Inner Michael » Let’s name it what it was: Black Artist Slavery

Let’s name it what it was: Black Artist Slavery

Everything happens for a reason. It may not be our reason, it may not seem a fair reason, but nonetheless, all unfolds for a reason. Humanity is in a transitionary period. The evolution of the human species has shifted from the evolution of its biology to the evolution of its neurology and consciousness. The biological creature will not survive with its present consciousness which focuses on competition, separation and violence. Only a leap in the evolution of consciousness will save this planet.

You are a participant in this. With regard to the AEG trial, everyone was asked to wait to see what unfolded. Asked to wait, be patient, and to hear all the evidence before forming an opinion and certainly before barking it to the world. Isn’t that the very thing Jackson fans have asked of others on behalf of Michael Jackson? Have the knowledge of the whole of it before you speak. Isn’t that the very complaint about the justice system, media and the court of public opinion?

The justice system is supposed to work that way. It’s supposed to be a search for the truth. It’s supposed to strive to be fair, impartial, a level playing field, an objective, official and legal search for the truth. And this “truth” finding is entrusted not to experts, but to a group of lay people who “believe” but can’t know for sure if something is true or not if they weren’t there to witness it. Representatives on both sides of a trial argue for their truth and they argue against a truth being introduced in the form of evidence by the other side. People are flawed. Logic is flawed. And sometimes a search for truth is forgotten in the machinations of the courts.

The judicial system, the courts, the officers of the court, trials, in fact the whole system is supposed to service getting at the complete truth and to serve the concept of justice. In that search for truth sometimes another far more useful truth emerges. That emergence of a greater truth is usually no mistake. A greater truth emerged in this trial.

You may say that the trial Katherine Jackson v. AEG verdict was fair, but it wasn’t. You may say it was unfair; but that is not the whole truth either in the application of the law. You may think it’s over, but it isn’t. You can argue about the technical correctness of the verdict or the moral wrongness of it all day but you’d be spending time missing the point. The people who bear the real responsibility for Michael Jackson’s death are still walking around free. And the man who technically ended his life is also, as of now, free.

And the beat goes on.

And the runaway train continues.

Delusion or illusion, take your pick. Where do you want to live?

Or do you choose truth? If you choose truth, do something in service to it: Wake up.

You can argue that this was another of the Jackson family grabs for money or attention or relevance or whatever is the current “slam” du jour at the Jacksons– people who have been around, comprise a slice black history, know more about struggle for justice, fair treatment, equality, acceptance and compassion than any of us will ever know or, like them, have to fight are entire lives for.

They have been around since the days of civil rights, no rights, no equal pay or equal recognition. They have fought against more barriers and limitations throughout their lives than any of us will ever see. They have been vilified more than Hitler himself and they have come through it. Intact? Probably not; would you? How Katherine Jackson is still standing I don’t know. It has to be the power of Grace; how else would you explain it?

And she is still being made to suffer the ignorance, racism, disrespect, insults and condemnation that her whole family suffered their whole lifetimes– including her prodigy son. To be the matriarch of a clan is not an easy position. And to be the Jackson matriarch is a soul-eroding, exhausting and thankless job. Again and again this woman has with dignity, picked herself up from being knocked down by yet one more insult, one more indignity, one more unbearable sorrow– all at the hands of human nature. The same human nature her son fought to hard to love each time it disappointed or disillusioned. Did he have it in him to fight this same battle yet one more time?

The Jackson brand and the Michael Jackson brand in particular, has worth. Everybody and his brother has capitalized on it. From hangers on to grifters, to sycophants, to turncoats, to extortionists, to corrupt law enforcement, to immoral lawyers, to soul-less corporations trying to make money off a name and image that doesn’t belong to them. And even fans have been a double-edged sword for these people all their lives. As much as they’d like to love and trust fans, they still have to maintain a certain distance and caution. Fans have threatened lives and have required safety measures– bodyguards, security, gates and fortresses. And it seems, some still don’t know how to behave. Katherine has watched fans grab at her son since he was a little boy. He’s gone and they’re still grabbing.

No matter what horror she may encounter, a mother wants to know what happened to her child. That, is maternal courage. Michael Jackson died while rehearsing for a show promoted by AEG. Of course AEG is going to be the target of a lawsuit and investigation into what happened and who is responsible for what. And of course it is going to involve big sums of money- “Michael Jackson” has always been worth big money. Some of it he made for himself and some others made off him. AEG is a billion dollar concert promoter, Anschutz is a billionaire and money in this society is power. Corporations are not people and money is not free speech. But wealth has been used to change and manage laws away from supporting the common man and the common good into a backward trajectory to the days of the captains of industry and robber barons of the medieval age.

And now, it seems, we are even back to slavery. Yes, you heard that correctly– slavery.

Imagine the numbers of people who, after Michael died, came forward to give the Jacksons information. Imagine that they do know something that is very conspiratorial but it involves billionaire people and corporations who have the money to “fix” problems. That could mean anything from planting stories to changing official documents, to revising history, to payoffs, bribery, promises for future work and/or money, throwing money at campaigns to ruin someone, manipulating people behind the scenes with cash offers, paying checkbook journalists to “get the goods” on someone who is not playing by the rules, hiding or inventing evidence, buying off people, to threats that someone will never work in this industry again unless… oh yes, and um… threatening someone that they will lose everything that means anything to them unless they provide slave labor and answer “yes sir massa.”

If you know nothing about American history or civil rights or the battle just to be considered human, your opinion about the Katherine Jackson v. AEG trial holds no merit. And those who would vilify a mother in a search for truth about what happened to her son know nothing about the joys and sorrows of motherhood or what it’s like to lose a child who was formed, grew and was born from the tissues and hollows of your own body. A mother on a quest for justice is like no other force in the Universe. Ask Trayvon Martin’s mother. Ask James Byrd’s mother. Ask Matthew Shepherd’s mother. Ask Kendrick Johnson’s mother.

The AEG trial is another chapter in history, in black history, a part of Michael Jackson’s legacy, and an important lesson for humankind.

Those who know nothing about black history or the battles and scars of this singular family because of who they are and were in history and because of the color of their skin, who think they are being reasonable but who are, in actuality, being manipulated and driven by forces that would use not only the object of their admiration– Michael, but use them (the fans) as well to accomplish their ends, do a great disservice to Michael’s memory and legacy. There is no loyalty, not where great sums of cash is involved. Money buys luxury but more than that it buys power and influence. Big money is a machine without feeling, without loyalty, without concern for who or what it uses or whom it rolls over to get where it is going. We are steeping in a stew of cynicism, corruption, and manipulation that passes as normal everyday life. It is anything but. And we are simply collateral damage. Disposable collateral damage.

The trial was not about the Jacksons, or AEG or Dr. Murray, or fans, or justice. This trial was a search for the truth and an expose of the ugliness that lurks behind the shiny curtain of OZ.

Michael Jackson tried to warn all of us. He stood up to the great and powerful OZ. He wrote about it, he sang about it, he made movies about it. He tried to steer history in a different direction. They mocked him and thought him stupid. He let them think it.

So they went after his Achilles heel, the places where he was most vulnerable– his children and his privacy. By “his” children I am not referring to his own Jackson offspring, I mean the children of the world. He said over and over in so many ways that it takes a village to raise a child, that children deserve respect, acknowledgment, and rights as people. He was an advocate for children and he asked us to fix a world that was indifferent to their poverty, lack of education, their health needs and special needs. He asked us to find a way to stop frightening them with violence and racism, hatred and war. He asked us to make the world a safe place for children.

Michael Jackson understood the consequences of marginalization of little people. He understood how little people who are marginalized grow up to be adults who harbor hatred and violence.

