King on Jackson: Moral Clarity or Cruelty to the Dead?

King on Jackson: Moral Clarity or Cruelty to the Dead? July 6, 2009

Republican congressman Peter King, from New York, has some strong words against Michael Jackson, but especially those who glorify him.

Whatever your politics, you have to ask whether this is a refreshing case of plain-speaking moral clarity, or whether King is leaping to conclusions and overlooking the causes Jackson supported.  HuffPo condemns King for throwing out”the presumption of innocence,” and points out that he was acquitted of the charges against him.  Yet the evidence against Jackson, taking not only the court case but also independent testimony and the earlier case which Jackson settled out of court, seems pretty compelling.  In my view, most of the American public knows that Jackson molested little boys, in the same way that we know that O. J. murdered his wife.  Someone does not have to be convict-able in a court of law for us to decide that his associations with little boys (sharing a bed with one boy for 56 straight days) was grotesque.

I have sympathy for Jackson because of all he endured in his upbringing, and especially what he endured from his horrible father.  But Peter King is on to something.  How can we spend so much time celebrating someone who was, most probably, a molester of children?–who, most probably, performed sexual acts with little boys?  Would we care more if it were little girls rather than boys?  Would we turn a blind eye to his molestations if he were not a great singer and dancer?

To an extent rarely seen in life, Michael Jackson externalized his inward brokenness.  His inward psychological dysfunction and transformed his outward appearance in a sometimes-gruesome manner.  He was not the devil; he was human, and twisted with pain; yet he was not a saint either.  May God have mercy on him.

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