[Marxism] Guilt Assumptions of Michael Jackson as Patriarchal Homophobia

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Sun Nov 30 19:31:15 MST 2003

Zak wrote:

> Again, based on his previous legal dealings, which everyone is happy to gloss
> over in this case, which is stupefying.

Let's see then: how many people on the left would this rather huge jump 
from charges to conviction would this convict? It would mean that trials 
mean nothing at all.

>> His being of African-American descent
>> has _nothing_ to do with his innocence or guilt.

Certainly agreed here, yet the quickness of the media to sensationalize 
this beyond belief abounds, in part due to his (so-called) race, but more
due to the *patriarchal system*. We should understand that Jackson has a 
history that puts him in the light of many so-called sports heroes: he has 
taken his advantages, all very bourgeois and all that to be sure, and he 
has done the American Superstar 'good thing': He has made a reputation for 
being extremely kind hearted to the unfortunate and sick. While WW 
certainly did touch on it (and I want to thank them for writing a piece on 
MJ, bourgeois culture pervades and we ought to have something to say on 
these matters when then get plastered over all of our collective tv's 
etc.), the real issue in my mind is less than racism (though it clearly 
plays a part, but because of the very homophobic society we all live in.

Michael Jackson is someone to fear for so many bourgeois: he is (as a 
result of royalties) a bourgeois, he is black, but even more so he is 
almost asexual in appearance; MJ 'creeps out' would be 'faggot bashers' and 
other patriarchal victims because of his effeminate qualities, his apparent 
'gentleness' and the like. People like MJ-- it was only ten or so years ago 
that the psychiatric profession took such men out of the sexual deviant 
categories, along with the 'illness' of homosexuality-- are neccessary to 
attack, alienate and marginalize from society, lest their 'freakiness' gain 
some normalcy in popular consciousness. They cannot be allowed to be seen 
as human, or at least can only be seen as human *despite* their 'freakiness'.

The patriarchal system-- or the family as described by Engels-- cannot 
survive as one of the mainstays of racial, gender and class oppression 
without persecuting people as sexual deviants if they are 'gentle', 'soft' 
and 'faggy'.

Michael Jackson has never hid his love of children from the media, who then 
twisted this into allegations that it was part of his general perversion. 
If one looks at the actual charge, by the way, it doesn't involve physical 
molestation. Apparently the criminal code that had him handcuffed includes 
lewd behaviour in front of a minor (fondling yourself, exposing, that sort 
of thing). Thus, even if he were to be convicted, he hasn't be charged with 
touching any one. The fact that this discussion, which revolves around 
people who are supposed to be critically examining such matters, has 
involved people talking about whether he diddled someone or not also shows 
the complete mind numbing of insinuation by media repetition.

So that my bias is clear, though I listened to him as a child like a 
faithful consumer of pop culture in North America, I was around 8 when he 
made his biggest splash with 'Thriller', and I've never bought an album, 
don't own one and haven't even downloaded an mp3 (that would be illegal, 
anyhow ;-)).

Before people are willing to condemn him any faster than they would, say, 
Johnny Cash or Bruce Willis, you ought to look in the mirror: What this 
demonstrates, is your own patriarchal tendencies and personal queasiness 
with his oh-so-effeminate qualities.

> What I am saying is that I see no reason why we should give Jackson a moment's
> consideration. He has not ever used his position of influence to highlight
> important issues, to raise awareness of anything - surely another reason to
> think twice before lending our support to his cause?

The man who was charged with anti-American espoinage inside the US security 
  system, Wen Ho lee, was working for the imperialist state. Thus, not only 
had Lee never done anything to help the left, his career activiely pursued 
the health of American imperialism, as rotten a pursuit as it gets. When 
the charges were brought in the midst of a modern day 'yellow peril' 
grotesque racism, anyone who did not defend Lee was guilty of betrayal. We 
oppose racism, we oppose sexism and homophobia-- at all levels, 
irregardless of what we think of the vicitms of the very same persecutions. 
Many of the vicitms of the Holocaust were business owners, etc. We still 
oppose their mass murder!

> The point there was that he has accumulated vast wealth. He is surely part of
> the capitalist classes.

Michael Jackson does not own the means of production. He is a grossly 
overpaid performer, from the same basic background as Paul Robeson, also 
one of the highest paid performers during his height of fame, before 
McCarthyism destroyed his career (In North America).

> I don't buy this I'm afraid. Essentially you're saying that buying justice is OK
> if you don't feel like going through the process and can afford not to?

You don't buy justice, you buy injustice. If my child, brother, sister or 
whoever was abused in anyway, I would never drop the charges if lawyers 
thought they could get a conviction. A conviction in a civil suit, by the 
way, would render the litigation much more likely to garner a massive 
allocation for suffering. In reality, the likely outcome of the previous 
suit was that Jackson (AS Tom O said already) wanted to avoid trial to save 
himself the embarassment. That is doubly compounded by the fact that 
Jackson's accuser TOOK THE SETTLEMENT. Why? Wouldn't a conviction be in the 
best interests of the litigant and accuser? But if they didn't think they 
could win, then the suit and the settlement which made them rich was a 
grand decision, meet MJ, sue him and get a settlement for a few months work 
and never even get identified in the media.

You can talk all you want about MJ's motives for the settlement, but what 
of the protected-identity child and parents of the child? Why would they 

> No, he has demonstrated a complete lack of interests in the issues which now
> suddenly we are all aware of in his case. Had he at least used the opportunities
> he has to promote social awareness I would possibly feel differently about this
> issue.

And this demonstrates that you are no friend of the oppressed, be they 
oppressed by their gender, sexual orientation, bourgeois norms, class or 
race. You want to pick and choose worthy victims, which I'm afraid has 
nothing in common with a Marxist approach to these and similar issues, 
whereas Marxists are choosing to try and work to eliminate the anti-human 
aspects of society.

Kudos to WW for having the guts to call what this is: a witchhunt-- that, 
and to point to the racist base it thrives on, but the patriarchal system 
so beloved by the ultra reactionary Christian Zionist Junta that runs the 
US is the bigger culprit, and homophobia among the population that goes 
unchallenged everytime we let our friends, relatives et al promote in daily 
life creates the consciousness and the culture that allows this kind of 
witchhunt be accepted even by members of a list devoted to changing the world.

We have to do better, daily. Zak is proof.

> WTF are you on? What bias exactly?
Subconscious -- it seems-- hatred of Jackson that exploded out when you 
were asked to think about the issues behind the issue.

> That is complete and utter nonsense. Sure there is undue attention given to this
> case, and most of it stems from the fact that he is a hugely popular popstar,
> possibly one of the biggest names in showbusiness ever. The fact that he has
> been portrayed as different obviously contributes, but would anyone care about
> these differences were he an unknown performer? Not a chance. 

You're right. That person wouldn't even have the benefit of lawyers and the 
like and would probably be pinned up in the jail cell by some macho cops 
who would kick the crap out of him. And he would be just as convicted by 
his deviance than if he were famous, in fact, far more so. Class bigotry 
would then compound the racial and homophobic hysteria already prevalent.

Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope

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