[Marxism] Behind the headlines on Michael Jackson

VMMolotov at aol.com VMMolotov at aol.com
Sun Nov 30 21:31:20 MST 2003


I am a daily reader of "marxmail" but not a subscriber. Could you please post 
these remarks? Thank you.


Did Alfred Dreyfus "deserve what he got?" After all, he was a military 
officer from a bourgeois background in the same army that slaughtered tens of 
thousands of communards less than a generation before. If Dreyfus had not been sent 
to Devil's Island to rot, he might very well been sent to fight in Vietnam or 
Africa.

None of this mattered. A large section of the French bourgeoisie and the 
Catholic Church was using the Dreyfus case to poison and divert the masses with 
anti-Semitism. Reformist that he was, Jean Jaures was absolutely correct to 
defend Dreyfus. 

Michael Jackson's father--Joseph Jackson--was a crane operator in the Gary 
Works of U.S. Steel. Like millions of African Americans who joined the Great 
Migration, the elder Jackson had been a sharecropper. He moved to Gary from the 
tiny hamlet of Fountain Hill in southeastern Arkansas.

As Leslie Feinberg pointed out in her Workers World article, Michael 
Jackson's ranch was invaded by 70 armed cops the day after the Massachusetts Supreme 
Court handed down its ruling on Lesbian and Gay marriage. I don't think this 
was accidental.

George Bush the first's 1988 presidential campaign drenched the white masses 
with racist video clips of Willie Horton. (Al Gore used this ploy first.) The 
attempted frame-up of O.J. Simpson is still being exploited by the media to 
whip up the crudest racism among white workers.

It's obvious that the Bush Administration--faced with a growing resistance 
movement in Iraq and a possible collapse of the dollar--will make homophobia a 
central part of its 2004 re-election campaign.

Just because we communists don't believe the Democrats are the "lesser evil" 
doesn't mean we can ignore this. Fighting for the real independence of our 
class demands that we be out in front in attacking every form of bigotry. 

The musical sensation known as the '"Jackson Five" is part of the legacy of 
Motown. The capitalist class wants to destroy that just like they deliberately 
destroyed Detroit (Motown) itself.

Just the fact that Michael Jackson's music video "Remember the Time" 
celebrated Black Egypt is enough to damn him in the eyes of the bourgeoisie. Here's 
what Richard Poe in his "Black Spark, White Fire, Did African Explorers Civilize 
Ancient Europe?" wrote about this 1992 video:

"...It portrayed Egyptians with an all-Black cast. As the dancers jerked and 
glided through steps borrowed from the rigid postures of 4,000-year-old tomb 
paintings, their skin shone bronze, gold, and ebony, a range of complexions not 
unlike you might have seen at the court of the real pharaohs.

"For seventy years, Hollywood had portrayed Egyptians with white actors, such 
as Anne Baxter in 'The Ten Commandments' and Jack Hawkins in 'Land of the 
Pharaohs'. When Blacks appeared in these epics, they usually played Nubian slaves 
hoisting some royal palanquin. Now all of that changed in an instant. With 
'Remember the Time,' Michael Jackson and John Singleton had reinvented Egypt for 
the silver screen. 'A kind of Ebony magazine version of ancient Egypt,' 
observed one writer in the New Republic.

"The day the video was released, a New York television station did street 
interviews with young Manhattanites. A succession of Black teenagers gushed their 
enthusiasm before the camera, striking hieroglyphic poses with their arms and 
hands..."

Let's recall how the bourgeoisie howled when the first volume of "Black 
Athena" was published. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.--JFK's resident 
intellectual--attacked it while the National Review said the ancient Egyptians were blonde! The 
mere idea that Europe--that white people--learned from Africa is as obscene and 
dangerous to them as reparations.

Moreover, the capitalist state apparatus is suspicious of any wealthy African 
American. (Jackson owns the rights to the Beatles' song, as well as his own 
works.) The pigs are fearful that a Black millionaire might fund the struggle.

Joining the class enemy to condemn Michael Jackson even before there's any 
sort of trial is like voting war credits for the war against Black America.

-30-



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