Friday, July 10, 2009

SOUNDOFF: Media coverage of MJ and reaction to Al Sharpton vs. Bill O'Reilly

For the first time in a long time, I find myself agreeing with Rev. Al Sharpton. For first time in a long time, I find myself believing that Rev. Al is actually smart and sees with color not black and white. I give Rev. Al credit for everything he did with the civil rights movement and recently with the Jena 6 fighting for the rights of young minorities like myself, but in the past after listening to many of his sermons and after listening to his presidental campaign speeches in 2006 I stopped supporting civil rights leaders like Rev. Al and Jesse Jackson, because in my opinion I believed that they were hypocrites and race baitors; and it has been proven because during Obama's presidential campaign in '08; sentiments of Obama not being black enough to be considered the first black president came from people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton early in the process, and it continued for a while with Jesse Jackson after Obama began to gain the black vote:

But of course as you know in the end all the black democrats came together with the Obama campaign and have supported him ever since:

Jesse Jackson cries after Obama win

Rev. Al, Newt Gingrich, Mayor Bloomberg meet with Obama about education reform

Anyways, back to my focus it seems like something has changed about Rev. Al, it seems like as I said before he sees with color and that not everything in this world is black and white. It seems that Obama has given him a stern talk that he can continue fighting civil rights but that not everything is about race, in the video above where he was meeting with Obama he was discussing education reform to help ALL American kids compete in the 21st century, not just minorities; so I have to give him credit where credit is due. Now to the topic on the table, Michael Jackson. Billo and Rev. Al decided to discuss the controversey that is Michael Jackson and the media buzz that his death is causing, the questions at stake were "Is the Michael Jackson media coverage overboard or just right?" and "Why are we celebrating a man who was a druggie and slept with little boys?" Lets break this down:

Bill O'Reilly believes:
-Michael Jackson is not an African American icon because he has white kids and was married to a white woman
-Michael Jackson did not bring people of all races, religions and backgrounds together

Al Sharpton argues that:
-Michael Jackson broke down racial barriers because he was the first black to have his music played on MTV and the first black to appear on Rolling Stones
-He was the first pop superstar bring awareness to African hunger

Bill O'Reilly then argues that:
-The credit he gets from MTV and Rolling Stones does'nt matter

Despite the fact that:
-MTV and Rolling Stones have made young people aware of different problems going on around the world such as hunger through pop superstars and inadvertadely helped the youth vote rise during last year's elections by showing the importance of voting for your local and national political representatives

But you could also argue that:
-MTV and Rolling Stones have contributed to the "corruption" of youth in this country because many young people want to be like pop superstars who got lucky and made it in the world without books instead of being focused on getting their education and competing academically with youth around the world and bringing that literacy rate of the US down
-That could support O'Reilly's opinion that MTV and Rolling Stones hold no positive influence on society

Those are the facts about Sharpton vs. O'Reilly you decide your opinion here's mine:

Bill O'Reilly is wrong for stating that Michael Jackson is not an African American icon because from the time he was young he has influenced African-Americans and the way they are as human beings in both positive and negative ways. There have been testimonies from many African American celebrities that when they were young and they saw the Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show and they saw the Jackson 5 on the cartoons it gave them confidence to know that they could make it big in Hollywood some day. Michael Jackson is an African American icon because he showed African Americans how to do business, he bought 50% of the Sony/ATV catalog which included music from artists such as the Beatles, Little Richard and Michael Jackson himself; the Sony catalog also contains music from artists who are on Sony's label today. Michael showed African Americans that it was OK to interact with people of different cultures, in his music videos he featured people of many different walks of life and he wasn't afraid to mix those cultures together, for example in the music video "Bad" it shows Michael coming from an all white fraternity to going back to his roots in a black neighborhood and being made fun of, that scenario was a realistic scenario back then and today; in order to be black the steryotype out there is that you gotta be bad. Michael also showed interaction between cultures because of the type of people he would interact with, for example; Nelson Mandela, Madonna, Princess Diana, President Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, Lizz Manelli, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross and the list goes on and on. Those are all people who come from all different types of walks of like and have very few similarities if any at all. Michael showed that it was OK to have all different types of friends you didnt always have to be with black people. Michael showed African Americans the struggles that they face through things like that. Michael was also an African American icon for many negative reasons, through his plastic surgery he showed African Americans the struggle of wondering whether he was black enough or whether he even wanted to be born black. He also struggled with a battle with drugs; those are all things we know African Americans can relate to. I also disagree with Bill O'Reilly that Michael didnt break down any racial barriers. If you look at videos from his concerts you don't just see all white people or all black people or all Asains, hispanics etc., it's like a rainbow you see everyone; I mean it reminds me of a Barack Obama campaign rally, people who wear all different types of shoes are there. Without Michael Jackson, you probably would have only seen Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video on BET, or Pitball "I Know You Want Me" on Mun2 or Univision or Telemundo; or maybe you would'nt have been able to watch any of those videos at all because maybe channels targeted for minorities would'nt even exist! I am proud of Al Sharpton for standing up for Michael and his family during their moments of sorrow and just as Marlon Jackson said during Mike's funeral; "maybe for the 1st time now that you're gone, maybe just maybe they'll leave you alone" R.I.P. MICHAEL JACKSON
I leave you today with video from Al Sharpton's beautiful speech at MJ's funeral and stupid, idiotic comments from Rep. Peter King of Buffalo, NY. I agree that maybe MJ's coverage may have been overboard but I personally was happy with it and you can't call MJ a pedophile when twice he was proven innocent. But I don't want to respond anymore than that to Rep. King's comments THAT'S ANOTHER STORY 4 ANOTHER DAY LOL

GREAT SPEECH BY AL SHARPTON (Probably the best speech I've ever heard him say and best of all it had absolutely nothing to do with racism LOL)

CONGRESSMAN KING'S STUPID COMMENTS AND INTERVIEW WITH BILLO (I agree and disagree with some of what King said about MJ BUT how dare he call him a pedophile)

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