Inner Michael » Watch your Language: A Word about Comments

Watch your Language: A Word about Comments

Comments you should read:

This post is going to address a few topics as a lot has transpired since we last met. It is important that if you haven’t been getting notifications of comments, that you go back to the last entry and read the comments from readers and the replies. It seems to me that people, and this includes fans, are thinking criticially and seriously about what is going on– in the run up to the trial, in the social media and in the world. It is encouraging to see so many people sit up and take notice. It means you are engaged with the world around you and if you are engaged, you are but a step away from acting to change it. Most of the commentary is respectful and the discussion is enlightening.

With the exception of a few comments that have appeared lately…

Most readers who come to Inner Michael and those who join the family here that looks at the spiritual aspects of Michael’s life and work as well as our own spirituality, are very respectful and even respectful when they disagree. That is civility. There are not many who have come to make trouble and in all this time I can only think of one comment that gave me chills and we all looked at that together. That seemed to work well for us to examine how the way in which we speak and interact with people impacts others and the world. Most of you know our work at Voices Education Project and how we examine how words hurt and harm or are violent. The education packet is now more than 200 pages and growing. If you have not taken a look at the resources, please pay a visit.

Don’t come here to Inner Michael and wipe your dirty mind on my clean spiritual space

There was, however a recent entry that I found a little shocking:

“Michael Jackson is someone not worth celebrating or honoring. He was a HUGE disgrace to mankind. I say this because Michael was responsible for all his actions, behavior when it involves surrounding himself around young children. He was literally obsessed with young children, he always had to put his hands on them, touching them, feeling them. Talk about not respecting someone’s personal space, but he went ahead and had to touch young children. Of course, people are going to question his motives. I just don’t see how any person can sit here and defend this man. He doesn’t have an inner light, he isn’t a savior, he didn’t make the world a better place. There are more important people in the world who have made more of difference in the world (for the better) than Michael ever could. (like Lady Gaga for example. She’s young and doing a tremendous job in being a ‘voice’ for gay community, humanity, the bullied, etc. She brought awareness for the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, is currently meeting with the President) Michael wasn’t an advocate, maybe for child molesters or pedophiles around the world.” ~Leigh

And this person wrote four comments from the same location– under 3 different names:

1. “they say he had the benjamin button thing goin on butbwas does that have bto do with sleepingbwwith boys andvtaking bathsvwith boysv and plaastic surgeries and skin bleaching.” -daphney

2. gree he should havee stayed away from neverland why would a grown man want to be peterpan.

3. all he had to do was stay black and fine, and leave those little white boys alone, all these people around him were not worth a damn.michael did things that always were over the top,including surrounding himself with children,he neverbcould seem to bond with a women. whenn he tuned into a whhiteman thats when everything went down hill, he should have stayed with quincy jones. -linda

4. michael was his own worst enemy why couldnt he have been more kike hie brothers -diane

This is either an uneducated person (who seems black) or someone masquerading as one.


The etymology of Macaca: Mike Scherer

“According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “Jacko” dates back to the mid-1600s, as a Flemish approximation of the Bantu word for monkey in the Congo and southern Gabon. The word migrated north, taking on all the racist connotations that followed African colonization. By the early 1800s, Jacko Maccacco, a famous fighting monkey, could be found on display in Westminster Pit, a notorious London arena for dog fights.The word had entered the common vernacular, and it eventually became a racist shorthand for blacks.

Today, the word is used mainly by two groups of people: scientists studying African and Asian primates, and bullies looking to insult others for the color of their skin. An online dictionary of ethnic slurs lists “macaque” as a French and Belgian word for black North Africans. In the Oxford Spanish Dictionary, “macaco” and “macaca” carry the colloquial meaning of “little devil,” “Chinaman” and “ugly person.” Anthropologists who study Brazilian street slang have noted that the police will call the local kids “macaco,” or monkey, in reference to their African heritage.”

Michael disliked the moniker “Jacko” and spoke to Barbara Walters about it in an interview saying: Where did that come from? Some British tabloid. It’s Jackson. That’s not nice.” The British tabloid that coined “Wacko Jacko” is reputed to be Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World under Kelvin MacKenzie’s tutoring of Piers Morgan. It was picked up and commonly used by other media venues. It has been seen everywhere and is common in language and media still today.

It seems that the media is not aware that “Jacko” is not just a slur or epithet, it is a racist slur. “Jacko” refers to a monkey. It has always referred to monkeys. In the early 1800s, there was a fighting monkey called Jacco Macacco who was fought in the dog ring by his owners. He died after a match with a pit bull. His case was referred to when an advocate for animal rights held public forums and speeches to support legistation to outlaw this type of animal abuse.

“Jacko” also refers to a toy monkey that was popular in the 1950s. It was a wind up toy and in another form, a stuffed toy.

Jacko refers to a monkey no matter how you read it. “Ape,” “monkey,” “macaca,” “porch monkey” are all derivatives of the genus Cercopithecoidea or the family of primates– monkeys, which include Macaques and baboons.

The origins of man through the science of evolution place our species close to apes and Chimpanzees in particular. Many people are of the opinion that blacks are direct decendents of monkeys and that blacks are of course, sub human.

Phillip Atiba Goff, Doctor of Social Psychology and professor at Stanford did a study of the attitudes of whites toward blacks and the association with monkeys. The study shows racism is still very much a part of our culture.

About the study:

Professor Goff:

To call Michael Jackson “wacko” reveals you as a bully. To call Michael Jackson “Jacko” reveals that you are a racist. Period.


  1. vero said . . .

    This is truly amazing. I never knew the history of that word ‘jacko’ and its racist past–so sad re the fighting monkey who died. The barbarism of that time–the picture of all the men watching two animals– no doubt trained with much cruelty– to fight each other, is disgusting and criminal. The same criminal cruelty went on when Michael was called
    “Jacko.” We need better laws to regulate this so-called “journalism,” which pollutes the minds of people who read it. Murdock papers–including the NY Post, The Sun– still trash even after death.

    Thanks for showing that they are even lower than I imagined. I think if michael had not had the Vitiligo and his skin had stayed black, they might have been more cautious, but who knows. I feel so sad for Michael. The comments from the poster are also sad– when will people stop the hate and the misinformation? Much of the confusion about who Michael is/was comes from the same tabloid muckrakers. I think the phone hacking scandal is one way to seriously damage these “news” papers. I hope the USA attorney general will prosecute them here. Keep up the great work to vindicate Michael, Barbara (I am sure you know Barbara means warrior– keep fighting for justice and truth!)

    Posted September 28, 2011 at 4:15 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I am not sure that the newspapers and all the reporters realize how racist the term is. Perhaps it is up to the fans to let them know. Maybe as the media is called out on the term when they use it, the use will disappear. Here is a link to the resource: And we need to stay tuned as indictments in America are on the way.

    That’s not the first time I have heard that about the warrior. Thanks. ~B

    Posted September 28, 2011 at 4:37 am | Permalink
  3. appleh said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara for the article! I heard a few days ago that the word J**** is racist. I just wanted to do a research for myself, but now it´s not necessary anymore. The media thinks that it´s a moniker and it seems that they are still using it because they know exactly many fans are outraged and will increase their website traffic ! I don´t think that they are aware that this is racist, so we need to teach them and hope they will not be connected to racism! I am always turned down when I read comments like that above, there are so many of them in the media. People are giving their opinion without doing a yota of knowlegde! I was a little disturbed by your statement about the person who wrote these awful comments. You suggest that this person must be uneducated (which is obvious), but how do you come to the conclusion that he/she seems to be black ?

    Posted September 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  4. Sue Springer said . . .

    I didn’t realize that so many people were unaware of the bigotry attached to the term Jacko. Perhaps those of us who are, are older. There are days when I seriously wonder if people even think of bigotry any longer — do they ever consider their words and talk in light of the definition of bigotry. We have such a long way to travel. And why do the haters still feel it is necessary to visit sites like Inner Michael, knowing the site is solely in support of Michael. That is insidious because they must be intent on spreading their hate. With the start of the trial, the pain is just overwhelming. Hard to keep my head up of late. Love and peace, and thank you Rev. B.

    Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink
  5. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hello. I am not sure whether the person is uneducated or a decoy. The reference to being black is because of “he just had to stay black” because white people who think that don’t usually say it because it is politically incorrect now and most racists prefer to stay covert. And I doubt that a white person would say “all he had to do was leave those little white boys alone.” I wouldn’t expect a white person to say that. Unless, as I said, it’s a decoy. I hope you didn’t take offense; none was intended.

    Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    As I said, this is rare. Inner Michael is first a spiritual journey, then a research project and thirdly, a look into Michael Jackson’s life and work. When I looked into Jackson’s story, I found a spiritual vein and someone who was on a spiritual path. His work reflects that he became a lifelong cosmologist and spiritual devotee. And when I looked into the charges of harming children, I was stunned at the evidence of what really happened that is out there for all to see. The “Jacko” slur and “Wacko Jacko” is one stage in the deliberate dismembering of the person and personhood of Michael Jackson– solely for profit in tabloids and newspapers. Jackson may have been a sophisticated artist, but was naive about people and far too trusting. His circumstances were isolating and the world he interacted with was far more cynical than he. Yet, instead of treasuring this unique human being and sensitive artist, the world bullied him, lied about him, falsely accused him and killed him. The people who would come here to spread their brand of poision need to recognize that it originates not in Michael Jackson, but in themselves. Michael only provides the mirror. ~B

    Posted September 29, 2011 at 2:13 am | Permalink
  7. RowdyRunt said . . .

    It appears to me that everyone who would argue Michael was a disgrace has only one point to make, and that being of course his deep love of and respect for children. However it is our society which has trained us to fear affection, and to treat love as a weakness, and kindness as the mark of inferiority. It is our society that tells us the love of another human being is sick and disgusting …but it is our society which is diseased. Michael was able to avoid the illness. Michael was not brought up as a “normal” member of society. He avoided all of its fears and misconceptions. Michael was a beacon of light in our darkened world, and we should have learned from him while we had the chance. It is my hope that those who fear and shun and scuttle away from the light like plague carrying cockroaches remove their learned insecurities and embrace his lessons.

    Posted September 29, 2011 at 4:26 am | Permalink
  8. gertrude said . . .

    I am gutted that diseased venom got space here, but I understand why. Reverend B. you were shocked by it – perhaps because you don’t read that much of the repulsive commenting that goes on on-line whenever anything at all shows up in the Smearedia at large about Michael? This kind of thing is always there, and often in ghastly quantities. I know I studiously avoid reading comments now because I just can’t handle it anymore. I despair of the human race when I do – and its not just the comments on Michael related topics – its EVERYthing now. Its beyond belief and beyond insane how many things are the target of bilious rage. This sick dementia shows up in “comments” no matter what the topic!

    When I was a kid I was taught at an early age what Yellow jounalism was, it was never ever allowed in our house,and my parents came from real impoverishment and both had to drop out of highschool in the very early years of it to work and help out the family – so I don’t believe lack of education is the real mitigating factor for this phenomena.
    It seems more of a real epidemic of some kind of mental illness. I remember bell hooks emphatically asserting that racism is a mental illness, not just ignorance. I feel the same about the type of hatred we see here.

    Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  9. gertrude said . . .

    I wanted to add this looks like the kind of masquerade I’ve seen countless times, that can come from any ethnicity, from people who are intensely attracted to Michael and can’t handle/admit it, and/or who also have less than honourable intentions toward children themselves. I just get an overwhelming sense of that from these exhibits.

    Posted September 30, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I am not shocked by it now; I was in the beginning when I first began this journey. People directed me to youtube and I was stunned to find such vitriol. I am convinced the most of it is racist and the rest is ignorance or lack of education. The uneducated are easily led; dictators have relied on that for centuries. To control a people and herd their minds: keep them uneducated and give them a common enemy to hate. The Taliban does not want its people (especially woman- who are the nurturers and keepers of life) educated because it makes them harder to control. The cultural revolution in China was a blatant demonstration of the formula in action; you will remember Tienenmen Square. The revolutions in the Middle East and South Africa come from a frustration born of this formula. The United States had its Soviet Union, India has its Pakistan, Israel has its Arabs… well, you get the picture. It is tribalism based on Maslow’s hierarchy. But in the modern age tribalism will not work anymore; the world is too interconnected. We are in the process of figuring that out. Meanwhile, until we do figure it out, chaos reigns.

