On Obama’s Refusal to Acknowledge Michael Jackson

By Saswat Pattanayak

Obama’s constant denial to acknowledge racial tensions in the United States has refused him an ability to officially respect Michael Jackson’s demise. Michael- the most famous black man and the most popular black entertainer in the world history passed away. And only the fans must do all the mourning. The fans must keep Michael’s memories alive. The United States system has apparently no obligation to commemorate the occasion. President Obama has refused to issue a written statement to mourn the passing of Michael even as world over, millions of people are heartbroken.

As a perpetuator of the liberal Zionist media spin, President Obama relegated his press secretary Gibbs, a thoroughly disgusting communicator considering his role of responsibility, to convey the musings to the media. And how did Gibbs respond to a series of sincere questions about why the White House would not release a written statement? He laughed and said to the press: “You know, I think I did a good job”.

He implied celebrating a national hero is not the job of the President. The president is apparently busy. He is too busy to join the huge majority of the earth to respect the most celebrated black man. After all, he is in constant denial about the significance of the black freedom struggle in the United States. A freedom struggle that continues to this day. A freedom struggle which was being waged by even the most “successful” artist of color.

President Obama acknowledges there is an economic crisis. He is trying his best to help the Wall Street magnets reclaim their power corridors. He is making sure that the corporate banking conglomerates get the “bailout” money needed to re-strengthen their stature. But he refuses to acknowledge that the economic crisis does not affect everyone equally. He refuses to acknowledge that in the United States, the society has been unequal along the racial divides. The corporate CEOs’ luxury vacations out of frustrations at economic stagnation should not be confused with the thousands of black educated men and women who have been unjustly abandoned from their workplaces.

Unlike Obama’s election rhetoric which denies racial inequalities in America, the fact is, there is a Black America and there is a White America. This is something which Michael Jackson painfully realized and publicly acknowledged. The way in which the White America creative industry overwhelms the Black American artistic endeavors was properly articulated by Michael: “All the form of popular music from Jazz to Hip-Hop, to Bebop, to Soul – all these are forms of black music…you talk about different dances from Catwalk, to Jitterbug, to Charleston, to Break dancing – all these are forms of black dancing. We (black artists) are the real pioneers who started these. These things are very important but if you go to the bookstore down the corner, you will not see one black person on the cover, you’ll see Elvis Presley, you’ll see the Rolling Stones.” Michael challenged the legacy of white musical legends such as Elvis and Beatles. He said, “Otis Blackwell was a prolific phenomenal writer who wrote some of the greatest Elvis Presley songs. And this was a black man, but he died penniless. I met his daughter and I’m so honored. It was the same level as meeting the Queen of England.”

Is it because Michael Jackson was vocal, nondiplomatic and accurate in his depiction of the racial divides in the American entertainment industry which irked President Obama? Or was it because Obama has simply no faith in the American judiciary system which despite having caused enough damages to Michael during his life, despite subjecting him to inhumane police brutality, clearly declared him innocent of each and every allegations brought forth against him. Michael was almost bankrupt and he could not even buy the judiciary system like many politicians simply raise funds to become political candidates. Michael was too private when it came to meeting the press so he could not influence the mass media unlike many politicians who simply use the force of empty rhetoric and press relations to declare untested popularity. Where did Michael fault so much as to not deserve a national statement upon his death?

President Obama never hesitated to offer a written statement for Omar Bongo – an infamously corrupt politician of Gabon – when he died, just two weeks before Jackson’s demise! Obama’s written statement said: “I am saddened to learn of the death of President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. President Bongo played a key role in developing and shaping the strong bilateral relationship that exists between Gabon and the United States today. President Bongo consistently emphasized the importance of seeking compromise and striving for peace, and made protecting Gabon’s natural treasures a priority. His work in conservation in his country and his commitment to conflict resolution across the continent are an important part of his legacy and will be remembered with respect. On behalf of the United States government, I offer my condolences to his family and to the people of Gabon.”

Clearly President Obama has no elementary knowledge of the cold war history, else he would never make such a statement praising Bongo! Unless of course he has only consumed the noncritical liberal press that makes hero of anyone who praises interventionistic tactics of the United States. Bongo, right on! Michael Jackson, hell no!

