Inner Michael » Bullying in the name of MJ? That’s an Oxymoron.

Bullying in the name of MJ? That’s an Oxymoron.

“Hate is always tragic. It is as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. It distorts the personality and scars the soul.” ––Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bullying is bullying. No matter what form it comes in or what the imagined “reason.” Meanness is meanness. Inhumane treatment toward another human being is a social injustice no matter what the excuse. “Guerilla decontextualization,” coined by poet and author Aberjhani is the practice of with malice and intent, deconstructing a human being for the purposes of maligning or worse, nullifying– to take away their impact. power, pulpit or legitimacy and later, legacy. It is a way to neutralize those who are innovative, clever, who stand outside the culturally determined boundaries and dare to challenge it from there. The ones who through their voice, art and activities, dare us to be better humans… you know– the dangerous ones?

Bullying is: attacking another person so as to gain power over them, deliberately manipulating public perception of them, to take what they said out of context (repeat or print the re-arranged or redacted version) to de-legitimize their voice, to discredit them, humiliate them, ruin their reputation, nullify them, dissuade people from dealing with them, to interfere with the natural respect their character has earned, to harass them, to turn people against them, to mock them or their work, to marshall a hate campaign against them.

And once again, this practice was witnessed recently in the fan community while organizing an activity “in honor” of Michael. Who mocks, starts a hate campaign and deliberately harms another in order “to honor” Michael Jackson? What? The man who stood for love? Who gave love over and over until and beyond where it hurt or was healthy? The man who when assaulted by those who harmed him with their jealousy, envy or anger– dropped to his knees to pray for forgiveness for his own instinctive and uncensored harsh thoughts? And then immediately prayed for forgiveness and the enlightenment of the offender?

A bully thinks that they are damaging the other person. In reality, the bully says more about themselves than their targets. He or she who bullies is revealing his or her heart in public. Some hearts are not very pretty, are they? hearts translate into action and some of those actions aren’t pretty either. Someone who is mean-spirited or abusive to another person reveals how little self respect and self confidence they have, how little they believe in themselves or humanity or that their own reputation will speak volumes for their character. Oh, it speaks volumes alright. It screams…

Fail! Foul!

Actually committing an act that attempts to degrade another’s character is, in reality, a way to reveal your own true character and true self. It reveals your heart. It broadcasts the truth about a heart that is hard and cold and incapable of love or a heart that open, dedicated to grace, to unity and to compassion and love.

Good people don’t bully. Period. Good people respect themselves to much to indulge in vile or juvenile attacks on another human being. Beware and be very careful of the person in your acquaintance who would attack and recruit you to attack another. Be mindful of your own weakness when you allow yourself to be easily led by another, into an activity that will harm your soul. If they would harm someone else, they would certainly harm you. They would not hesitate to turn on you if it suits their purpose. No one who is honorable or has love in their heart will recruit you to do something that harms your soul. You know what is soul destroying; you intuitively know it, feel it. Your insides know. Your bones know. You cannot trust someone who has recruited you to a hate campaign. And when that hate campaign has something to do with Michael Jackson it is completely counterfeit and there is no honor in it. Michael Jackson was all about love, not hate.

There are so many worthy initiatives that have begun as tributes and in honor of Mr. Jackson. A Million Trees… Everland… Cadeflaw… Michael’s Dream Foundation… Voices Education Project’s Words and Violence…  The Frankie Woods McCullough Academy for Girls Project in Gary, Indiana… There is no need and no room for hate campaigns.

Hate campaigns have brought us suicides, assassinations, religious wars, racism, terrorism and other abominations of human nature. And being a “little hateful” or a “little bulling” is like being “a little bit pregnant.” Can one be “a little bit evil?” If you embody evil, it lives in you. You either are or you aren’t. As the great Guru Yoda says: “Do or not do; there is no try.”

No cause justifies gaining through the means of bullying. No cause that pretends to embody love encourages people to be hateful. And this particularly from people who claim to represent activities “honoring Michael Jackson?” Seriously? That is completely hypocritical. Michael Jackson would condemn anyone who bullied in his honor. And he would walk away. Period. Never to return.

