The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Michael Jackson Verdict

You know, I find myself very conflicted about this case, and in the odd position of wishing the man would be found guilty--even if he is innocent.  Terrible, terrible, awful thing to say.  But I'm just being honest.  Why?  Because I think this decision is an aid and comfort to child molesters everywhere.  If I liked to diddle little boys, I would be jumping up and down.  Can you imagine?  I can now sleep with little boys, and have them accuse me of touching them or performing oral sex on them, and point to that court decision as proof that there is nothing wrong.  I don't know...maybe I'm just crazy on this one.  But that "To the Nice Girls" letter was sent to me by a lady who was badly sexually abused.  As a result, she has built a defensive wall of flesh around her, and from within that castle she screams out, hoping that someone will see the princess she really is, and love and cherish her.  God, I could so kill the people who hurt her.  They might as well have burned her face with acid.  She has worked with her issues with a level of courage and commitment I have rarely seen, and still has hope.  But the thought that those bastards took her childhood in such a manner, and that it continues to hurt her today, thirty years later, makes me almost homicidal.
If you are guilty, Jackson, I respect you more than if you're innocent.  If you're guilty, at least you knew what you wanted and went after it.  I'm sure you would have thought you were providing pleasure to the children.  After all--you never denied sexual contact with children.  What you said was: "I'd never do anything to hurt a child."  And sex feels good, doesn't it?
If you're innocent, and just slept with them, after years of being told by family and friends and lawyers that your behavior was suspicious and legally actionable...I just don't know what to say about you.  I think you've weakened the fabric of protection for children by showing that enough fame and money can allow you to act pretty much any way you want to.  And the molesters are watching.  I honestly believe children are less safe tonight.  Because of you, you sick and twisted thing. 
Once upon a time you were the most talented performer in the world.  I honestly believe that you were told that fame would dwindle as you matured--that white America would reject you.  So you tried to erase your ethnicity. Somewhere along the way, you lost touch with reality, lost in whatever inner world you've constructed to protect that fabulously talented child you were.  Now, you're just lost.  God, I feel sorry for your children.  And for the child you were.  But the man you are?  If you even looked crosseyed at my boy, I'd break your neck for you.
Sorry.  I'm in a bad mood tonight.

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