Inner Michael » How Can We Do Nothing?

How Can We Do Nothing?

We can’t.

Once something is in your consciousness, it’s there. It’s not going anywhere; especially if it’s shocking. It you’re startled, you’re likely to remember what startled you.

Then when you know something that screams injustice and demands your attention, cries out for change, CHANGE. You can’t do nothing.

That’s how Voices “Words and Violence” came into being. I couldn’t do nothing. That’s how the sister cities organization was built and I went to Russia to meet “the enemy” and weapons were decomissioned. I couldn’t do nothing. Once it’s there in your brain; it’s there. Once you know, you can’t unknow. And once you know, you must do something, The same thing happened to someone else and I have invited asled her to come and speak to us and bring her something.

What startled me about Michael Jackson was his honesty and how deliberate he was. When he said “I love you” to a crowd of 70,000, he meant it. He said to the fans “you are my legacy’ and he meant that too. He dreamt of an army (They Don’t Care About Us) of “warriors” who would change the world.

Think about how poignant that is. Think about what that actually means. And think about the responsibility that comes with that request: “You are my legacy” or “you are what I leave behind.” Right now, “Michael Jackson fans” have received a reputation (earned or not—and sometimes it was) as “crazy” to the outside world. Many are working to change that but it’s slow going.

There are charities and humanitarian projects that have sprung up that honor Michael Jackson, engage in philanthropy in his name, but pictures are worth a thousand words and are retained by the psyche and more likely to live in the collective psyche is film footage that shows fans in a poor light. People who don’t know Michael Jackson and who have heard only the tabloid version, are clueless about the truth. They are also clueless about the tactics of the media and about their own manipulation. In fact, most are complicit in their own manipulation.

Even extremely intelligent professionals like media  editors who understand the craft of attention grabbing headlines, linguistics, white space and positioning, do not apply their knowledge of “how it works” to information outside their immediate experience. They do not add it up that just as they are manipulating copy to get eyes on the page to increase readership and circulation—in other words, sell their product—that there may be  a side to the story that’s ignored because it’s not so sexy.

Even the most optimistic media person will tell you that sensation sells. They will also tell you that they are “just giving the people what they want.” Really? Is that what YOU want? Do you want to hear the dirt and only the dirt? You want your impression of humanity informed by the dark side of human nature? Want to raise your kids that way? In a world that is cynical and cruel and in the midst of a dark humanity?

Or would you rather hear about the brilliance of humans, hear of the heroes, the shining examples of compassion and caring? Why do you watch programs like “CNN Heroes” or “Extreme Makeover?” Because it makes you feel bad? Do you watch X-Factor and American Idol because you want talented people to LOSE?

They don’t get it do they? They aren’t listening are they? We may have to get their attention. Stay tuned.

Even mainstream editors and writers assume the meme is true—that Michael Jackson was morally flawed and that his fans and followers are empty-headed delusional MJ addicts who will tolerate no negativity about their “idol.” And of course, that meme has been deliberately helped along by select “journalists” so that it hangs out there as an assumed reality. It is shocking what these intelligent people don’t know.

I don’t know of one single Jackson fan who is not weary, who doesn’t have battle fatigue from the last two years that saw assaults and insults hurled at a man who is gone and is no longer here to defend himself. They have seen him and his name conscripted over and over for purely cynical gain, for profit, and by attention-seeking morally bankrupt individuals who see Michael Jackson—his name and image—as fair game as long as it suits their purpose which is usually purely commercial and profit driven.

And that was after he was dead. Imagine what that was like while he was alive—never mind, you will lose your mind if you go there. It’s almost as if the whole culture is blind and they deliberately want to avoid seeing. They look with eyes through lenses that color every bit of knowledge and mentally collect every scrap of “evidence” to support their pre-conceived opinion about Michael Jackson. And they fail to recognize that their opinion is based on tabloid exploitation and information. They fail to see their own indoctrination. The disconnect takes the breath away.

It has to be the greatest hoax ever imposed upon a culture. It is the most widespread propaganda ever seen on the planet—even more thorough and convincing than the propaganda of the cold war and the nuclear age! It is never even questioned— but swallowed whole without chewing. And the hoax hides the biggest secret in the world—that an entire population of a planet was manipulated into believing a lie—solely to profit the perpetrators of that lie. Media is the biggest offender, with the greatest hoax ever to impact a culture hypnotizing an entire race of beings yet has no clue about its own culpability. Never seen anything like it. Frightening. No really. Frightening.