    I understand what you mean about diseased venom getting space here. Inner Michael is first, a spiritual community and a vision quest and yes, the venom is hard to look at. The venom is a choice. Instead of choosing the alternative, venom was decided upon and deliberately taken out into the world. It was brought here to contaminate this space. The person mistakenly thought they had a right to bring it here and place it in our midst. I would bet that most of that mechanism of choice and decision was unconscious; now it’s not. These things must be witnessed and brought to the light of day and examined for what they are. Blind hedonism has a consequence. Uncivilized discourse alienates the majority. There are lots of lessons in looking into one’s inner self- you may find magic or you may find muck. Sometimes the magic is buried under the muck. The mirror reflects back and asks the question: do you like what you see? Do you think this is attractive? That exercise is valulable for the observer as well. It begs the question: in what way am I doing the same thing? Terrorism is not just destroying thousands of people and buildings; it is using a gesture in traffic, bullying someone in public, teaching or allowing prejudice in your home… it’s only a matter of degree.

    As I said, it doesn’t happen often. Think about your Michael Messages about chakras and where people are coming from. When people come from the heart or come from the realized soul, others either sense there is something desirable going on and want that something for themselves, or they find it hard to be in their company and eventualy will self extinguish. Just as water seeks its own level, so does the individual. These people live with a dissonance within themselves, with a constant friction and they feel disconnected because they are. That brings fear. When people feel alienated, they find it easy to hate because it is better to project one’s shadow onto someone else than to have to stare it in the face. We have just held up a mirror here to make sure the view is a closeup and unobstructed. And we ARE the mirror.

    There is individual shadow which is demonstrated here and there is collective shadow– the vector of all the shadow of humanity. That is what Michael Jackson really came to this planet for; not to give us pop music. There are those who sense there is more to him, his life and work. There are some who awakened to their own spirituality because of his lyrics or because of his death. But even within ‘those who know’ there is shadow also. There is hate and projection. And there is ignorance. There is unacceptable behavior. It is hard to look at oneself and even harder to see one’s blind spots– the places where we criticize others for what in ourselves is obvious to others. That is ‘smoke and mirrors’ and it is a game we play to avoid our own shadow. Humanity plays that same game in the collective. Michael was the mirror and when faced with the reflection of its own shadow, humanity squirmed and defended itself by attempting to shatter the mirror. What I see them doing now with the trial is yet again revisiting that mirror/reflection game and trying to ignore or justify their part in the shattering. The trial now brings an opportunity to learn a great lesson with an equal opportunity to retreat farther into darkness. Courage is the key. The choice is 1) recognize, awaken and evolve or 2) die a little more into the darkness.

    When a criminal robs a bank it is easy to see the crime. When someone robs humanity of its humanity, it is harder to see but no less a crime. In fact, it’s an even greater crime for it robs the soul– which is so much more valuable than any other kind of wealth. Those who feed the darkness help us all to die a little more. It is nothing less than a crime against humanity.

    When haters take their shadow from venue to venue, it is an attempt at geographical escape which never works because no matter where you go, there you are. Today they happen to be here. Tomorrow they will be somewhere else. They are vagabonds who keep moving around to escape themselves never realizing that there is no escape.
    One of my favorite storyteller authors is Oriah Mountain Dreamer and her poem “The Invitation” is one of those profound messages to human kind. She asks this: I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

    Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  11. Souldreamer7 said . . .

    I just want to say that I Love You All and I do…. Sending Love & Light ~*~*~*~*

    Posted October 1, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  12. julie said . . .

    Hi Barbara,
    I contacted the freelance journalist Charles Thomson earlier this week as I was concerned about the headlines in the UK tabloids referring to Michael as J**** I was aware that some outlets in the US had changed Jacko back to Jackson when MJ supporters pointed out the racism inherent in this term. I felt that this was the direction to go in but the UK fans do not appear to be as organised or perhaps I have not stumbled on a group who is focusing on this. Have any articles been written for the Huffington Post or any other outlet that fans can reference or as use as a link when challenging tabloid editors? A rational and consistent argument is key if change is going to come. Do you have any suggestions on how UK fans could take this forward. Thank you so much for your dedication in exposing truth. Julie

    Posted October 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    UK readers: any ideas? Is there an organized presence in Britain? You have Ofcom which is the equivalent of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) here in the states. I would suggest you file a complaint. I am told that Ofcom doesn’t do much about the problems but I am thinking that if enough of you complain… they may be forced to do something. It certainly can’t hurt. Here is a link with all the contacts listed:

    I would also contact Nick Davies. If fact, get a group together to go and talk with him and to support his work He is the journalist that broke the Murdoch scandal. He brought the investigation to the states. I am not sure if he is still here. But you could organize a group and find out contact information in the meanwhile. I have been hearing rumblings about more indictments coming in the Murdoch case. If that happens, you all need to get on Twitter and FB and let the world know; stay on it and don’t let up. The public must not forget about the hacking and the sheer terrorism of the Murdoch media with its bully pulpit.

