to detect in toxicology testing .

    June 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  29. jeneen hunter

    if all men had the heart of micheal this world would be a paradise. even in death people, tabloids are saying hurtful things about micheal. i love micheal no matter what. he did gods will and thats clear to see to a blind man. youre in jehovahs hands noow micheal and hes a just god.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  30. DKB

    Donna

    I totally agree. Jamie Foxx made me mad when he said Michael Jackson belonged to them. They threw him to the wolves because he turned himself white and NOW they claim him?! Shameful. Chris Rock is one of the worst in making fun of MJ. If Chris Rock comes out and claims Michael, I'll throw up. Michael never belong to one group!

    June 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  31. Gordon

    Just heard two very revealing reports that seem to fully explain Michael Jackson's death - congrats to Campbell Brown for good journalism which did break news that a rabbi begged Jackson to control his drug use more than a year ago - and a nurse refused Jackson's request last week for a sedative normally used only in hospital emergency rooms. Those two interviews are the most significant I have seen since Jackson died.

    June 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  32. Kathy

    Anderson Cooper Thank you for being so diligent with all your reports.

    Point blank about the race issue, watch the Oprah meets Michael Jackson on You tube, he clearly says he is proud of his heritage.

    This is just so heart breaking....

    June 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  33. DawnMD

    Dear AC and Readers:

    I understand that Michael Jackson had controversies but I am so tired of the media beating up on him.

    Most of the journalists, anchors and commentators want to dissect and criticize him for everything.

    The media is even characterizing the Death Investigation as a Murder Investegation and raising questions about his Doctor.

    His family is grieving right now; how would you feel if this was your son?

    I understand the need to "get the story" but I think it should be sprinkled with compassion; Please lay off th snyde remarks.

    We get that Michael was troubled but he is not even alive to defend himself.
    I think that Michael had Lupus; the symptoms fit what was portrayed in his behavior.
    Please also keep in mind that a lot of the people you are interviewing are classis "Fame Seekers" cashing in on his death.

    June 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm |
  34. J.Spencer

    Please print or post something good that Michael Jackson did for the Planet. He is gone, for the love of God and man kind stop bashing him. It is very unkind to speak ill of the dead. He did a lot of the kids, the poor, the community, and charity. Please let him rest in peace.

    AC, please print something good. I know you can find something good, that he did. How about posting how much he gave to charity, the community, friends, and the many moochers, and the so call friends. AC, you need to start posting a documentary on
    Michael Jackson work and what a gave back to the community. He was an ordnary man who had an extronardy life. Please be fair and post also the good not the bad.

    A.C. keep up the good work.

    Bethesda,Maryland

    June 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  35. teri kirby(windsor ontario)

    Hi Anderson. sad sad time. as a retired R.N. I am surprised that no professional has noted that when ther is a pulse-heartbeat you abdolutely DO NOT do compressions. If a person is not breathing you assist in maintaining an airway, My prayers go out to those who loved Michael and did not exploit or enable him. An awesome talent A sad man-child. Thank you Anderson for your show.

    June 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  36. Shannon- Sugarland, Texas

    I think it is important for you to continue following this story in how Michael Jackson died. The drugs he was taking are called the "suburban drugs". People assume they are safe and become addicted to them very easily. I think we should leave his children alone. Let them bury their father. He was a good one. He protected them from the press and had them cover their faces. He would be sad to know their pictures are now being put on magazines.--- If he really wanted to make money, he could have used them to do it. He protected them, someting any good father would do. I hope Janet tries for custody. She is so much like Michael and she has no children of her own.

    June 30, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  37. Christopher

    I am sick and tired of hearing about Michael Jackson. Not one work about Farrah from CNN or AC360. Enough with Michael Jackson.

    June 30, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  38. Fay - California

    Michael Jackson's drastically changing appearance was one of the reasons why I began to have misgivings about him after having grown up watching him as a cute kid in the 70's and admiring The Jackson Five's music. I always doubted his claim of suffering from a skin condition and I really believed he deliberately tried to become something other than who he really was–perhaps he did have other reasons for transforming his appearance in such a dramatic way, but it was difficult not to believe that he wasn't fully comfortable with his race. The entire Jackson family have had nose jobs and many (not all) African-American's have historically had issues with not meeting the supposed "standard of beauty" in this country–it's a sad issue that I'm certain that Michael Jackson grappled with his entire life.

    June 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  39. Gordon

    Until this past week I always enjoyed CNN's great variety of news coverage, but it is very boring to see hour after hour of repititious Michael Jackson stories while everything else is condensed to a few seconds of passing mentions. Sure MJ deserves some coverage but not to the exclusion of all other interesting and important national and international events. I didn't have a stopwatch to time it but it seemed to me there was more time devoted to moving vans at Jackson's house than the fact the House passed a controversial and costly energy bill - what kind of journalism is that?

    June 30, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  40. jan

    CNN/MSNB/FOX/ and all the other media are concerning themselves and are the wolves waiting to devour and whirl a slaughter reports and of innuendos of hate and everything they can muster to write a so called journalist story.
    Who/what/when/where Michael Jackson decides to leave his children and his will is none of the media's business.
    Not even in death will they leave Michael to rest in peace.
    What a horrible and hateful world we live in.
    If they cannot find anything good to report they will dig and dig.
    Why no one ever reported the diapers or pampers Elvis wore because he could not contain his infested drug ridden body?
    This POP STAR has done nothing to anyone. He never had a childhood and that’s about it.
    Allow Michael Jackson to rest in peace. “For God's Sakes!” You hateful vipers.

