I am rarely a fan of Al Sharpton. I usually find him to be a blowhard. Today as he eulogized Michael Jackson, he talked about those who grew up with hearing and seeing Michael Jackson, and how kids from all different races and cultures danced and sang and somehow knew it was ok to be friends. Perhaps for those of us who were already grown when Michael began his career, learning that it’s ok to be friends was a little harder to learn.

 

“It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians and Latinos together. It was Michael Jackson that made us sing ‘we are the world,’ to feed the hungry long before Live Aid.”
“It was that comfort level that kids from Japan and Ghana and France and Iowa and Pennsylvania got comfortable enough with each other so later it wasn’t strange to us to watch Oprah on television,”

 

 

No one knew what to expect today. TV was even blaring that an elephant parade would take place because the Staples Center would be the venue for the Ringling Bros circus starting Wednesday. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a fabulous tribute to a special entertainer who had a world-wide following. Even in that huge auditorium, with all the glaring lights and special effects, the good-bye was somehow intimate and personal. It certain touched a little part of everyone lucky enough to view the tasteful affair.

32 Thoughts to “Al Sharpton’s Tribute to Michael Jackson”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    What I saw of the service, I thought it was well done, and I hear the authorities in LA pulled everything off without a hitch….good on them! If I could say one thing to the Republican party five days or so ago, it would be “for the love of God, leave Michael Jackson alone.” I’ve heard some crazy stuff from my buddies Rush and Hannity over the last couple of days. Stuff like “MJ never contributed anything to society altruistically.” I don’t buy that for one second, and man are we ever going off-message with that junk. Yes, the soldiers do not get as big a send-off as Michael Jackson….but dear God, this isn’t the time or place to make that point. The man was an unbelievable talent, I personally believe a superior father, and no matter what anyone thinks about his controversy, a force for good in the world. 9 out of 10 times someone says the GOP is alienating voters, I disagree, but grandstanding to the detriment of Michael Jackson is just crazy.

  2. I played your video reluctantly because usually these things are pretty Hollywood and feel remote and tinsel. This was good, though. I think MJ suffered a lot in his life, evidenced by his ill physical and mental health. He should go out with some positive words. I hope he rests in peace.

    When my Dad was here visiting this past week, he went on and on about how tired he is of hearing about MJ. I told him it was like Elvis dying or John Lennon. You can hate these guys if you want, and they weren’t exactly family role models, but they are huge cultural icons. I think there is a generation gap somewhere that doesn’t allow people to understand this.

    The funny part is, my Dad turned on Fox news. Fox was saying the same thing–that there was too much being made of MJ’s death. So then, Fox advertised their next news segment intending to discuss how there is too much discussion on MJ’s death! I laughed by butt off.

  3. I played your video reluctantly because usually these things are pretty Hollywood and feel remote and tinsel. This was good, though. I think MJ suffered a lot in his life, evidenced by his ill physical and mental health. He should go out with some positive words. I hope he rests in peace.

    When my Dad was here visiting this past week, he went on and on about how tired he is of hearing about MJ. I told him it was like Elvis dying or John Lennon. You can hate these guys if you want, and they weren’t exactly family role models, but they are huge cultural icons. I think there is a generation gap somewhere that doesn’t allow people to understand this.

    The funny part is, my Dad turned on Fox news. Fox was saying the same thing–that there was too much being made of MJ’s death. So then, Fox advertised their next news segment intending to discuss how there is too much discussion on MJ’s death! I laughed by be-hind off.

  4. rod2155

    This will seem like a long shot, but hear out my reasoning…

    If there was no Michael Jackson…I wonder if our world conflicts would be a lot more violent?

    Think about it, in the 80’s you could be in El Salvador, Afganistan, Iran, Iraq, Congo or where ever the worst spots in the world were. The dictators would be working hard either killing the people or brainwashing the people into killing, and yet late at night, in the backrooms and boomboxes, some Michael Jackson song would be playing. Michaels music broke past any type of religious mandate or hateful rhetoric, it showed that America was not all that bad despite what the warlords, Mullahs and dictators claimed.