Obama has never failed to issue official statements just to denounce the decision of a magazine to honor Louis Farrakhan. “I strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.”

The White House released official statement from the President regarding shooting at DC’s Holocaust Museum, which left one security guard dead: “I am shocked and saddened by today’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms. No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world.”

To such statements – be it in honor of Bongo or the Holocaust Museum, or in opposition to honoring Farrakhan, there need not be any controversy. As a human being, Obama is entitled to honor or dishonor them. But when it comes to Michael Jackson, whose contributions to the world of music is unlike any other, and which is duly acknowledged by everyone – and whose death was mourned by world leaders from Nelsn Mandela to Hugo Chavez, what did Obama have to lose?

More importantly, what has United States got to lose if we officially show respect to MJ – the most well known and acknowledged man of color. Will we never commemorate his death with a national week of mourning? Will we never celebrate his birthday officially? Will we never remember that black artistry must be celebrated above all else? It is true we have not duly acknowledged many great black artists in the past. The question is shall we continue this trend?

United States machinery has appropriated the gains from Michael’s “We Are The World” to help America put a human face on its cold war strategies. In America’s war against drugs, Michael has been used as the most influential and positive role model. To implement humanitarian causes that secured politicians such as Al Gore Nobel Prizes and Bill Clinton immortality, Michael’s legacy was used to the max. And most notably, in the past, all American Presidents have issued official statements mourning great artists. Here are just a few:

Jimmy Carter’s written Statement by the President on the Death of Elvis Presley on August 17, 1977

“Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.”

John Lennon was remembered after his death by both President Carter and incoming President Reagan through written statements.

Frank Sinatra’s death was mourned by Bill Clinton through a detailed written statement to the press:
“Hillary and I were deeply saddened to hear of the death of a musical legend and an American icon, Frank Sinatra. Early in his long career, fans dubbed him ‘The Voice.’ And that was the first thing America noticed about Frank Sinatra: that miraculous voice, strong and subtle, wisecracking and wistful, streetwise but defiantly sweet. In time he became so much more. Sinatra was a spellbinding performer, on stage or on screen, in musicals, comedies and dramas. He built one of the world’s most important record companies. He won countless awards, from the Grammy — nine times — to the Academy Award, to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And he dedicated himself to humanitarian causes. When I became president, I had never met Frank Sinatra, although I was an enormous admirer of his. I had the opportunity after I became president to get to know him a little, to have dinner with him, to appreciate on a personal level what fans around the world, including me, appreciated from afar. Frank Sinatra will be missed profoundly by millions around the world. But his music and movies will ensure that ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ is never forgotten. Today, I think every American would have to smile and say he really did do it his way. Hillary and I would like to offer our condolences to Frank’s wife, Barbara, and to his children, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina. Our hearts are with them today.”

What has stopped President Obama and the US administration from honoring Michael Jackson, who has emerged even greater in his death?

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

8 thoughts on “On Obama’s Refusal to Acknowledge Michael Jackson

  1. Michael Jackson was possibly the most famous and appreciated man from the United States.
    I totally agree with you.

  2. Mr. Jackson, an American icon/hero. Yeah right. Clearly he was a talented individual but one whose talent was outshone by his eratic behavior, drug use, and pedophilic tendencies. Those masses in mourning are a vocal minority of America while a silent majority wonders how such a troubled person ever came to be so adored. And how those troubles, serious and detrimental, came to
    be so quickly forgotten. And lastly I would add that I chuckle at the thought of the leader of the free world being expected to publicly mourn a pop star. This is not American idol, it’s the American government.

  3. Amen on this post. I was as enthusiastic about Obama’s election to the Presidency as I ever was about Michael Jackson’s incredible talent. I had great respect for both of their achievements. After observing Obama’s demeaning response to the death of a historic, artistic, American legend, my enthusiasm and hope for the Obama presidency is greatly diminished.

    President Clinton paid beautiful respect to the Jackson family over their loss, and the loss for this country. Obama should have taken a lesson from the former president on how to honor *American* artistic exceptionalism.

    While I will continue to hope that Obama does right by the people of this country who helped him get elected, my passion for his presidency is greatly diminished in light of his callousness towards the loss of Michael Jackson. The significance of MJ’s death deserved much more from the leader of this nation, especially given Obama’s racial makeup and the multiracial solidarity that helped lead him into the history books of this great country.

    Al Sharpton was right when he said Michael Jackson helped make the election of a Barack Obama possible. The president should have shown respect based on that fact alone.

    All I can say at this point is, be careful Mr. Obama. The racial tides in this country have been known to ebb and flow, sometimes to great regret of the assimilated who delude themselves into believing they have transcended race. To the surprise of many, MJ understood well the dichotomy that is the American ideal not yet realized. The genius of MJ’s life, is that he worked tirelessly within that duplicitous framework to help bridge the divides that have too long prevented our nation from becoming that more perfect union, and was one of the first to do so globally.

    Michael Jackson deserved much better than you, Mr. President Obama, afforded.

  4. Actually, if you look into it , Michael Jackson really did much less than he could have done for the civil rights movement. Apart from “Black or White” (which came relatively late in his career) he never really made any overt references to it. In fact, some would argue that he was actually in denial about his skin colour. If you want to mourn a musician, perhaps James Brown would be more apposite. Listen to the call-and-response chorus of “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”, and the lyric about dying on your feet instead of living on your knees, or the majority of work by Stevie Wonder, or “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, and tell me that “Michael Jackson helped make the election of a Barack Obama possible”… are you serious? What statement did he make about, for example, Rodney King? What overt statements did he make for the black power movement? In fact, Michael Jackson was actually a kind of creepy, sentimental Hollywood figure, whose syrupy and vague statements about the children of the world were brought into sharp relief after the accusations made against him by a child. One of his great friends was Elizabeth Taylor. Does that not tell you anything?
    I fear that the fact you’re most probably a fan of Michael jackson has clouded your judgement: how you cannot see that he was just a part of the Hollywood machine is beyond me. Over at http://saswat.com/about/ you seem to make rather high-falutin’ claims about yourself as a radical. Ironically, claiming to be “a Human being, Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black Power comrade, Peacenik, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite” is rather contradictory: that list seems to me like a protracted self-important hagiography of yourself. That kind of chest-puffing is ironically rather patriarchal. If you stop posing by the tree (the fact that you are involved in something called egojournal.com/ is perhaps another brilliant irony), take the shades off and take down the undergraduate Che Guevara poster from the wall, you’d perhaps realise that you need to get out of America and see the real world. Over here in England, the kind of saccharine, corn-ball, schmaltzy, Disney-esque statements that Michael jackson used to utter, coupled with his apparent denial of his blackness, made him more of a figure of ridicule than somebody to respect. He was certainly no intellectual. Obama perhaps had more dignity than you thought. There’s a recession on: I’d prefer my political leaders to stay away from the celebrity world, and concentrate on the politics. Your post above merely shows how far the left have fallen, and how far the needle is twisted on your moral compass. Case in point: here: http://saswat.com/blog/ahmadinejad_is_the_leader.html you are claiming that “Ahmadinejad is the Leader the World Needs Now!”
    Actually, if you had done the tiniest bit of homework, you’d see the huge hole in this theory. Muslims like him (at least the ones who lean toward the more fundamentalist side of the religious bed) DESPISE the usual cornerstones of the radical left you claim to represent: the right for people to lead a homosexual life, feminism, freedom of speech etc… When I tell you this, which bit of it don’t you understand? Go live in Iran, and see how fast your irrelevant blog gets taken down, comrade. Your “sisters” over there are getting forty lashes for wearing trousers.
    And you moan about Obama?

  5. Where’s my comment?
    Funny how you claim to be such a radical, yet (just like the nasty media / Big Brother machine you profess to be fighting against) you censor this blog. Have you got the balls to allow my comment? Or do you only allow comments from your friends?
    Back to class for you, comrade.

  6. Jack Baber, apparently, you are reading too much into this blog. How about spending time with those that agree with your love for your favorite politicians? I still think Ahmadinejad and Chavez and Castro make way more sense than some of the folks you seem to be endorsing. If you are so up for freedom and liberty, you should just respect my right to hold my opinion. If you have a blog somewhere, maybe you can post your obamalove there instead of judging me here. Does that make sense?

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