Oh yes, Michael understood marginalization:

  • As a black kid trying to grow up in a racist society.
  • As someone whose face went through significant changes in a world that only values beauty and eschews ugnliness
  • As a kid with a big nose for which he was bullied
  • As a kid with a severe case of acne
  • As a young man with Vitiligo and autoimmune disease of the skin that eats its own pigment leaving huge white blotches
  • As a man with the pain and disfigurement of Discoid Lupus.
  • As a man with a 3rd degree burn to his scalp that caused him to loose not just his hair but the follicles that grow hair
  • As a serious artist contributing stunning intellectual content but treated more like a human anomaly and freak show
  • As a man with severe medical issues threatening to derail his career and who made his living on stage
  • As a lonely man whose friends, once they found out money could be extracted from an association with him, betrayed him
  • As a man who watched as members of his own family were affected and afflicted because of their identity as Jacksons
  • As a man who tried to recruit the world to save itself but was mistreated by the very beings he sought to save
  • As a man betrayed by the music industry
  • As a man betrayed by the law while his constitutional rights were trampled
  • As a man betrayed by the media who used him only for manipulation and to stash cash accumulated off trading in his name
  • As a man who lost his country
  • As a man who dared to fly in the face of convention and paid dearly for it
  • …. (this list could go on and on)

But the most startling truth of the AEG trial and its aftermath is its lesson for humanity.

It’s a lesson in hatred, love, compassion, dignity and humanity.

It’s THIS lesson:

Michael Jackson was born a black man in a country that was segregated when he was born. He grew up at a time when his kind (think skin color) had to fight for their simple dignity, civil rights and human rights. As an African American he came from a long history of oppression and being taken advantage of by the white man. He was born in a country that has much to atone for– the kidnapping of people from another continent deemed inferior because of skin pigment, chained to the bottom of boats and imported for slavery to build a white man’s nation that was stolen from its native peoples– the Indians.

His ancestors had to endure the tearing apart of families because it was legal and morally acceptable to “sell” people to new owners. The generations before him were “owned” by their white masters and slave owners and had no rights to vote, to an education or to even speak unless given permission. His ancestors were beaten, raped, bred like cattle, treated like objects instead of people, lynched for any trumped up excuse and suffered every indignity know to man at the hands of mankind.

His ancestors learned to be treated better and accepted more by patronizing their captors with entertainment, with blackface comedy, with song and dance and tap dancing at the whim of their captors.

They were forced into slavery that they didn’t choose, had no rights, were treated like livestock, beaten, threatened into compliance and made to perform for the amusement of their rich white owner-managers for “audience.” They were commanded to “dance for me n**** or else.” Threats. Threats were employed. Threats work. Threats to life, to family, to everything treasured, and to freedom. Have you though about what it means to be “free?” To have your freedom? Have you thought what freedom costs?

Do you think Michael wasn’t existentially aware of exactly what was happening? Think he missed the irony in how he was being treated? Do you think he missed the parallels to his own ancestry and history? Michael was very well read in black history. Can you imagine the sadness and grief he must have felt at the hands of his Caucasian “captors” and “masters?” The message about changing the world and healing it of this very treatment of humans was in all his work. It was his life’s work.

So explain to me please, what exactly has changed in 50 years? In the 50 years that Michael Jackson was alive? How did his life begin? And how did it end? Imagine how he must have felt.

Apparently some are either ignorant or need a history lesson or two. The greater truth revealed is an outrage.

Now you know the real reason for the Katherine Jackson vs. AEG trial and its aftermath.

What was revealed in the AEG trial is stunning. It is a world lesson. And Michael Jackson is still teaching the world. And asking that it be healed.

Get it now?

Awake yet?

Note: I have been asked to speak about the AEG trial. I received yet another letter asking the same questions I have heard over and over: Why? WHY? WHY? I have heard every argument from every side of the division. It’s important to step back from the ego’s investment in “thinking it knows” or in “being right,” broaden the lens and view this from a bigger and expanded self asking the bigger global question. The answer is that a true teacher never stops teaching. Teachers awaken. Sometimes sleep is preferred because it’s less painful. If a man comes to be in service to humanity, he forgets self in that mission but remains trained on the mission itself. We have to change our human narrative on this planet. We have to create another story about who we are.