    With Michael Jackson being universally loved by ordinary people around the world, dictators looking to engage in conflict with the U.S. could never win over 100% of the minds of their people in full out hating the U.S.

    One can make the argument the Michael Jackson was just as successful as Raegan and Pope John Paul the II in ending the cold war just from the sheer numbers of Russians listening to his outlawed albums and hoping for democracy solely for the purpose of having Michael being able to come to Russia to perform live.

    I don’t think any of that was Michael’s plan at all, at least not in the beginning, I think Michael Jackson was being used to further G-D’s will in breaking down culteral barriers in the 80’s and 90’s, to show the world that we do have things in common, even if it’s just a love of music. To show that we are all human, not a bunch of stereotypes concieved from ignorance.

    Even in his death, he’s united all sorts of people who you would never expect to share in grief. I remember the evening that the news broke, I was going for a walk and all you could hear blaring from everyone’s speakers, be they Latino, Asian, Black or White was Michael Jackson hits.

    Despite Michael’s flaws (which I can easily understand giving the type of life he had to endure) He was a man worthy of honor, across the nation, across the world.

  5. @rod2155
    Interesting take, Rod.

    Ask the same question when you listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAkfHShATKY

  6. Moon-howler

    Congressman Peter King overlooked that old American concept about being innocent until proven guilty. I felt he was totally out of line and set a bad example for other members of congress.

    Congressman Peter King Still Angry About MJ’s Coverage, ‘An Orgy Of Glorification’ Of a ‘Pedophile’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zznsby5YFc

    I was amazed as I watched the Michael Jackson Memorial how much of his music I knew considering I didn’t grow up with it. I think everyone here has made excellent points this morning.

    The fact that the media was grousing about too much coverage and then moving on to the next MJ story did not go unnoticed here either.

    Michael Jackson was huge, his life was huge, his death was huge, his music was global.

    Change the channel if one is bored. Maybe those who were tired of it wanted to see more Sarah Palin on the fishing boat.

  7. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Yeah, I can’t fathom King thinking that message was going to resonate with anyone. Here’s a good example of Republicans taking the “moral high ground” on the heels of Sanford. I found myself shaking my head in disgust..just leave Michael Jackson alone, let his family grieve and let them bury the guy without trying to turn it into a publicity stunt for yourself. Nothing more fun than watching your guys shoot themselves in the foot! :). We were in a restaurant the other day and Michael Jackson’s music was playing over the restaurant’s system and my 20-month old boy started dancing around to it and I thought to myself “that says it all about the guy and his music” It’s hard to hear it and not move around, dance, or whatever one does.

  8. Clairese Lippincott

    Hannity, and lesser talk-show jerks, like Joe Pagliarulo (joepags.net) ranted all week, calling Michael a pedophile, while millions of sane Americans joined Jackson’s family in mourning his death.

    I wonder if Hannity or Joe Pags could weather the abuse of having media talking heads like them spreading the malicious lie that THEY were pedophiles all over the airwaves?

    Call or email these guys and ask, “When will you stop molesting children, Mr. Hannity, Mr.Pagliarulo?” Then watch them howl about being accused and about injustice.

  9. Moon-howler

    Excellent point Slowpoke. You have my 100% agreement on this one.

    *I* was tired of hearing all the hoopla also, but I felt Peter King was way over the top. There are just some opinions you keep to yourself. That should have been one of them. Plus, he should have been afraid to call him a pedophile. No proof of that one! I agree with your earlier statement, he probably was a wonderful father.

    I think he was probably very naive and didn’t learn survival 101. He left himself open to the greedy world in his love of people and children. Making unwise choices is not the same as being a pedophile.

    Cute regarding your little one! And it says it all!

  10. Rick Bentley

    If there was no Michael Jackson – some other mediocre talent would have been hyped to mythical status and sold worldwide.