    June 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  41. Cynthia Koen

    Michael Jackson's death will epitomize the state of human affairs. It will encompass the importance of the home environment and its effects of the human psyche as well as the various ways actions within the home transcends. His death will bring once again to the forefront race and acceptance or lack thereof and finally the greed of men as we will soon witness in the days to come. This event/showcase/funeral/memorial/battle will become one of the greatest if not the greatest phenomemnom since the emancipation proclamation...trust me!

    June 30, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  42. ALAN KENT

    I watched your show yesterday when you had deepak chopra on and he explained about the LUPUS and VITIGLIO Micheal Jackson had was most likely caused by a psychosomatic condition which he backed up by a recent medical study.
    you seemed puzzled and surprised, here is the answer.
    MICHAEL JOESPH JACKSON , had his betrayers name the ex-boxer who made a living from violence and intimidation gave his son his own first name as a middle name....so PSYCOLOGICALLY Micheal was always being attacked emotionally mentally and physically by the man who beat him with his hands with a belt and a switch-a small stick.
    even after the beatings were over because of the shared middle name Michael could never never escape his tormentor.
    Joesph the evil bad inner spirit was always there attacking Micheal from within constantly ESPECIALLY in Michael's SLEEP where you exist only as an inner spirit his inner middle name.
    so it is no wonder this manifested as a variety of weird mental behaviors and his skin condition and especially the lupus which is an auto immune disorder where the body attacks itself as an enemy
    how very twisted tormented and sad this mans life was on a spiritual level
    no wonder he was trying to heal the world, he was trying to heal himself.

    June 30, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  43. Ennis

    Changes in appearing is not a civil crime, but I don't understand why people are erasing the fact that Michael Jackson had changed his color to white. Having an abusive father, skin disease or whatever the situation is, has limited or no reason of him completely turning himself into a white man, instead of his born color. I love him very much and always admire his dance. Look at his picture in "the ABC" video, was he not pretty compare to his present picture until his death? It is clear that he did it for a purpose unknown to the whole World. It is too complicated to distinguish him. In mine opinion, I will say that he is a Black/white man, born of black color and changed to white.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  44. SL

    To the Family of MICHAEL JACKSON
    A Poetry Salute

    Thank you for sharing your Son, Brother and Father
    Throughout the world, throughout the years
    His music through happiness and sadness have brought tears
    He lived in a time
    Performed with the JACKSON 5 only to shine

    A legacy that will forever live
    Which included His philanthropy hence His will to give

    MICHAEL JACKSON will always be the “KING OF POP”
    Far above all at the top
    The Greatness rooted within Him
    Captured on many years of cherished film
    To share with generations and generations
    His mastery and creations

    Celebrate His Life in song and dance
    Celebrate His Greatness every chance

    To the JACKSON FAMILY we salute MICHAEL JACKSON the
    “KING OF POP”
    The Man, The Life, The Music, The Dance
    May His true legacy live on……

    Fans
    by Simmone Lawrence
    Family and Friends

    June 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  45. Carol from DC

    I have been watching the media circle regarding the death of MJ and I am truly saddened by it all. What do I care if MJ complexion has drastically changed from birth? There are many people in this world that has changed something about themselves, whether they are in the media or not. Can we just get pass this? The constant beating of this man and his legal issues is truly upsetting. During is legal woes the media has almost destroyed him and in death you’re doing the same. Let’s just remember and enjoy the great gifts that he has left behind such as; his music and let’s pray for his children which were his greatest gift of all.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  46. anita

    PLEASE, PLEASE-let Michael rest in peace-–ENOUGH already. There is a big world out there with more important problems--love your reporting Anderson--don't get bogged down in this drama!!!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  47. Cynthia Koen

    @ chris
    exactly what is "real news" and under what diety were you deemed the authority, I am anxious for your response.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  48. Cynthia Koen

    @ Dorothy Zastre
    That is a great idea. Why don't you start those tributes for the soldiers and post the information. Thanks

    June 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  49. Cynthia Koen

    @ Paris
    Read your news paper or check online for the news and info you seek. I hope this tip helps you too.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  50. I understand

    Have any of you ever met anyone with vitiligo? I have; my Mother. Vitiligo started affecting her when she was just ten years old after her father died on her birthday. She was then left alone to be raised by her stepmother, who like MJ emotionally abused her . She has told me in tears how having patches on her skin affected her, her entire life. She is also the fist black women on record to go through the complete transformation of turning her skin when she was only 20 years old. Like MJ she was ridiculed for turning her skin white but as she has told me what should she have done; walked around her entire life looking like a spotted animal. It’s very difficult growing up with vitiligo when no ones knows the symptoms’ and how to treat it other than bleaching your skin so it can be one color. Over the years, she has suffered from depression from all the names she was called growing up with this condition. It never goes away. Your called names for appearing different and when you do something to fix it; you are trying to be white. MJ will never have a change to really redeem himself. May he rest now rest in peace

    June 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
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