If you’re still not awake, may I suggest a few wake up calls:

About MJ and Sony feud
(The original article has disappeared from the web)

Michael speaks about Sony’s sabotage of Invincible and why

Stereotypes of Black Men:


  1. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Dear Barbara,

    Does Mrs Katherine Jackson live in a state of Grace? In my eyes, the answer is Yes, you bet! And my fervent prayer is that she continues to do so. Right up, and beyond the moment her indomitable spirit and stout heart reunites with her boy. She is, no doubt, another African-American treasure that goes unheralded and unsung.

    You have in this post, gone back to the beginning and tackled an issue of importance to myself. One that has been the main source of my life-long incredulousness about the whole sorry affair.

    To explain my reasoning:

    They were not interlopers. They had their own paradise. They did not stand on your shores and, like my own ancestors, covet the land, still deemed by some to be the “greatest”.

    You trespassed on theirs and stole them, carried them, kicking and screaming so much you had to put them in chains. And you have kept them in those chains ever since.

    I guess it is somewhat understandable that you can never admit to them being human. To their beauty, their creativity and above all their genuine humility. You could learn so much if you just looked that bit longer. But you really do not have the courage. You are terrified of what you will find, believing it would crush and collapse you.

    Well, the news is, America has already collapsed under your weight. By default, the rest of the world will soon follow. The “white man’s” culpability will swallow him.

    We are promised “we are never alone”. And sad to say America is not the only country with a history of Black Phobia and the terrible consequences that it brings. But what consolation will that provide, I wonder?

    Namaste to all,


    Posted November 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you for your contribution Lynaire. It’s an important one.

    By way of expansion: The “they” that L is referring to here is all who have felt oppression and domination by a race believing themselves superior. The “you” are the perpetrators of oppression.
    Because this blog and story was about Michael Jackson and his heritage is African American, the reference here is to African Americans and that blacks race.

    America’s true face is being exposed right now it its politics and the treatment and sustained effort toward takedown of the first black president.

    This same scenario is being played out all over this planet with the Indigenous peoples. For example, in New Zealand, it refers to the Maori; in the colonization of South Africa it was called “Apartheid;” in Australia it refers to the Aboriginals; in the rain forest of Ecuador, it refers to the Achuar; in the inland central mountain of Siberia in Russia, it refers to the Altai and so on.
    The “Skinhead” white supremacists are an extreme and violent form of this superiority gone beyond any human recognition or sanity.

    If you want the crib notes version of this story, see the “Avatar” film.

    In the movie “Avatar” this superiority mentality, the military industrial complex and the premeditated theft of land and resources by violent force is depicted extremely well by James Cameron. Substitute the “Navi” for any and all Indigenous and you have the picture.

    Everyone should watch this movie. And while watching, look for the *wink *wink references to Michael Jackson.

    Consolation is not the prize. Awareness is. Expanded consciousness is. Being AWAKE is. It’s the path to a critical mass in consciousness that brings solidarity, change and oneness. (That’s in “Avatar” too.)

    The age of treachery at the hands of “old white men” as it is described by the Millennials, is over. The very young look at prejudice and racism and comment “old people are so weird.”

    The performing arts is where mass audiences are reached. That is why we featured it in the 3rd edition of “Words and Violence.” That is what Jackson meant when he spoke of “Immortality” and had set his sights on making films. Here is what Terri Schultz, Dean at UCLA School of Theater, Film and TV has to say about it this kind of storytelling:

    Posted November 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Did you know that James Cameron has a large and beautiful estate here in NZ? From what I have read he spends a lot of time on our shores.
    For all of you, who sit or stand, at where I consider the “coal face” to be. Day by day, night by night, for little reward or recognition, slaving? Always for the cause of consciousness for all, can I just say that I wish we had room for you all.


    Posted November 5, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    If they come, we will build it. ~B

    Posted November 5, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink
  5. Anonymous said . . .

    I think there’s another important lesson in Avatar, though, and that’s in how it was received.