Michael Jackson was bullied by the people around him, by the media and by those who are supposed to uphold the law and those who were supposed to nobly represent him… and this through his whole life! He was often surrounded by hypocrites and people who would use his name yet smear his work and legacy. He was aware of how evil contaminates. He left Neverland because it was contaminated by evil. People always have to answer for their evil deeds– one way or another. Sometimes you can see it coming; sometimes it sneaks up on you. But it is on its way back to you, guaranteed. That is the way the Universe works. You attract what you are. So stop it. If you are engaging in something hateful or in hate campaigns, you are no better than those who drained the life from him. No better than the tabloid hacks who took information, twisted it and brought evil to him, to themselves and to anyone who witnessed the violence of decontextualizing a human being and dismembering him on front pages. The violence went on for decades until it became “normal.”

Deliberate harm is not “normal” nor is it admirable or noble. It is, in fact, what is wrong with the world. And since we all contribute our individual energy and piece, we create the world and “we are the world.” As contributors, we are stewards of the culture and the world. Stewards have responsibilities.

There is something very frightening about deliberately calculated, planned and executed evil. It does not live in the human realm but arises from somewhere non-human. Caution! When you engage with it, you condemn yourself.

Jackson was harassed, hounded, vilified, mocked, humiliated, and was the target of orchestrated hate campaigns in the tabloid media. Over time, they chipped away at his humanity until they completely dehumanized him. That was deliberate. It’s a formula well known and used by tabloids and their journalists that is well tested and effective when employed over time. The purpose of chipping away at an individual’s humanity a little at a time is to make them less than human so that bullying them is more generally accepted by the public. If someone is considered “wacko” because his behavior is interpreted out of context or is a “freak” because of elective cosmetic surgery, he is easier to bully. If a woman is “fat” or less than “gorgeous,” it is easier to mock her body and face. And who does that? Mock someone’s face- their only window and trademark to the world? Or their body because it doesn’t fit some artificial and superficial cultural blink-of-time standard?

Mean people and bullies do that.

If the public sees an individual as vulnerable and human, tabloids have a harder time attacking them because it causes a backlash against the bullying tabloid and that might cut into the sales and profits. So instead, they plan and execute a chronic devaluation of a human being so as to mock, humiliate and recruit others to do the same.

What is the difference between the tabloids doing this to Jackson and Jackson’s fans doing this to other fans? Especially when the bullying is touted as necessary and “and in honor of preserving Michael Jackson’s legacy.” Do you think the man himself would sanction this? Do you think he would be proud? What does this display of human shadow behavior have to do with a man whose only mission was to leave a legacy of love?

No, there is no honor there. There is no love. He would not be proud. In fact, this practice of bullying shames his name.

What in the world would prompt such displays of naked hatred? Do you dare to think you should be the only game in town? Do you claim sole ownership of his legacy? How arrogant! There is much work to be done on this planet. There is room for everybody. The work of compassion and love is urgent in these times of turmoil and transition. And if you wish to do it in his name, then at least respect his values and claim them and practice them in your own life and affairs and particularly in how you treat others. Public hate campaigns tarnish his legacy. They harm his family for it reflects on them. It only adds to the meme the media loves to perpetuate of “the crazy fans.” It’s not helpful and you’re not helping. That is NOT what the man stood for.

You know who you are. You know what you did. Now go and do something to reclaim your soul. Go and make it right. For you. For others. For the planet. For Michael.

Nine months in the making, “Words and Violence” project, that was started immediately after his death that was published on the first birthday after his death. It took almost a year to design and was begun by fans coming together to contribute to a scholarly academic publication that has now grown to more than 600 pages. The project is ongoing with a third edition published last year.

Words and Violence was the first work to honor Jackson’s legacy. The program is about bullying in all its incarnations from the playground to the tabloids to the mortuary and it features the antidotes for bulling. Jackson was the poster boy for bullying on a global scale. The project was and is dedicated to Michael Jackson and Lady Diana Spencer– two humanitarians who were gifts to this world. To two people who cared for children and were mocked for their tenderness and their championing the causes of children. Two people who were humanity’s cheerleaders encouraging and demonstrating how to “do better.” They both said we (humanity) are better than this, and then were targeted, mocked and attacked and exploited by tabloids for their own corporate profits and selfish gain.

“Words and Violence” is about to be released in its 4th edition which will feature how we humans have bullied the planet to the point of irreversible harm and if not curtailed will lead to our extinction. As I said, bullying is bullying. It’s all the same thing no matter which end of the scale or continuum of bullying you’re on. It is human shadow at work. It leads to soul loss. For self. For others. For the planet.

Michael Jackson understood human nature and the bullying of human beings. He took on bullying in many incarnations in his lyrics and in his art– gangs, murder, misogyny, poverty, militancy, war, and even the bullying of the planet in Earth Song. He knew it was all part of the ego’s inner shadow instead of the ego’s bright shadow within which he encouraged in everyone he touched, that touch reaching around the world and yes, to the planet itself. He knew it was urgent. A more humane narrative (story) on this planet is desperately needed.

The work had and has nothing to do with a gesture of adoration demonstrated once a year. It has to do with looking at the one in the mirror and making that permanent change within self that we wish to see in the world. We all contribute to this psychic ecosystem and soup we live in. It doesn’t help to stir in hatred because now everybody is forced to taste your bitterness. When Michael Jackson asked: “make that change” he didn’t have bullying in mind. He was asking that we embody values and live our lives from that place of integrity. To embody and demonstrate values like nobility, understanding, compassion, inclusion, unity, love… He asked us to  embrace the bright humane nature within ourselves and to live our lives from that place. “So, Will you be there?”


Next: “Where hate campaigns lead to” and “Trends in the Tabloids”


  1. gertrude said . . .

    “There is something very frightening about deliberately calculated, planned and executed evil. It does not live in the human realm but arises from somewhere non-human”

    I do believe it does arise from something all too human which we do need to look in the face. I believe it has been demonstrated unequivocally that HUMANS are well-capable of what is vile beyond reason or description. It IS human to be utterly inhuman.

    Many still do vicious, unspeakable things in JESUS’ name, so that when they do them in Michael’s, while sickening, it’s not surprising to me. It’s so odd how the dark side, of Human nature, can attach itself to those who have exposed it, as somehow someone It champions.

    I know nothing about the incident you’ve addressed Rev. B, but this is very much why I’ve dis-attached from the fan “community”. Because it is not a community, at least certainly not in the finest sense of the word. I want to look at the Light rather than give attention to the vicious, because it seems so much to feed them. Which makes me delighted you mentioned that Michael used to pray for forgiveness for his own anger at his offenders, and also for forgiveness for them. Thank-you! I did not know that! And now I have a new standard to aspire to, a new activity to incorporate into my way of being. This happens a lot when I read you ha ha ha.

    It was wonderful to see the list of the awesome projects of “grace, unity, compassion and love” being carried out in Michael’s name – something you and Voices Education have always been a big part of. Amazing! BIG ups to you. I’ve participated in/supported a few of those on the list. It so heart-warming what is being accomplished truthfully, in Michael’s name

    Posted July 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you G. Many people have written to tell me they have either distanced themselves from the fan community or dropped out altogether. Way back then when I first started receiving requests and getting letters they were heartfelt and compassionate. Many held up other fans as they tried to process the injustice that came in wave after wave.

    Despite statistics that show the majority of readers do not trust the press, the assault on Michael and his legacy continues. The indoctrination was so thorough that somehow the average person/reader does not stop to question the validity of what they are reading.

    Yes, human beings are capable of unspeakable acts. But it is not natural. It is not nature. We are hard-wired for empathy and compassion, not violence. So in order to do something inhumane we must literally become not ourselves. We must unlearn innate compassion fight against our own nature and our values. The Indigenous have a name for this virus or sickness that invades and takes over humanity– Windigo or Wetiko. It literally means to being taken over by that monster. It is an invitation to come to the dark side. It is this insanity that has brought us to the brink of extinction now for the second time.

    Posted July 14, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  3. Heaven Leigh said . . .

    Dear Rev. Barbara, I thank you so much for taking on this subject with such passion. I do have faith that truth always prevails and humanity at large will learn deep and lasting lessons through witnessing, or even being party to injustices such as these. I believe that Michael came to expose human nature (as did Jesus and other great teachers) at its best and at its worst. We learn about each other and we learn about ourselves. I pray that we are all being renewed and made better, even through the fire. Much love to you, powerful light-bringer. I admire your strength, clarity, and commitment. Very inspiring.

    Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    This community called “fans” is the same as any other community that forgets itself, forgets who they truly are (of divine origin) and what they stand for. They are better than this. WE are better than this. ~B

    Posted July 19, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  5. Dialdancer said . . .

    Rev. Kaufmann,

    Excellent. A gentle admonition which gets the point across. This is a must share.

    We are taught from our earliest days sin is sweeter than good. Taught through the words and deeds of others sin is more fun, pleasurable and satisfying than doing good, until we take it up ourselves. It takes no genius to figure how and why this came about. In the case of bullying, we only need to recognize what we are about to partake in and alter our course.

