MJ: “He [Nelson Mandela] is sweet, very childlike.”
Q: Does he like to giggle?
MJ: “He [Nelson Mandela] loves children because when I went to see him I had some kids with me and people were saying the kids have to stay, but Michael Jackson can come. I said. “I’m sure Mr. Mandela wouldn’t mind seeing children. I won’t go in unless the children go too.” I remember his representatives looked at me like this [makes stern and suspicious facial expression] and they went back and then they said, “Everybody come.” The first thing Mandela did is run to the children and pick them up and hug them. I knew he was that kind of man and he loved them. He was talking to them and then he shook my hand. I knew I was right.”
"Michael Jackson was proud to call Nelson Mandela his friend. Like millions of admirers around the world Michael drew inspiration from President Mandela’s courage, his fight for human dignity and his commitment to peace. During his visits to South Africa Michael met often with President Mandela, who described Michael as “a close member of our family.” Our hearts go out to President Mandela’s family and to his beloved South Africans as they mourn their incalculable loss."
- John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors The Estate of Michael Jackson
MJOnline The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™
It’s time for a change. Let’s not leave this building and forget what has been said. Put it into your heart, put it in your conscious mind, and let’s do something about it. You have to. We have to. - Michael Jackson’s speech against racism at Sharpton’s National Action Headquaters in Harlem.
It took me a little while, when growing up, to realize they’d/certain parts of the public completely forgot/made themselves forget about his stage accident and the fire; or didn’t want to remember he’d been horribly, horribly burned (head, scalp, parts of his face and neck too, I believe) and came back from that and still performed.
It’s so much easier to call him a ‘freak’.
Lets not forget that everyone and their mother still says he bleached his skin even though the LA coroner confirmed he had vitiligo and a form of skin lupus that suppressed the production of melanin in his skin. Not everyone wants to be white thank you. I also remember in high school ppl talking about how weird it was for a 40 y.o man to wear lipstick and make up. Not only is this sentiment homophobic, but it ignores the fact that MJ probably felt pretty self conscious about the blotches of unpigmented skin on his body. So yeah, he evened out his skin tone with make up. But I guess it’s easy to demonize someone who doesn’t fit into a heteronormative white supremacist patriarchal society.
And yes as a burn victim and someone dealing with vitilago - his gender presentation (fluid or not) aside, he had plenty of reasons to use make-up to present a more comfortable face.
It’s also hit me recently how activist his songs and works were. As a child I was just singing along. But now I realize why my mom and her generation, specifically those who were immigrants to the US; absolutely burned for him.
I also often thought it weird people thought him befriending children as ‘odd’. Children can be cruel, yea. But children will also accept a person as they are when given the choice to do so. All ‘Oh, that’s just how Michael Jackson looks’.
Like how children can accept that some people use wheelchairs and canes - they point out it out and if given a straight answer? They go with it. It’s adults slapping hands going ‘don’t stare, that’s rude’ and not answering the question that creates this element ‘something we don’t talk about’.
oh man i have a LOT of feels about the dehumanization of MJ
I never saw him as anything less than the definition of a legend, Michael Jackson. The white media could never change that.
Vitiligo sufferers are actually encouraged to use make up to cover up and disguise what is a disfiguring skin condition (it kills me that the media refuses to call it that in reference to him, because they know they’d have to accept there were physical issues he dealt with which were beyond his control). On top of that, cosmetic tattooing is also encouraged. MJ did both, and was degraded and shamed for doing both. He’d been shamed for his use of make up since the 80s, when his vitiligo had become so severe that without his make up his skin was like this:
On top of that, he had another disfiguring skin condition, discoid lupus, which meant he suffered scalp infections, alopecia, skin healing with born his burn and with his plastic surgeries on his nose, exacerbated the keloids on his burn, skin rashes and skin blisters.
And he never brought up any of these issues because he was both likely incredibly embarrassed to have to announce to people what parts of his body made him feel insecure (imagine having to sit and tell the world the parts of you that make you feel most ugly) and because he believed he needed to be private about this, and all the other issues he went through. He likely also understood that no matter how much he shared or how he shared it, if he revealed documents, showed all the issues up close, cut off his skin for examination right in front of people, they would still deny, dismiss and laugh and mock him for them. Who would want to be laughed and mocked even more for issues that clearly caused him so much anxiety and insecurity?