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Tuesday, January 06, 2004  
Michael Jackson & The Nation Of Islam
There's an article in The Grauniad today entitled summat like "Is Michael Jackson turning black again?" (cos obviously he's already turned black once, wtf?). And this and that and the other and the Nation Of Islam gathers round black celebrities in times of trouble (OJ Simpson, Puff Daddy, Muhammed Ali etcetera [R Kelly?]), and they need Jacko as much as he needs them and they've taken over his business affairs and they're much less anti-white than they used to be (and they have white supporters at rallies now) and they've embraced some cultural/ethnic/social groups they at first shunned, blah blah blah all quite informative, but back in November I wrote this line in a Britney Spears review; how come Britney got to be a little gurl fantasy and Beyonce didn’t? Paedophiles are all white, yeah? and it was, at the time, a pretty throwaway observation. But I can't help but feel that now Jackson has been accused of a crime that is perceived as a 'white' crime (and more specifically European - the Greeks were at it long before N4MBLA) he is feeling a need to remind people of his (ex?)race as if this will somehow make him innocent by association? He wasn't so interested in the Nation Of Islam when he was having his lips thinned and nose narrowed, and they were equally not so interested in him. So what have they got to get out of it now? Is it purely a sense of solidarity? Is what Jacko has been accused of equivalent to what R Kelly was accused of? Taking sides; 15-year-old girls vs 13-year-old boys? Where does the question of age end and the question of sexuality begin? Where do RuPaul and Dennis Rodman fit into the equation? Had Michael Jackson effectively removed his race from his persona?

I realise I'm raising a lot of semi-dangerous questions here, but this whole affair has had me thinking, and I need to ask them.


1/06/2004 04:37:00 pm


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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