    Because large parts of the American public received Avatar very, very poorly. I went to see it in the movie theaters when it came out, and when I went into Internet forums based on popular movie discussion, most of the Americans I saw there sided with the human military in the movie.

    The Na’vi, according to these people, were “preachy and annoying” and “thought they were better than humans.” Plus, the Na’vi were “withholding resources without which the humans would have starved.” So to the American public, of course the humans in the movie were perfectly justified in committing genocide. These were mostly the right-wing public, but I saw a bunch of liberals decrying the movie as “pretentious” and “for hipsters.”

    This reveals a larger truth: the “public” can be just as domineering and cruel as “The Man.” In fact, it’s the public that makes “The Man” possible.

    An illustration of that latter point: there was an incident recently published in the Huffington Post in which a jock was bullied in the locker rooms.

    Unexpected, right? You don’t normally see a “jock” as the bullying victim. ^_^ Well, what happened was that there was another jock who kept pushing this jock around…but the smaller jock couldn’t fight back because it wasn’t just him against his tormentor. It was him against his entire football team, because while they didn’t ACTIVELY endorse the bully’s behavior, they TACITLY endorsed it by cheering him on and condemning the smaller jock if he fought back.

    Things like what happened to Michael Jackson is stuff that the public CANNOT face. If it did, it would reveal that democracy’s biggest weakness is that it sometimes means two wolves and a sheep get to vote on what’s for dinner.

    The much vaunted “American people” can make cruel tyrants possible, by virtue of “sheer numbers endorsing tyrannical behavior.”

    Think of the popular Malcolm in the Middle show. What was its central lesson? “Life is unfair, and there will always be authoritarian people in your life, and your job is to accept that.” A perfect excuse for Lois’s continued domination of Malcolm and shutting down all attempts to resist…and the public always redefines “resistance” as though it were “unruly defiance asking for the whole world” (despite this being actually the tyrant’s behavior), thus it sided with Lois.

    We Michael Jackson fans, if we’re going to salvage his reputation, are going to have to face the fact that if we insist he’s innocent we are “going against the people”, not “upholding their will”, because the people themselves are sometimes selfish.

    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I’m not sure we saw the same movie.
    I think there is another evaluation of “Avatar.” The movie is the largest grossing movie of all time, making almost $3 billion.
    There are lots of lessons in Avatar- many of them subtle and archetypal.
    Sometimes “going against the people” is the only sane path. Michael Jackson fans are upset because of the stark contradiction of who the man really was in juxtaposition with how the media portrayed him and how he was treated by those around him and by the culture. It’s not the “will of the selfish” but “justice” and the common good that matters.
    Some lessons are not in who wins but who loses and why and what perpetrators of immorality and injustice gained and how.
    In this case it wasn’t just Michael Jackson who lost something of value; it was the world.
    Time to reclaim it.

    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous said . . .

    You and I saw the same movie. What I was trying to say is that much of the American public did not. Avatar didn’t catch on with everyone, and with the people it didn’t catch on with, it got turned into fodder to punish people like us with.

    My point was that we keep saying that powerful figures like the media are selfish because they trample over the masses. And they are. But my point is that the masses sometimes endorse selfishness in their own right–and then call US selfish if we disagree with them. My point was that it isn’t enough to fight the media who is deceiving the people. The people sometimes WANT to be deceived, so sometimes we’ll have to fight them too. “The American people” may not have as much of a taste for rebellion or revolution as we would like to think when we’re trying to fight for justice.

    Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I understand. But consider this: I think that misinformed and manipulated people (masses) follow the leader or absorb the indoctrination because they mostly intend to trust. That is not exactly the same as blanket trust but most people begin transactions (social and otherwise) with an intent to trust until they are proven wrong or naïve. Most do not enter transactions paranoid that they will be deceived. We are hard wired for belonging and connection. And there are those who would capitalize on that intent to trust.

