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Lessons Left by Michael Jackson

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Richard O. Jones
Besides the wonderful music, charity work, record breaking album sales, and child molestation allegations Michael Jackson should also be remembered for something of a more redeeming value. Jackson inadvertently has left a valuable lesson. Whenever, if ever, his millions of fans stop mourning Jackson the super star and listen to Jackson the man, his legacy will become bigger than music and more powerful than a postage stamp in his honor.

Michael Jackson and his siblings were physically abused. Jackson publicly spoke about it during an interview a few years ago. To hear the interview go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc8HjdK7kJ8

In my view, Jackson and his siblings didn’t get beaten any worse than my siblings and me and many other African Americans that came up during the 50s, 60s, and/or 70s. Very seldom do I run across a Black person above 50 years-old that can’t recall times of severe beatingsby a parent or parental figure. Child abuse is pervasive in the Black community.  I also recall reading about the childhood physical and sexual abuse of the late great comedian Richard Pryor. It is clear to social workers and psychologists that childhood abuse is harmful in the lives of the abused for many years.  Perhaps such mistreatment led to Pryors’ well-known drug use and sexual promiscuity. Perhaps such abuse led to Jackson’s bizarre behavior. Even the convicted murderer sentenced to life in prison in the late 60s Charles Manson talks of his abuse as a child at the hands of his mother.

Since the world is now looking at the life of Michael Jackson, this would be a good time for community activists to campaign for child abuse awareness in the name of Michael Jackson. Sure a Michael Jackson stamp is fine but it would be more meaningful to an abused child to see an Anti-Child Abuse Center or new child abuse laws passed in his honor.

Michael Jackson leaves the world with a major lesson about the misuse of prescription drugs.  But he also leaves a bigger lesson about how child abuse can devastate a child for a lifetime.

Parents today that abuse their children may escape the law but they should know that their children would never forget a tormented childhood. Such parents might go to their grave hated for acts done many decades earlier. There are no parents that wish to instill such hatred in their children, yet verbal and physical child abuse continues. Perhaps in the memory of the sad personal legacy of Michael Jackson and Richard

Pryor their millions of fans can make a difference. I didn’t know Jackson or Pryor but I think they would be prouder if their legacy could lessen child abuse than be given a stamp.


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