    Thank you for reminding me if I believe one is bullying it does not give me license to do the same to them.

    Posted July 20, 2014 at 4:10 am | Permalink
  6. Theresa B said . . .

    Thank you for speaking so eloquently on this subject. I think this could also be directed at the constant negativity and nastiness directed at the estate executors. That gets old and tired after awhile too and is a form of bullying as well. And to those who have distanced themselves from the MJ community, I guess I am expressing disappointment at that. This community is still filled with awesomely terrific and loving people who love Michael and each other. I know this to be true and I am not going anywhere any time soon.

    Posted July 20, 2014 at 4:37 am | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Bullying anyone is not civil. Nastiness is uncivil. Regarding the estate– they have done a great deal to shore up finances and are brilliant at growing Michael’s wealth for his children. And some people have questions about how things have been handled and we are not privy to the “behind the scenes” machinations and decisions. There are tax valuations that are questionable including Michael’s image being valued a little over $2,000; the sale of Michael Jackson’s personal possessions and in particular his stage costumes, were allowed to be auctioned instead of being purchased and held for a planned museum– a desire he expressed throughout his life; his mother didn’t own a home until just recently; the trust has not been executed as directed; his catalog was sold to Sony whom he wanted to escape; there are still questions about the will– it’s an old will and who is to say exactly what Jackson would have wanted at the time of his death. It was obvious that he didn’t like discussing death or mortality.

    So people are inclined to have differing opinions about “the estate.” It’s a thankless and grinding job with lawsuits flying at them from all directions, ridiculous claims, some serious and damaging claims, and adversarial relationship with the Jackson family and public and media scrutiny.

    It’s unfortunate that his musical family, the family he once performed with have no say about his music or the presentation of his image. If it were my brother it would bother me. The feud is well… sad. The nullification of the Jackson family and the meme of “greedy” has been a decades long media pastime so who knows the truth of anything. A close friend has said Michael loved his family; he just didn’t want to do business with them. Many families have their dysfunction and issues but this family (and the estate for that matter) have to conduct business publicly and with an audience. Think of how you would feel if your brother passed and you weren’t allowed any sway with regard to his wishes or what happens to his music and image.

    Disputes over money, particularly large sums of money tend to get ugly. It bring out the greedy and dark side of human nature. There is enough bullying to go around in the circus that has become his affairs after his life has ended. It seems everything demands a taking of “sides.” Some of it is just petty. It’s all very, very sad.

    Criticism is a tendency of human nature and free speech is important. But it doesn’t have to be nasty and uncivil.

    And I’m pretty sure the view of life, love, family and human ego looks a lot different from the view Michael occupies now.

    Posted July 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    It does give you license to speak up, though. For it’s your ecosystem, your world, your culture and your planet. It is our COMBINED reality.

    Posted July 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
  9. lynn said . . .

    Hello Rev B-Lady Gaga was on the Ellen show,where she stated she heard of the auction of Michael’s stage costumes.She said she bought them all instead of” having them scattered in the wind-bought separate by wealthy people-so for any MJ fans I assure you they are being kept in pristine condition” She feels personally her costumes mean a lot to her, so maybe he felt the same way about his.

    Posted July 22, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I am an Ellen fan and saw the episode. I felt when she first purchased the clothes it was to preserve them. She was supposed to perform with him in the O2 arena in London and I believe she respected and admired him. On the Ellen show, she also said she would never use them herself but that she did like putting on his letter sweater because she felt embraced by the vibe imprinted on clothing by the person who wore it. She and Michael have much more in common than people realize. Remember “Paparazzi?” The distinguishing difference for the paps and media is that she is not a “dangerous” black male in a faux “post-racial” culture.

    Posted July 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  11. Theresa B said . . .

    While I could argue a few things regarding your statements about the estate, I will refrain since it would just be a waste of time and I would probably get attacked. What I have observed in the fan community is that those who have a different opinion about the estate are many times relentlessly and cruelly attacked and even stalked for their viewpoint. Most of the time it is about stating factual information, not even speculation. That is bullying too.

    Posted July 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  12. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I don’t know quite how to take this comment. I don’t allow people to attack each other here. That’s not legitimate, useful, and does not contribute to “making the world a better place” which was/is Michael Jackson’s message.

