Just when I think racism and racist can no longer surprise me, somebody does something to slap me in the head and say racism and racist will always find a new way to shock me.
Two days after the incredible home going memorial service for Michael Jackson, Bill O’Reilly, during an interview with Reverend Al Sharpton asked, “Do you believe Michael Jackson’s White children are going to be able to survive with Katherine Jackson and their Black family?” I was absolutely shocked by this question? But what really shocked me was that the very next day ABC Entertainment picked up the story and asked the same stupid question all over again.
Now, some of you are probably saying what’s wrong with that question or why do you think that question is racist? Well, here’s why.
First off, if you saw the memorial service or if you saw the front page of the Sentinel, what you saw was a family. Not a Black family and some White kids, but a Black family all together grieving the lost of their father, son and /or brother. They consoled each other as only a grieving family could. Remember, these children were born into the Jackson family. Katherine and Joseph Jackson are the only grandparents these children have ever known, just as the rest of the Jackson clan is their aunts, uncles and cousins, etc. The memorial service was not the first time these people had ever met.
Secondly, the nerve to ask a question like that is the real kicker. Did anyone ask Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could their adopted Black baby survive in their White household? Did anyone ask Madonna and Guy Richie that when they adopted their baby from Africa? Has anyone ever questioned Tom Cruise or Steven Speilberg’s son how they survive as Black children living with White parents? The comparison, the inequity and the cruelty of this question reeks of racism.
Lastly, while these children may not be as dark as Michael we all know that we as a people come in all shades, we have all different textures of hair and the fact that they are supposed to be the product of a mixed marriage, almost anything is possible. But more importantly we need to remember only this. Racism is a taught trait, a racist has never been born. It is a learned trait. That is why if you take two children and raise them in the same household, raise them as brother and sister and never introduce that oneÂ is better than the other, they will have nothing but love and affection for each other. They will only see the similarities before they ever see the differences.
That is the true message of the Greatest Entertainer of All Time, Mr. Michael Jackson!
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
God Bless You,
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor