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I haven't been following the Michael Jackson case, but today, at its inevitable climax, it has found me. I sit at a tall bar table, frosty heath mocha to the right, notepad to the left, my eyes inevitably drawn to the light of the silent TV. It proudly airs FOXnews, perhaps the least credible news source in the history of television, and for some reason it keeps my attention.
Not because of what it's telling me, but because of what I already know. Michael Jackson is already guilty: not of child molestation, but of being different. The United States, although built on the backs of diversity, tends to vilify anyone who fails to succumb to the physically fit, blonde-hair-blue-eyed, America-loving, Communist-hating stereotype.
Jackson's guilt or innocence of being the worst kind of pervert is hardly the issue. To many people, he was already a disgusting human being before the charges were ever brought.
As a "culture" (and I use the word loosely) we love nothing more than tearing down what we build up. We are children playing King Kong with our building blocks. We are soldiers tearing down statues of Saddam. Take the right viewpoint and we'll quickly and easily ruin our own creations, no matter how much time, effort or money we put into them.
We made Michael Jackson, each and every one of us, and to date he has been found guilty of one thing - not playing by our rules. He's a black man with white skin who looks like an abomination of nature, yet has more natural talent in his baby finger than I do in my entire being. Not to mention he lives in his own version of Neverland-a fictional world where children never grow up.
He rejects reality and creates his own. Sadly, that's something most people in this country cannot stand. Like homosexuality, interracial relationships, atheism, socialism or purple hair, any deviation from the mainstream instantly creates an uphill battle. And for those of us caught up in it, Michael Jackson is our unlikely martyr.
There are all kinds of freaks. Michael Jackson is just one.
And for that, he'll only ever be "Not guilty" on paper.
Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.
See other articles by Natalie B. David.
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