michael-jackson-1194269_640When I watched this video today I didn’t remember hearing it before. I wasn’t a die hard MJ fan so although I have heard many songs throughout the years, this one passed me by. Maybe, at that time, it didn’t have the same meaning to me then that it does today. The message is powerful.

The irony, though, is that he is talking about the black man, and the underclass of minorities, yet he did everything he could to alter his physical self to look as white as possible because he didn’t like being black and having black features. He even tried to pass off his whiteness as a skin disease instead of it being what it was – lightened skin – he wanted to be white. To sing a song that says, “They don’t care about us,” never applied to him and his privileges. He never lived as an invisible black man no one cared about. But many do.

Thanks to pushback.com for airing it again. If you don’t already know about this website they publish much about black history I never knew. Having black grandchildren it’s important to me to know so I can teach them. They sure won’t learn it in their classrooms in Texas schools.

 

19 thoughts on “Michael Jackson -They Don’t Care About Us

  1. Hello, Sonni. I have a technical issue with wordpress. Sometimes,the blogs that I “follow” are being mysteriously “unfollowed.” I, of course, just click the “follow” button again. I just wanted to tell you that. I don’t want you to ever think I would “unfollow” your blog on my own. Has this ever happened to you?
    God bless.

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    1. Not that I know of, but wouldn’t you have to be looking out for that to notice? I’ve never seen, when I’ve gone to a blog post that you had me. We work to hard for good readership as it is. I look at some blood who have a zillion flowers and tons of comments and wonder how. Especially when the blogs have nothing to say and comments are all “nice blog” and “thanks”. I wish I had more time to read good blogs. Its hard to get back to some as often as I’d like.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I had never been a great fan of MJ. However, he did grow on me – maybe because he did grow, as in matured as an artist.
    I experienced this song at Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Review. Powerful.
    My input to this conversation: As a performer, with worldwide appeal, Michael had evolved to an advocate for social justice and similar concerns. This is why his music matters.

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    1. I agree with you. I haven’t been an avid fan, and he had a troubled life caused by fame, but he did record socially conscious music – yet still tried to look white and hated his black nose so much that he mutilated himself. He was a beautiful young man who didn’t like being in his own skin.

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  3. A Google search led me here. Interesting analysis. Some comments made are not supported by facts. For example, autopsy report confirms vitiligo and 10 people living in a two bedroom house in very poor Gary IN and having to work since the age of 10 to maintain the family lifestyle certainly doesn’t support him having a privileged life. He and his siblings truly worked and earned that lifestyle. Apart from that, it’s good that you’ve discovered this song that is over 20 years old and you’ve contributed to the dialogue. By the way, the McCartney song is Ebony and Ivory and the diet partner is Stevie Wonder.

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    1. Thanks for helping me remember the sing Ebony and Ivory. My writing about him saying “they don’t care about us” and him being privileged was not a comparison of his childhood. He is singing those words as if he is part of underprivileged group of people at a time while he was extremely wealthy, as if he was suffering along with the people he was singing and dancing with. That is irony. Him having vitiligo is a real thing and yes, parts of a body can go white. To my knowledge, I don’t think it is proven he had it and people don’t go from black to total white like that after they are grown.. I have also read that bleaching the skin is not uncommon. I can’t supply a link right now but you could do a search on it. Also I’m not putting him down. He was a very talented but very troubled man who needed help he didn’t get. Thank you for your comment. I hope you stick around and read more of what this blog stands for, which is on the incarceration of so many black people and the life of one person in particular.

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  4. MJ had wrote about this blackness / whiteness previously as well in the bestseller ‘Don’t Matter If You’re Black or White’. But this song is equally strong, and has a message. Always loved MJ. I grew up listening to his songs ‘Beat it”, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” 🙂

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    1. Wasn’t there another one he did with Paul McCartney using the black and white piano keys. That wasn’t the same song was it? Everyone knows it is wrong but it never changes. There is such a need by the white race to convince themselves their DNA is superior. Unfortunately they have too much of the wealth so it doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong.

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        1. I’m sure you have to contend with that when traveling to certain areas. When trump was beginning to campaign for the presidency and it became obvious the direction he was going in, I said then, once hate is let out of the bottle, how do we put it back in again? I have this hollow part in my gut that tells me we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This past week in the pictures of the hate riots, these men and a few women were so young -20’s. They have never had to feel the consequences of their actions on their own lives. And now they don’t have to hide. Trump has neo-Nazis in the White House. No wonder he won’t denounce them. How bad does it have to get? How many have to get hurt?

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          1. It’s very unfortunate to discriminate because of the color or the looks. In the US, this is publicly known and acknowledged, but in certain parts of India it is neither publicly known or acknowledged that such a practice exists. But it does. We do not have Afro-origin population here, and the dark-skinned (myself included) looks more like Latinos (you live in Florida, so I presume you can understand the difference). I remember being slashed out of job interviews despite having a good degree and clear understanding of the work requirements. Unlike in the US, there are no guidelines against such discrimination, other than the constitutional rights you hold. But then no one speaks that at your face that you are not awarded the job because you have a certain skin color. Even in news channels, you will never see a dark-skinned woman on screen, simply because they are “not camera friendly’. Well, can’t do anything about it. I’ve learned to live with it my way. 😦

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            1. That is probably the best attitude to have.There have always been race issues here that most people pretended didn’t affect them – but these last two years have been horrible and people who like they came from somewhere else are often afraid. People are ignorant of what nationality people are and they don’t care. Trump has made hate crimes acceptable. When they wave signs that say, “Make America White Again” when America has never been white, people are angrier than ever. It’s like continuing to say we are a Christian nation founded on Christian law. No we aren’t. We were founded on freedom of religion and separation of church and state, which means no Christian teaching in public schools and prayer breakfasts at the white house. Their brand of Christianity is how to control the masses. Nothing has changed. The Christians I see today are hateful and want a civil war. I see it coming with trump militarizing the police and creating new crimes to full the prisons. Being white I may not have much to fear except I’m very outspoken, but I fear for my daughter’s sons ages 9 & 11. Especially Jamie’s son because he is dark skinned. One false move, even in school, his fault or not could get him locked up since police are in school grounds and they live in tx which is bad. Jamie(dad) was locked up as a kid for 4 years for something he didn’t do. Got out with no education. It’s what they want. No life experience. No job. Now he’s pushing almost 12 more years inside. I worry when he gets out how he will cope – especially being locked up alone for so long. It’s why I work to get done all I’m doing. It gives me a reason to keep pushing through my own problems. You are dark skinned but they don’t portray you as stupid with a criminal gene. People believe that here.

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  5. I’d forgotten about this song and, as you said, it’s very powerful. I really love the drumming as well as the lyric. As a nurse, I always thought of Michael Jackson as someone who may have had a very severe case of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). But, of course, I don’t know for certain. It’s an interesting point that “they don’t care about us” never applied to him and his privileges. I’m really glad you posted this and I am looking forward to perusing pushback.com. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a good point. He never had to live the life of an underprivileged black kid, did he, so it seems kind of ludicrous. And he wanted so much to be white, obviously, so I think your assessment is right. But it doesn’t matter.He was desperately unhappy with himself. So many talented people people die of excess trying to let chemicals make them happy. they seem to all die young.

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