    I wouldn’t have done what King did, but I can’t disagree with some of what he said. Of course, he excerpts himself and the rest of his political buddies from the same arguement. They deserve not the attention they get, the pay and pension and perks they get, nor the type of glorification they get. Who the heck is peter king to talk? what has he acheived in life?

  11. Rick Bentley

    That scene with Jackson’s daughter speaking is very affecting. But you know why it’s especially moving?

    Because the girl’s so striking. She’s got movie star looks.

    Which didn’t just happen. She was engineered to be good-looking. And clearly she has French blood in her – and hence the name “Paris”.

    I wish his kids the best and respect their grief. At the same time, I think their father was quite mentally ill. Some people adopt underprivileged babies. Not Jackson. he was a best of everything, spare no expense kind of guy. No babies from Malawai for him. He had his kids genetically engineered from the finest available sperm and eggs. Those kids are going to exist with some level of identity crisis in their lives which is some fraction of the replicants’ feelings in “Blade Runner”. They didn’t just happen. They were bred to be beautiful.

  12. Rick Bentley

    As to Sharpton, he’s beneath contempt. This is what he does. He made a name for himself promulgating false rape charge and tearing his city apart. And since then has kept himself a known quantity by running like heck towards the scene anywhere that there are any black people and more than a few cameras.

    To see this ostensible champion of black people playing boot-licker to a guy who pathgologically hated being black, and then castigating “society” for his friend’s mental issues, is too much for me to bear without vomiting. We are indeed in a sick society where people worship heros as gods, sacrifice reason at the altar of convenience, and work all too often against their own best interests.

    If we all just stop paying attention to Sharpton, he will go away. I recommend that we as a nation collectively follow that course.

  13. Moon-howler

    Rick, I usually dislike Sharpton. I thought he had some interesting things to say; things I had not thought about.

    I came of age in the era of the Beatles, Dylan and Don McLean singing Bye bye Miss American Pie, not MJ. I looked at things differently than the MJ generation. I do think unless we live in a cave or in a strict Amish household, we are products of pop culture to a certain degree.

    I don’t disagree that Michael Jackson was mentally ill. How sad for him and his family. I think you are asking MJ to do more than you would have the rest of us do. He has contributed more to charity than than any other entertainer. You are making him sound like a totally selfish lout.

    ‘they were bred to be beautiful’ Have you seen their mother? Just asking.

  14. Rick Bentley

    Moon-howler, Debbie Rowe is CLEARLY not the egg donor of that girl, any more than Michael Jackson was the sperm donor.

  15. Rick Bentley

    I’m at the risk of sounding like some type of ped weirdo, but the girl is extremely striking. I believe her egg was known to be from some extremely attractive model type, who is French. Notice how the girl looks French, and was named “Paris”.

  16. Moon-howler

    How does someone look French? I think that they both look like a younger version of her mother. Did you see the fireside interview with Debbie Rowe? That is where I saw the striking resemblance.

    I agree, the children are beautiful and good for him for protecting them from the world.

  17. Rick Bentley

    You saw a resemblance? I don’t see it.

    Rowe is now claiming she is the biological mother in terms of egg donation, maybe we’ll find out in court.

    I don’t see it at all. Rowe is not an attractive woman. His kids, any way the first two that I see on camera, are striking. You think that he left that to chance?

    I guess I can see why you might claim some resemblance but I still doubt it.

    Almost surely the girl does have French blood in her. Rowe said something in an interview to the effect that the girl was “conceived in Paris” – in a lab, i would think.

  18. Rick Bentley

    I’m sure that some type of non-disclosure agreements exist and whoever knows can’t talk without losing money.

  19. Moon-howler

    Maybe Rowe went to Paris for a nooner? 😉

    So help me out here. Is Rowe still the biological mother if she is not the egg donor? Reproduction has just gotten too high tech for this home girl.

    Yes, I do see a resemblence. If you look at earlier pictures of her you can see it. (at leat to me) Just remember, gravity is not a kind force.