    If the “people” or “masses” or “Americans” or whatever group you label knew the truth of things (the truth of politics, power, control, the 1%, ethics, values, elitism, corruption, the erosion of civil and human rights, etc.) I don’t think they would be happy about being deceived. If you gave them a choice (which they don’t have now) I think they would choose to NOT be deceived and manipulated.

    Whether or not people do their own thinking, they like to think they do their own thinking. Finding out they are deliberately being deceived and manipulated because someone else is doing their thinking for them would not make them happy. This secret is something the powerful and arrogant and patriarchal cannot afford to have revealed. Thus it is hard work keeping people in line and consuming. You can’t afford to rest, not even for a moment. Whew. Much simpler and easier on everyone just to tell the truth, period. The question is “what do you value?” It’s rarely asked and rarely pondered.

    Questions that occurred to me recently: Is human fundamental goodness an expectation? Is consideration for common goodness a human attribute? Should it be a human right?

    Thing is, we are one, whether we have awakened to that or not. We share a lonely and unique island in space. If we continue to behave and consume at our current rate, we need at least 2.5 earths to support that behavior. So when this one is used up, we have nowhere else to go. It’s not just a moral imperative but proven science that we are all connected. Jackson’s “Earth Song” was released in 1995 before “environmental sustainability or “eco-justice” was thematic, sexy, fashionable or urgent. He was conscious. And he tried to “wake up” the world. It appeared that “Earth Song” was the centerpiece and most important message of “This Is It.” “This Is It” is typical Jackson double entendre and mischief for the common good.

    Cameron’s wake up call was a little different. Perhaps people didn’t get “Avatar” on the surface but there are unmistakable subliminals, themes, archetypes and messages in the movie. If they didn’t get it on this level, they got it on another. It might be an interesting conversation and study for all of us to mindfully watch the movie consciously looking for how it speaks to us…

    Who’s bad? Who’s game?

    Posted November 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  9. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Greetings Barbara,

    Have you ever had time enough to read, “Bringers of the Dawn,” a 1992 channelling from the Pleiades through Barbara Marciniak?
    Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters described by Michael as his favourite stars in his 1992 book, “Dancing the Dream”, is gaining my attention of late.

    The information they give is profound. I know there are many who will not dare to believe it. But two chapters did fascinate me, chapter 17, “Language of Light”, because it describes experiences my own. Chapter 18, Symphonies of Consciousness”, because it contains much of what you have explained to us about Michael, his mission and the danger that was in his path.

    Our own Maori race here in NZ, have named the Pleiades, Matariki. MataRiki meaning “Tiny Eyes” and MataAriki “Eyes of God”, and it heralds in their New Year. Marked by their rise and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the next new moon occurs in June. On researching this I googled ” Matariki 2009″. What came up was very interesting, but somehow I knew what it would.

    The Maori Matariki celebrations for 2009, began under the stars on the evening of June 25th.


    Posted November 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Oh boy. Yes, I read it but forever ago. Now I will have to go back and review it. And now I will be up late googling! (Is that a verb now?)

    There are many wise souls and indigenous peoples who have predicted these times in which we live. You may be interested in the legends involving “White Buffalo Calf Woman.” A white calf was born here in Wisconsin many years ago and many Native nations came in addition to the Lakota. The calf born white turned all four colors- brown, red and black during her life. She was named “Miracle” and was a destination for many pilgrimages.

    This time has been called the “Return of the Ancients” or the “Return of the Ancestors” by many Indigenous. The Hopi also have their Red Star and Blue Star Kachinas and their Rainbow family of light prophecy..

    The Egyptians referred to star people and the linear openings in the pyramids lead directly to the position stars would have been in thousands of years ago. The pyramids themselves are placed in a line that is a bit off center and mimics the belt of the constellation Orion.

    We too are star people. Born in the cosmos and made of the dust of stars. So go forth and shimmer while you sprinkle! And…. Keep shining! ~B

    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I just received a notice that the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers will be in New Zealand December 5-8 in Gisborne. Coincidence?

    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  12. Souldreamer7 said . . .

    No, I don’t think so… No coincidence.

    Posted November 16, 2013 at 4:01 am | Permalink

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