It’s very confusing -and disheartening- to know that there are some fans who are racist and insensitive towards the plight of Black Americans. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, I see that a lot of fans have shown their true colors. Some white fans have gone on to complain about black fans talking about what their ancestors did, blatantly displaying their “white guilt”, and acting as if we were trying to make them feel bad for what their ancestors did. Well, to be frank, white people are not responsible for what their ancestors did (unless you are in fact racist). HOWEVER, African Americans did not create this system, so you cannot expect us to vanquish systematic racism by ourselves. We have to live with the effects of what your ancestors did every day, so excuse me if I don’t feel sympathetic towards your feelings being hurt just because I talk about racism and the history of your ancestors that affect me and my people to this day. Blacks and Whites just integrated only fifty years ago. Fifty years. not one thousand, or two thousand. Fifty. Just because it makes you uncomfortable to talk about doesn’t mean we have to stop talking about it. How can you call yourself a fan of a conscious black man and then turn around and make racist/silencing statements? Let me give you some examples:
Whether you like it or not, Michael Jackson made an effort to educate people about systematic racism and white privilege. He spoke about it in his videos. He read books about real Black history and even sought out his African roots. He didn’t just sing about healing the world or repairing the earth. His music has a deeper message, especially songs like They Don’t Care About Us. in the prison version, he highlighted how the incarceration of black males is a business, and in the Rio de Janeiro version, he highlighted how the government refused to give disadvantaged people of color resources, their living conditions. I think it’s very interesting how he made it a point to show his vitiligo (He would usually cover himself in makeup, so that took a lot of courage) in the TDCAU short film, as if to say “I may have changed but I’m still Black, I’m still aware.” There is a deeper message. In Remember the Time and other short films, he made it a point to accurately portray ancient Egyptians. For a fan to claim that Egypt is not in Africa, and that Egyptians were not black shows ignorance. He did his research.
There are so many things to talk about when it comes to racism in the fan base. I’ve seen many hurtful things said by non black fans, such as saying that blacks make themselves out to be the victim, or depend on handouts. Or that we’re responsible for our own oppression. I’ve even seen some fans saying that there were once white slaves, as if they were oppressed on the same level as black slaves. Ridiculous! It’s also dismissive and deviates from the subject. Do not talk about something else when someone is speaking of something historical that makes you uneasy. Also, do not claim to care about black lives and then turn around and center the movement around yourself as a white person. You do not understand oppression, so don’t even try to add your opinion or suggestions of what Blacks should do. You should be more concerned about calling out white people who are actually racist, rather than crying about being generalized. Hash tags like #WhiteLivesMatter and #WhiteAppreciationDay are racist, inappropriate and silencing. For you to even use those hashtags proves you only care about yourself, because they are a direct response to #BlackOutDay and #BlackLivesMatter . Every white person has white privilege. That doesn’t mean your life is perfect, but society stands to benefit you because of your race, just like it stands to oppress me. Step out of your bubble. Your fave was a black man, pre and post-vitiligo. It didn’t suddenly change his race or his awareness of what his people went through. Yes, he highlighted the suffering of other races as well, but he also made it a point to focus on his people. He also exposed how the entertainment industry in general was very racist, especially the SONY promotion company. It was revealed in the SONY hack that even today they have racist employees. MJ knew that the black sound and dance was stolen and appropriated. He knew that Black artists had their music stolen from them from racist promotion companies. That is part of the reason why he bought the rights to that music and returned them to their rightful artists. So, tell me how MJ wasn’t pro-black again?