    Some people support the estate; some have questions. There is a fundamental right to question, to be circumspect, to observe and to have an opinion. It is hoped that a strong opinion is really one’s own and not influenced by outside forces; that one has judiciously examined all information. There is a right to be skeptical and also a right to wait and be wise when one renders an opinion. Preliminary opinions have harmed good people– and that includes Michael Jackson when he was accused of unspeakable acts with children. Lots of people jumped to conclusions, the media jumped on it, and even when proved wrong, all still held onto their views. It’s called “belief perseverance” and it is a human behavior that has caused all kinds of chaos.

    There are differing opinions. Neither has been completely researched because there is incomplete information. And that’s the point. There are pro-estate people who blindly approve and anti-estate people who blindly attack. There are those who follow whatever is popular in their circles which is a disguised basic human need to avoid banishment and find inclusion. Both are equally blind.

    Lobbing insults at another who differs from you is juvenile in its best form and causes wars in its worst. That’s the point too.

    There are those who research, take broad issues into perspective, refrain from commenting until all the evidence and avenues have been explored. In reality, everything cannot be explored because not everything has been revealed and the information is incomplete. With incomplete information, there are those who try to dominate because they have the absolute “right” answer. It could be argued that many warmongers of history have had the absolute “right” answer including Hitler who had the solution for the “Jewish problem,” the colonists who saw Indians and Negroes as inferior and practiced genocide to rid the society of its inferior and non-human members. Where to draw the line? There is no line.

    The idea is to use thoughtful discernment and critical thinking when approaching ANY subject. Attacks don’t work and never convince anyone because they make people dig in their heels deeper.

    The fact that someone has to even say “it would be a waste of time” here or “I would probably get attacked” is itself a sad commentary on the fan community. And relentlessly and cruelly attacking someone of a differing viewpoint is unacceptable and uncivil behavior.

    It could even be argued rather vigorously that the fans have no stake in the matter and are only observers.

    In any case argument, superiority, attacks, bullying, and inhumane treatment of others is unacceptable in a civil society. Here’s an idea: people can actually agree to disagree and be civil. It’s this “divide and conquer” mentality that has got us into an untenable situation where there may be no future. Tyrants have just about “conquered” the planet into oblivion. That’s where we (the world, the planet) are now because people felt “entitled” to attack, bully, retaliate, be inhumane and “take up all the air in the room,” so to speak.

    Think of what might have been: Had the fan community, instead of fulminating petty arguments, come together to awaken and act as one with respect, inclusion, compassion and solidarity there might have been an unstoppable force created for making unimaginable changes in the world based on Michael’s messaging. The garden might have been saved and salvation brought back. That’s the real point. Michael Jackson called his fans activists. He wished them to be his legacy. Some have gone their own way to do exactly that. But, just for a moment imagine what was… once again…. lost. And allow that to sink in.

    Posted July 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  13. lynn said . . .

    Hello again Rev B-Thank-you for “Inner Michael”,all your hard work, LOVE, empathy, compassion- included in your admirable writings about Michael! What is your answer to many people I know claiming “he must have been guilty of the charges to have paid the Chandlers $20mil”? Also, I recently taped a 4 part series on PBS-titled “The African American-Many Rivers to Cross” which I found VERY upsetting to say the least, to watch- how human beings treated OTHER human beings-Native Americans included! Why aren’t we educated to know the truth in History? (Of course $$$- cottonfields, making the US VERY wealthy!

    Posted July 23, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink
  14. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    The Jordan Chandler issue has been examined in other places such as the “Vindicating Michael” blogs. Mary Fischer’s article in G Q Magazine sums up the whole affair in her title “Was Michael Jackson Framed?” which is available now as a paperback book. G Q is a respected publication, is not a tabloid and has no reason to exaggerate or inflame subjects because it doesn’t appeal to the same audience as magazines that sensationalize in order to sell copy. “Vanity Fair” sensationalizes to sell copy while “People” Magazine, once highly respected, has evolved into a celebrity expose` medialoid publication.

    Unfortunately, competition with other publications and the decline in purchase of newspapers and magazines in favor of the Internet and cable news has impacted and sometimes dictates what goes into print. It’s an outgrowth of the media’s fixation on reporting the negative and ignoring the positive in life and human nature. How often do you hear stories of heroes and philanthropists and humanitarian acts? Not as frequently as the negative because publications are of the mindset that “sex sells” and “if it bleeds it leads” in reporting. Bombardment by negative news is exhausting, makes the world seem dark, and has everybody vertical and breathing taking anti-depressants. It’s a media prejudice and another “belief perseverance.” The day will come when that all changes; meanwhile we’re stuck with allegiance to the “dark side” of reality. There are just as many wonderful things going on in the world by beautiful people that goes unreported.