If the greatest hoax ever was about something anathema to clean politics, international diplomacy or security, the human race would be in big trouble so thank goodness it’s only about a pop star, right? Celebrities and Hollywood types are easily dismissed, right? I mean, they’re not really human, right? And it doesn’t really matter, right? Besides, what’s the big deal, Michael is gone.


It’s a big deal because it can happen again. Michael Jackson was forced to watch the death of Lady Diana knowing that she was powerless to stop the media and he—was also powerless. What kind of message was that? No wonder the man couldn’t sleep!

If you think it can’t happen to you—WRONG AGAIN. Wait ‘till your 15 minutes comes around; you’d better hope whatever you did was heroic—like saving a life because if it wasn’t heroic, your life is over. Ask the McMartin family, Patsy Ramsey and Richard Jewell—Oh you can’t. Many are no longer here. Their lives and health were ruined by their 15 minutes of fame.

Perhaps the one thing that Michael Jackson’s legacy (that’s you) can do to really honor his name and make a change is to make sure that it never happens again. And if there is enough power, and the voice is unified and loud enough, maybe even an apology is in the future. Dream it. Meanwhile, join us for some straight talk on media reform.

You are cordially invited to reform the media …

On Friday Catherine Gross will host Sue Wilson on her Blogtalk Radio show “A Place in Your Heart.”

Reverend Kaufmann has asked Sue to speak to the fans about media reform, activism and the occupy movement—social and political action toward preserving equality and democracy in media with content that serves the public interest.

Sue Wilson is the Emmy winning director of the media reform documentary “Broadcast Blues” and editor of As a graduate in Radio/TV/Film, she was California State University Long Beach’s “Outstanding Graduate.” In the early ’90’s, she won Emmys for specials she produced for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and then turned the spotlight on wasteful government spending for Sacramento Fox TV station KTXL, where her Emmy winning stories changed national, state, and local spending policies. At one time a media insider, Sue Wilson knows the industry, has broken national stories, exposed corruption and initiated change. A veteran of radio, and now TV, and a media reform activist, and film maker, she set her sights on media policy. She writes at, the Brad Blog and the Huffington Post, and she recently formed a new grassroots media reform group to take citizen action, the media action center, which recently helped organize protests abainst Fox news and News Corp.

Rev B. has briefed Sue on the issues, familiarized her with Voices Education Project and informed her about what happened to Michael Jackson. She then asked Sue this question:

 “Michael Jackson fans are outraged with the media about what happened to this man. They have watched the media take people down a destructive path and kill people in the process. They have written letters; they have boycotted; they have written sponsors; they have engaged in vindication effors and in debates. They have been outspoken in their work and visible in their support.

Now that the trial is over and Conrad Murray is incarcerated, is there something more, and more active and effective that they can do to implement media reform? How can they hold the media accountable. They want the media to go back to the “Walter Cronkite brand of journalism” to return. Is there something they can do? Is there a way? Is there a plan? Will you consider talking to them?”

Sue Wilson said “Yes.”

Where: Blogtalk “A Place in Your Heart”
When: Friday, December 9, 2011
Time: 4 PM Pacific; 6PM Central, 7PM Eastern

To learn more about Sue:
Broadcast Blues Documentary Trailer


  1. Kim said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara. I will absolutely be there for the show. Thank you for inviting Sue Wilson. Perhaps the media and public may think the fans will now go away now that the trial is over and Murray is incarcerated. I believe this is not the case at all. Your words here and Catherine’s show are perfect examples that there are those who have not given up. There are many who haven’t.

    The media thinks that Michael’s fans are crazy and irrational and idolize him. This of course is far from the truth in most cases. Although the fans and advocates may be exhausted, I believe when they see any hope of changing the media behavior, they will be refreshed with new energy. With your words in this article I see hope. It’s pretty scary when seasoned media professionals believe the negative and sensationalistic meme. So yes I certainly agree it’s time we create another meme and that is called the TRUTH. I look forward to the show and what will follow. Thank you. Namaste.

    Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink
  2. gertrude said . . .

    I wish this article could be written across the sky in all languages. I’ve been away and could not get to the radio program. I wonder what she said to the MJ community, but I will follow up on the other links when the opportunity presents itself. It would be amazing to collaberate with or at least learn from this activist. thank-you Rev. B.

    Posted January 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
  3. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    You can listen to it now on demand. Here it is… Listen to internet radio with Rev Dr Catherine M Gross on Blog Talk Radio

    You can download the episode. Or listen here:

    Posted January 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

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