    Posted October 2, 2011 at 4:07 am | Permalink
  14. vero said . . .

    Thanks for great comments, Barbara and other posters. re the comment that the hateful comments are so unbearable–yes, i do understand that and it is the same for me. Sometimes I do read them and comment. One time I commented positively about Michael and someone answered that my comment made no sense b/c they had read innumerable articles about scandals connected with Michael. What the person didn’t realize is that the authors of these articles were lying! It seems people blindly believe what is in print–or at least do not question it enough. I can understand this–as a busy person working with a family, often one does not have time to do research. I read the Maureen Orth Vanity Fair article, for example, and was so shocked and didn’t know what to believe. I had a feeling of darkness surrounding Michael and Neverland. She painted such a horrible picture. Later when I retired and had time to research, I discovered it was all a lie. She was setting him up for the 2005 trial.

    Recently, I saw an interview with Carl Bernstein, who was the watergate journalist who, together with Woodward, broke the story in the Guardian UK online. He said that the big problems in the world of journalism were ‘invasion of privacy’ and ‘defamation.’ He stopped short of recommending regulations imposed by governments on journalists. I think journalists should be licensed. They have too much power under the Constitution (freedom of speech protection) to abuse it as they do and pollute the minds of the readers and our world. Michael fought back hard against this corrupt media. I admire him so much.

    I just read about a lady who sold starmaps outside his last residence in LA, where he died. She said she often heard him practicing–she said the music was incredible. She has been selling maps there for 2 decades. I just have to have faith that one day the true MIchael Jackson will be known all over the world and there will be no more people who believe the lies told by the media. Journalists and media people have a big responsibility–they need to do a better job of informing the public and not lying for profit. Michael really did show us this awful travesty of the press dismembering him, as you said, Barbara, for profit. Even so-called reputable journalists got on board. He really showed us the world shadow and it was his light that revealed this. He so rarely defended himself when he was interviewed–so that is why when he objected to the term ‘Jacko’ it is so significant (in the Barbara Walters interview).

    Posted October 3, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink
  15. vero said . . .

    Don’t know if others have read this, but i came across a very wonderful article about michael written shortly after his death–by David Berreby: “Michael Jackson was not normal. so what?’ really excellent and good comments after the article too.

    Posted October 3, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink
  16. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    David Berreby’s article is an eye opener.

    Posted October 3, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  17. Magsy said . . .

    I’ve just been sent your interesting article by a friend, when I recently disputed that the Jacko word had any racist origins in Britain. I was not aware of the fighting monkey in London back in the 1800’s, nor that the word had ever been used in UK as a term for a black man – I always thought that originated in the US.

    Julie above mentions that UK fans do not seem to be responding to the use of Jacko in the British tabloids as they are in the US – and I think perhaps it is not so much of an issue here, simply because we Brits are of the habit of shortening people’s surnames e.g. “Robbo” for Robinson or “Pattie” for Patterson, so it seems a more acceptable abbreviation (although of course not when twinned with Wacko). I think your assumption that much of the British press have no idea that the use of the word could be construed as racism is absolutely correct.

    I have, however, spoken out about the use of the word simply out of respect for Michael’s distaste for it, as I do agree a pen-name, even if borne of affection, should only be used if that person does not mind it. Incidentally, I was the proud owner of a Jacko stuffed monkey as a child and it was one of my favourite toys!

    Posted November 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink
  18. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for letting me know, M. If there is a place to write a story about it, let me kwow where. ~B

    Posted November 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
  19. Nicole Laury said . . .

    Hi Barbara,
    I just found your writing about the term J… [she is referring to the highly offensive and racist moniker of Michalel Jackson used in tabloids] in newspaper. I always was shocked by that and would not have imagined it’s still possible to do it ! but it is … I do agree with you , first STOP BUYING all these horrible tabloïds, it’s the main way to CHANGE their practice. It’s unacceptable and I admire you to write all that you write, I do it also as much as I can here in France with my students or friends. You’re right also of course for Kate Middleton ! and we all hope Michael’s children won’t have that to live through. But … they have to be very aware, if possible! We can all send much love to them and light and hope. Thank you so much.

    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

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