    My life’s work has certainly been eclectic but early in my career, while working in nursing, I chose psychiatric nursing as my primary interest and spent more years in psych than my work in neurology, surgery and geriatrics. Psych applies in all those disciplines and in fact, applies to all of life. Humans have a psyche and human behavior is a study and discipline of itself. There are clusters of behavioral cues that when constellated, present to a psychiatrist a probable diagnosis for which treatment is prescribed– usually chemical treatment in the form of medication. As someone with experience as a nurse and halfway house director with psychiatric residents, there are certain serious mental illnesses that are cause for alarm. One of those illnesses is Bi-Polar Disorder (historically called Manic Depression) which causes acute unpredictable behavior and outrageous acting out with extreme and exaggerated drama and even delusions (imagined realities with no factual basis.) Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar illnesses are hard to control and in acute episodes (when the brain goes haywire) can be dangerous. Evan Chandler was Bi-Polar. That’s all anyone needs to know. He demonstrates delusion in thinking that Michael Jackson is going to bankroll his career as a screenwriter and that they are going to be partners in business. Michael Jackson was always a solo act even while with his brothers; he wasn’t interested in business partnerships with anyone and was, in fact, distrustful of them having encountered the endless “vultures,” sycophants and hangers-on throughout his lifetime. Knowing Evan Chandler had Bi-Polar disorder along with Jackson’s history of philanthropy for children, is enough information for me. The media, however, is not trained in psychotherapy and being slanted toward the sensational in order to sell copy, exploited and skewed the story. (See Journalist Charles Thomson examination of the media coverage)

    Michael Jackson was sued about 50 times a year by all kinds of people wanting to cash in on his wealth. Many lawsuits were frivolous or with no basis. His attorneys handled his legal problems and sometimes suggested he just pay people to go away. Had Michael Jackson litigated every lawsuit that came his way, he would have no time to perform. For an artist, the art is not a choice, it is a compulsion. Jackson was a performance artist. Without their art, artists begin to shrivel and metaphorically die because they are creators and without the flow of creation, born artists cannot function. It’s hard for a true artist to function in the world anyway, and court, for such an artist, is painful and a waste of his creative energies and time. The “Michael Jackson” business was lucrative and his corporate sponsors in the music industry were making money off him and had a stake in clearing the way for him to perform, not waste his time in court. Many got a payout because it was easier to pay them to go away than to litigate. But the Chandler affair was serious and Jackson wanted to litigate it but was talked out of it by attorneys and his corporate sponsors. Thomas Mesereau has said many times that Jackson, in the Chandler case, was given bad advise. Paying off the “victim” made Jackson look guilty and in Mesereau’s opinion opened the door for more of the same accusations. Ten years went by before another extortion was attempted but people tend to think “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and being accused for a second time confirmed his guilt for many people. The real Michael Jackson story is filled with greed and exploitation. It’s shameful and dark human behavior. There are people, yet today, who have hopped aboard the gravy train or are waiting for it to arrive. The estate is kept busy keeping the wolves from the door of his financial and human legacy.

    Your question of ‘why aren’t we educated to the truth of history?’ is a good one. The country of America was founded on kidnapping and genocide. Colonists believed the Indians to be uncivilized “savages” and either herded them into “reservations” or simply exterminated them. They were in the way of conquest. Then they went to the shores of the African Continent and kidnapped the dark skinned natives and brought them back to work as slaves in their enterprises and domesticity. It’s not a pretty history and yes, it is “white-washed” (you can read that metaphorically or literally.) The freedom of the slaves, civil rights and human rights was a hard fought battle. The civil war devastated the country and there is still resentment today in parts of the South.

