Everywhere I turn, no matter where I look
The systems in control, it’s all ran by the book
Michael Jackson – Xscape

 

There has been ongoing effort over the years to pain Michael Jackson as a predator, despite the fact that he was acquitted of all charges by a unanimous not guilty verdict at his 2004 trial for child molestation. While we cannot speak to the veracity of new accounts, an interesting tidbit about Michael is that as his career progressed he became increasingly “awoke” and political as he developed as an artist. His “wokeness” started in 1991 with his Dangerous album where he outs racism (song, Black or White) and urges everybody to Heal the World. It became a fever pitch with Earth Song and reached revolutionary fire with the song “They don’t care about us.” That song is particularly relevant in today’s world.

For your information, there are three separate video versions of this song (included below). In each, Michael is shown walking amongst the poor and oppressed not as a calm messenger of peace, but as an inflamed planetary revolutionary invoking global revolution.

Watch the videos below and see for yourself. The “revolutionary Michael” is especially evident in the original prison version which to my mind is a dramatic and powerful call to action.

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, aggravation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Bang bang, shot dead
Everybody’s gone mad

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me
Jew me, sue me
Everybody do me
Kick me, kike me
Don’t you black or white me

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

Tell me what has become of my life
I have a wife and two children who love me
I am the victim of police brutality, now
I’m tired of being the victim of hate
You’re ripping me off my pride
Oh, for God’s sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy…
Set me free

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Trepidation, speculation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Black man, blackmail
Throw your brother in jail

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of being the victim of shame
They’re throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can’t believe this is the land from which I came
You know I really do hate to say it
The government don’t wanna see
But if Roosevelt was living
He wouldn’t let this be, no, no

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, speculation
Everybody litigation
Beat me, bash me
You can never trash me
Hit me, kick me
You can never get me

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

Some things in life they just don’t wanna see
But if Martin Luther was living
He wouldn’t let this be, no, no

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, segregation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Kick me, kike me
Don’t you wrong or right me

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about
All I wanna say is that
they don’t really care about
All I wanna say is that
They don’t really care about us

 

Michael’s revolutionary stance is quite interesting, as is his use of the Masonic “checkerboard” symbol in his Blood on the Dance Floor album cover. Michael seems to be at once accusing maintainers of the checkerboard dance floor (there’s blood on the dance floor) as well as taking a revolutionary and defiant stand against it. The message on the album cover seems clear enough, especially when combined with the song “They don’t really care about us.”

So what happened to Michael? Funny story, really. He was accused, and later unanimously acquitted, of child predation! He recovered from the trauma and went on to develop his “This is It” tour. Unfortunately, he never got to go on what would no doubt have been a revolutionary  tour because his “desperate and indebted” doctor accidentally, I presume, gave him a  lethal dose of propofol.

As I said earlier, I cannot speak to the veracity of the claims made against Michael Jackson. However, as a sociologist, I find it quite interesting attempts to undermine his legacy in a way that gets people to stop listening to revolutionary message. Recent accusations, as you know, have radio stations pulling his music from radios. Certainly, powerful elites would rather people not listen to his powerful revolutionary calls. Certainly, they would not want people getting his message of healing and revolution. What better way than to smear the man’s name.

Time will tell if the accusations are true. In the mean time, in the words of Michael Jackson,  “There’s blood on the dance floor,” “They don’t really care about us,” and it is time to unite and “Heal the World.”

 

 

Mike Sosteric (Dr. S.)

Just another loud mouth sociology professor, teaching sociology courses at Athabasca University. Check me out here at the Socjourn, over there at The Conversation and at academia.edu.

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