SO I went to Pittsburgh last week to visit some long lost eldery family members in their tiny country town. I'm sure I'll post pictures of the place, and the great vintage items I found in Pittsburgh, but that's not what this is really about. This is about the news I got on Thursday night in my hotel room - that Michael Jackson had passed away.
I am an immense Michael Jackson fan. The minute he announced his concerts in London I was begging friends to agree to see him with me when I knew he would inevitably come to New York. I don't know why, but this loss is really taking it's toll on me. It's nearly a week later and I still feel on the verge of tears thinking about it. Bettie Page's passing brought me down, but this one is keeping me down. I think that's why I haven't been able to post anything since, and though this is hard to write, I feel like I need to get it out.
When I was growing up in Florida, racism was a huge part of my community. There were certain neighborhoods you didn't drive through, places where you knew to lock your doors, and very little segregation in my schools (at least until high school). Thriller came out the year I was born, and as such I was brought up listening to it. Same goes for Bad, Off the Wall, even to Michael's History album. In my house we understood that people weren't seperated by color and we were all the same. The only thing that defined us as good people, and people able to make it out of that state, was how good we were to our friends and neighbors, and how talented you proved yourself to be. Color played no part in that. For me, and most people I knew, Michael blew every stereotype out of the water, and joined together those people who tried so hard to keep themselves seperate. No matter who you spoke to, Michael was a unifier. He was common ground.
Seeing all the people coming out in favor of him lately, all I can help but think is did you support him during the changing of his face, through the plastic surgery, through the molestation trials? I know I did. Michael was strange, but like everyone else he was human. It breaks my heart to think the people who judged him possibly drove him to this place, and left us where we are now - missing a hero, a man so talented he crossed racial divides.
I know I will always have his music, but the idea that the world is now missing such an amazing person just breaks my heart. To all those who didn't believe in him - shame on you. I hope now you realize what we've lost, and in the future you will think to embrace and help those who require it, and not push them away.
For Michael Jackson- as some have said, I'm sure you moonwalked your way through those Pearly Gates and are now bringing many people an eternity of joy.