LETTERS Jacko wacko on race charge

Posted: July 18, 2002

POP ICON and oddball Michael Jackson, on the heels of his poor-selling dud "Invincible," claims the music industry is racist and fixed against people of color.

Had this come from say, Def Jam head Russell Simmons or J Records executive Clive Davis, this comment would garner some serious consideration. But coming from accused pedophile Michael Jackson, this comment would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

Sad because Michael is fading away into the history books of pop culture, becoming more of a footnote with each passing year. And since his slide has become more pronounced due to his contract and financial woes, he wants to take Sony label head Tommy Mottola with him.

Never mind that Sony has taken care of Michael throughout his career, providing numerous loans to support his lavish lifestyle. Mottola has a record of supporting African-Americans in the music industry.

But Jackson's phantom beef with his record label is not the issue. The issue is that Michael, of all entertainers, has the gall to pull the race card where he is clearly in the wrong.

"I know I'm black!" he bellowed in Harlem, trying to incite some sympathy from a crowd that knows about true black struggles. But Michael has long been removed from the plight of the black race.

And Michael didn't voice any concerns about Mottola and the industry when he was selling millions of albums, touring worldwide and winning awards.

Jackson's transparent racial ploy is only the latest questionable act by this diminished star. But his use of something as explosive as the race card trumps all of his previous transgressions.

Sadly, Michael will probably leave those comments behind as swiftly as he made them.

But every time he or someone else decides to play race games for their own selfish gains, it makes it that much harder for those with serious claims to gain the ear of the media and the national attention that Michael's frivolous claims already have.

D. Williams, Philadelphia

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