Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson will continue to live through his music

What was supposed to be a farewell to actress Farrah Fawcett two weeks ago sadly turned into the Michael Jackson show due to his untimely passing June 25th. Over 20 thousand fans, friends, and family paid their last respects at a public viewing in Los Angeles at the Staple Center. Millions more from around the globe said their goodbyes to the King of Pop at various venues as well. Jackson left us with enough memories and music for us to keep him alive long into the future. Yes, Michael Jackson is really gone but he will never be forgotten.

Despite what the haters suggest Jackson was one of the greatest people who ever lived. He shared his craft with the world. Look at those who spoke at his public viewing and those from around the globe who said their goodbyes. The global recognition was amazing to say the least.

Jackson is in some ways is the Barack Obama of the music industry. In terms of impact one could argue Jackson was more important because he helped to open doors for the likes of President Obama to walk through. He made it easier for Obama’s ascent to the White House by showing America an African American can be accepted on a universal basis. Unlike President Obama Jackson wasn't scripted. He was a pioneer who bridged gaps, demanded inclusion of African Americans in the music industry and gave to charities religiously.

Those videos many like to watch on BET and MTV has a lot to do with the quiet strength of Jackson. No, Jackson didn't get involved in taking social stands out loud-he did behind closed doors. It was Jackson who stood up to MTV and made them play African Americans music and videos.

Jackson loved James Brown because he knew he stood on his shoulders. Jackson took the baton and catapulted music to extraordinary levels. He didn’t give speeches and crave attention like an Al Sharpton or Reverend Jesse Jackson. Jackson just went to the hire ups, used his clout and got it done.

Jackson lived 50 years of ups and downs but there were many more ups than downs. When he was at the apex of his career there was know one more popular at any time in history than Jackson. The only possible exception would be Muhammad Ali in his prime. Jackson’s Thriller album in 1982 forever changed the landscape of music and entertainment. What album has sold more copies than Thriller? Case closed.

Jackson is the original “MJ.” The other “MJ,”Michael Jordan just played a great game of basketball. But what has he used his platform for? What difference has he made around the world and for African Americans? Jordan used his platform to peddle shoes for Nike while Jackson used his platform to make a difference. Jackson made us feel good with his music while simultaneously making change.

Did Jackson have some issues? Probably, but who doesn’t? A segment of the media still wants to portray him as a bleached weird pedophile. To those who endorse those feelings you have a right to your opinion. But allow me to submit the following. If Jackson was so weird why did so many people hay him homage around the entire world? Other than the court of public opinion was he ever convicted of being a pedophile? If he was so weird how was he able to create masterpieces like Thriller and become the greatest entertainer of all time?

Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks now. He's gone from this earth but he'll live through his music. The preeminent trait of an artist is for one to use his craft to make a difference in the world. Seeing how Jackson was sent off two days ago without question he was a true artist. Jackson has touched with humanity with his craft like no other before or since.

Jackson’s passing should be a message to us all. For all that he amassed in fame he couldn’t take his Neverland Ranch, his vehicles, art collectibles, animals and money with him. The latter couldn’t fit in that beautiful gold casket Jackson will rest in from now on. What should matter most as we live are family, unity, friendship and enjoying every moment we can on earth. After all, we know how we arrive but we don’t know when and how we’ll depart. Why waste time?

Yes, Michael Jackson is really gone. But one thing is for certain, he won’t ever be forgotten.

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