  20. rod2155

    Michael’s little girl looked a tad bit like Brooke Shields…

    Yes his children may have been designer, but I don’t think Michael used them as toys, I think he generally loved them as much as he was capable. I feel really bad for them, they were brought into a very twisted world where they will be constantly watched untill another pop superstar is manufactured to hold the public gaze.

    I certianly don’t blame Michael for what he became…he never had a chance, he was surrounded all his life by people looking to exploit him for money and worshiped by millions of fans as if he were a living god. It did not pass my notice as I watched the funeral that many of the pictures of Michael that were broadcast on the screen behind him were manipulated with little rays of light or star fields making him look like a Messianic figure. It would not suprise me if some minor religion evolves from Michael’s life, like Rastafar.

    Michael Jackson pretty much ended up like Judy Garland in the end, And I hope his daughter does not end up like Liza Minelli (in some ways she certianly won’t). It hurts me that Michaels daughter is being looked after now by the same pack of wolves that tortured her father to death.

  21. Rick Bentley

    “It hurts me that Michaels daughter is being looked after now by the same pack of wolves that tortured her father to death.”

    I don’t think that’s a fair statement at all. He was crazy and his dad was crazy – hardly attributable to the rest of the family.

  22. Moon-howler

    I saw that Rod. Like crowns of glory. Maybe that was supposed to be heavenly. I think most people will move on. Of course, look at Elvis and Elvis sightings. (rolling eyes)

    If you are the dna parent rather than the birth mother, does that count for more?

  23. TiredofMJ

    Can we put this behind us and just go on? I do not want to go another day, week, month of talking about Michael Jackson. Please let this be the last thread….

  24. Moon-howler

    Tired, I suggest you go to the other threads to find an item of interest. We try to have current events here. Not everyone likes the same thing.

  25. hello

    Speaking of Al Sharpton, is he going to go to Akron Ohio and talk about the white teens who on the night of July 4th beat up a black family while shouting “This is our world” and “This is a white world”?

  26. hello

    Opps… sorry, it was black teens beating up a white family and shouting “This is our world” and “This is a black world”. Since it was a white family that beat up “Akron police say they aren’t ready to call it a hate crime”. Interesting…

    http://www.ohio.com/news/50172282.html

  27. Rick Bentley

    hello I would hold off detailed commentary on tnat story for a while until the facts solidify … not to call anyone a liar but who knows how true that story is or isn’t.

  28. hello

    Totally understand Rick… and you could be right, they could be lying. However, at the same time, does Duke Lacrosse team and rape ring a bell when it comes to Sharpton? He never held off on his commentary on that story for facts to solidify nor did he apologize after that whole debacle blew up in his face.

    He is an opportunist, he lays low waiting for his time to shine. When the time comes he pounces like a rattle snake attacking his next meal.

  29. hello

    my point about the Ohio story is that if it was ‘white’ teen attacking a black family on the 4th of July he would have already been expedia.com, booked his flight, booked his hotel room, called local media and organized a march without even first looking to see if it was true or not.

    Which is what I believe he did with MJ, saw an opening to get on camera and took it. I must say that I did like what he had to say but as a person… I don’t know. He seems like somewhat of an ambulance chaser type to me.

  30. Rick Bentley

    Complete ambulance chaser, complete sleazeball. An articulate likeable charlatan.

  31. Moon-howler

    This is the first time in my life I have ever agreed with Al Sharpton. re: Michael Jackson bring kids together. After that and before that he and I have parted company.

    I think Hello brings up an important point which if I am reading him correctly, Al Sharpton is known for rushing to judgement. He was all too quick to want to hang those Duke lacrosse players without facts. He throws the race card before finding out facts.

    yes, there is racism in America. But Sharpton is like the little boy who cries wolf. He predictably says it each and every time. Soon, no one listens.

  32. Rick Bentley

    really good point there on Sharpton. I never heard it put that way before.

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