    It’s not a pretty history. It is uncivil and a violation of human rights (put mildly) as well as a shameful legacy. Nobody wants to dig up and display their past shameful behavior; they try to hide it, suppress it or forget it. That is why the truth is not revealed in its entirety– it’s ugly and criminal. And you won’t hear the truth about the African American legacy as it is “blacklisted” (again read that as metaphor or literal.) The history is played down, watered down, simply overlooked or “adjusted” to favor whites. White Privilege is very real and it leaks into the history books because blacks didn’t hold high office in education and other careers when the history books were written and children were being educated by a “civilized” and organized culture. One example of this whitewashing and re-writing history (that term inflames to this day) is the story of the Black Panthers. For example, did you know that the Black Panthers started the school breakfast program? Kids who are disadvantaged can come to school and eat breakfast. That’s a Black Panther project. The reason they became “militant” was self-defense because black men were beaten and often killed by prejudiced and corrupted white cops. They organized to protect their own, and their communities. And did you know that the “drug problem” in the “ghetto” was caused by the FBI in a covert mission trying to incapacitate the Black Panthers by getting them addicted? Not a well thought out plan. The drugs migrated into white neighborhoods– oops! Look at the prison population today and compare the percentages of black men vs. all other prison populations. J. Edgar Hoover was the FBI head during the civil rights conflict in America and, it could be argued, held more power than the president. He was very aware of the “Negro problem.” Presidents Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy tried to right the wrongs of the past and both were assassinated. President Johnson finally signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1964. For more information research: Adam Clayton Powell, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King. Jim Crow, Frederick Douglass, author James Baldwin, Aberjhani’s Harlem Renaissance Encyclopedia, Singer Harry Belafonte… and watch movies that give you a flavor of black history like Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and “Bamboozled.” The mocking of black artists didn’t begin with Michael Jackson; it has a long and jaded history. For a feel of this history recent movie releases tell a poignant story of the history of being Black in America: “The Butler,” “Twelve Years a Slave.”

    For a quick contemporary education on Women’s Rights get familiar with the “One Billion Rising” movement.

    And here’s the thing that people can do but fail to do: get involved in activism. Write letters to the publishers, to educators, to newspaper editors, and become educated about the issues. I frequently post things you can do to create change on the Inner Michael Facebook Page. For example, current issues that need attention are the potential merger of Rupert Murdoch’s empire and Time Warner. Murdoch’s tabloids made billions and he now uses that money to influence politics and manipulate public opinion. If the merger happens he will own 2 more movie studios in addition to the one he owns now. The face of the press would change because he is at heart a tabloid darling. The FCC is soliciting public opinion right now about the Internet. Some large corporations want to buy chunks of the Internet in order to discriminate what the public has access to. The Internet should be a free and open public utility. It has changed history. It allows communication in real time. Yes, there are still some predators online but parsing out the utility is not a good idea. It violates your rights to the truth even further.

    That’s a long winded answer (actually another whole post) to some pertinent questions. I hope the information helps. Keep digging and keep shining. And fight for survival not of the fittest but survival of the kindest. ~Rev. B.

    Posted July 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  15. Taaj said . . .

    Thank you for this post. I think many of us ARE guilty of the above. I can only speak for myself, and would like to apologize to anyone that I have hurt intentionally or otherwise.

    I promise i AM trying to better myself with everyday that passes.

    I was under the misguided impression it was okay to lash out if someone comes at me.

    Misguided indeed. Bullying is unacceptable. No ifs or buts.

    Dear Rev, would it be possible for you to add social media sharing widget to this site plz so visitors can easily share the posts? My apologies if you have it already, I don’t see them from my phone.

    Posted July 25, 2014 at 3:12 am | Permalink
  16. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    That widget is not here because I am not here to promote myself- this site has always grown organically by sharing when one is ready. To examine, heal and change the inner self so that the true self can shine out into the world is a personal choice and is motivated from the inside. No marketing or promotion will make someone ready. However, “when the student is ready the teacher appears.” The teachers arrive right on schedule because we are all still a work in progress. Michael Jackson was a cheerleader for finding one’s gift, light or life’s mission (Inner Michael) and sharing it with the world.

    That would be a much more productive activity than carping, gossiping or fighting with others who witnessed or heard that same call. It’s a call to action, not destruction. “He who gossips with you will gossip about you.” When one is engaged in the little ego, shadow or projection (of one’s own dis-owned faults onto another) that pursuit will end in pain. A more noble, productive and less harmful pastime is the search for one’s “Inner Michael” or metaphor for inner brilliance, inner light, shard of the divine, etc. When one can find one’s inner gift and find a place where it intersects with the world, one makes the world a better place. Not a “bitter”place. That is the place of salvation and how to bring it back. And that’s the agenda that Michael Jackson promoted his whole life.

    I am absolutely not saying that if someone comes at you that you should be passive. Nor am I saying that abuse is acceptable or that it’s somehow “noble” to allow yourself to be abused. What I am saying is that we all need to recognize when our shadow is showing and work on mature ways of handling our lives. It’s mature to take a breath, pause and consider the impact of what we do especially when it’s public and can never be taken back. Once something is out there, it can’t be erased or taken back.

    When someone attacks, lashing out or lashing back will only escalate an already tense or inflamed situation. It takes work and restraint and a mature countenance to not knee-jerk, to use diplomacy and to think things through considering all the consequences. Our little egos want to lash out and retaliate. Being a fierce warrior for justice does not mean being nasty. Unfortunately we all can forget restraint in the heat of anger. And certainly one must establish boundaries about what is OK and how one may speak to you. “I” messages are easier to hear than “you” messages. Instead of “you are a troll” or “you’re a jerk” {or worse) it’s better to state the harm: “I felt hurt when…” or “I’m feeling attacked…” Of course, it would be nice if everybody played by those rules! Internet comments have become particularly nasty in nature and I’m not sure if it’s the anonymity that makes it easy or if we are getting more frightened. We either come from an inside place of love or fear. Calling someone a name or attacking them doesn’t reveal who THEY are being, it reveals who YOU are being. The question is “do you like who you’re being and how’s that working for you?”

    This kind of attack is never well thought out nor are the consequences. The little ego gets bruised and has a tantrum. (Tantrums are neither effective nor attractive in adults. We may be inclined to excuse them in infants; but adults?) When someone crosses the line it should be pointed out. “That really is crossing a line and I find it unacceptable.” And it’s certainly wise to stand up for oneself. But it’s better to allow your history and work and accomplishments speak for you especially if you can conduct yourself with dignity and integrity. And even with using care, we can be misunderstood and that can cause pain. It’s happened to me too. And if someone is perpetually toxic, it may be more wise to walk away and move on leaving them behind. Many Jackson admirers have walked away from the community because of the pettiness they’ve witnessed or been subjected to. So, a community of millions that, in solidarity, could have changed the world in so many ways was disbursed and their collective power diffused. Hear the journalists who peddle darkness cheering? They are, you know.

    So who’s to blame for that?

    The problem that I often see is the deliberate escalation because someone is territorial about Jackson or their place in the scheme of things. I’ve also seen baiting and jealousy and envy and a game called “gotcha” as if the person who can make the meanest comment is the winner. The Winner? Really? Is that what a “winner” does? As if the nastiest person is somehow respected or elevated? In that kind of one-upmanship there are no winners, only losers who resort to trash talk instead of intelligent conversation. Ask: So, being the meanest– how’s that working for you? How do your insides feel? Do it enough and your heart will be so hard you won’t even feel your insides.

    Whether we realize it or not, we do as much harm to self as to others when we engage in petty pursuits. And to an observer, it looks juvenile and crazy. The serious issues in this world are so much bigger than any of our petty little tirades. We are destroying our planet. It is something Michael Jackson warned about this back as far as 1995 with his “Earth Song” and he repeated it clearly in “This Is It.” There is no time for these petty arguments. And our little egos aren’t going to matter much when life is extinguished here. So there is a bigger game to play. Seems to me the energy used to fight might be better used elsewhere against bullying and bullying the planet.

    To defend Michael Jackson by bullying someone is hypocrisy and makes one look foolish. Michael Jackson was a gentle soul who believed in brotherhood and love. What’s really disheartening is that this bullying is all done right out there in public– in full view of everyone. It’s no kind of “victory;” it’s an embarrassment. And nobody seems to notice that everybody now has a black eye. Bad behavior certainly doesn’t help or elevate the person you’re trying to honor; quite the contrary– it reflects badly on him and any companions and invites ridicule for the whole community.

    Talking trash back to an attacker only gives license to their raising the stakes to even darker levels which offers more evidence look foolish to the world and to justify being labeled “crazy.” It’s much more mature and dignified to present factual information that refutes an accusation. People will listen to information presented in a non-judgmental way but nobody is going to listen to a mad-dog attack.

    We need a more humane narrative on this planet and we need to “get” that it is our responsibility to be the change we want to create in the world. How can we see anything with all those black eyes? The black eye is also inside because we decontextualize our own humanity when we engage in decontextualizing another. We put holes in our insides. We harden our hearts. And that doesn’t allow us to live from a place of love whether it’s coming or going. You can’t take in something or give out something that doesn’t already live in you. You don’t have it to give.

    And someone once said “It’s all for love.”

    Posted July 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  17. Taaj said . . .

    Thank you for the reply. I agree with your every word.
    Take care

    Posted July 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

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