Phonte On MJ: ‘Don’t Let Them Talk About Our Brother’

michael-jackson-pensive.jpegEver since I read Phonte's tweet that he was in the "process of writing a piece on the defense of Michael Jackson's legacy," I have been waiting with baited breath to read his opinions on the matter. Truth be told, I have been in my own bubble of Michael Jackson with his music on steady rotation as a way to combat the media circus that every news and entertainment outlet is orchestrating right now. While Phonte is clear that his intent is not to canonize Michael, he is clear to point out several inconsistencies that had and continue to mar Michael's inspiring legacy. After the bounce, some excerpts from Phonte's musings on his hero.

Regarding the sexual abuse allegations:

It is my belief now, just as it was 16 years ago, that the charges brought against Michael during his 1993 sexual abuse case were false. The allegations made by Jordan Chandler (the accuser) and his father Evan Chandler always seemed suspect to me...Ask the average parent whether they'd want justice or money for their abused child and more than likely they'd say justice, if for no other reason than to protect their child (and other children) from a future attack.

Regarding the media coverage of Michael since his passing:

This essay is my plea to all people who consider themselves a fan of Michael Jackson, but especially to Black people: Don't let them talk about our Brother. Don't let his naysayers convict him of crimes that were never proven. Don't let people reduce the memory of one of our greatest heroes to that of a weird guy who wore a shiny glove and molested little boys.

Regarding Michael's public image:

Was Michael Jackson a weirdo? Of course he was a weirdo...But maybe if you had been in the public eye since you were 7, had grown ass women throwing themselves at you since you were 13, suffered physical abuse at the hands of your father, watched your father and older brothers engage in sex with groupies on tour as a child, were called "Big Nose" and "ugly" by both family members AND fans, developed a skin disease that took away the one thing you repeatedly expressed your pride for, and spent the last half of your life as the most famous person on Earth, you'd probably be a bit of a weirdo too.

Regarding the public's perception of Michael's supposed self-hatred: 

Michael Jackson never tried to disown or separate himself from his Blackness at any point in his career... I mean, this was the same guy who:

-portrayed Black people as kings and queens in ancient Egypt ("Remember the Time" video)

-called Tommy Mottola (his then label boss) a devil and a racist

-sang "white man's gotta make a change" live on the Grammies in '88

-sang about a beautiful African woman in "Liberian Girl"

-featured an African chant at the end of "Wanna Be Startin Somethin"

-donated over $25 million to the United Negro College Fund

-sang "I ain't scared of no sheets" in "Black or White" and upped the ante by morphing into a BLACK PANTHER at the video's end

-wrote a song called "They Don't Really Care About Us," with a Spike Lee-directed video that featured prisoners raising the Black power fist

-uhhh "We Are The World" and USA for Africa, anyone?

All excellent points in my opinion. Hopefully, after the smoke has cleared, we will be able to celebrate Michael's passing in an honorable way, instead of trying to villify a man who meant so much to so many.

"My Hero Ain't Molest Them Bitch Ass Kids: Phonte's teary-eyed tribute to The King" [MS]

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15 Responses

  1. Because I am a HUGE fan of Phonte and one of his many followers on Twitter, I read this earlier when he posted the link. The whole blog entry is excellent. He touched on everything that needed to be said. It should be published in Ebony, Jet, and Source...I would said Vibe, but um...

  2. These were intelligently expressed points, I was impressed. I agree with Phonte, these are things we need to do to preserve MJ's legacy in death as the mainstream white establishment tries to tear him down even further.-QH

  3. Phonte took the words right out of my mouth.
    I made these exact claims and statements today.
    Thank you Phonte and Thank Soulbounce

  4. Indeed, this was an outstanding piece, particularly the evidence he laid out refuting claims that Michael divorced himself from his blackness. Most people forgot about all of that.
    I'm glad you posted this here.

  5. Isn't this the best title though??!
    But I'm not surprised Phonte came with it. Glad he wrote it. Now someone send it to these media outlets.

  6. So, not only is dude one of greatest things to happen to music since MJ, he stated some of the most eloquent statements about him I've seen or heard since his death. minus Janet of course.

  7. i love phonte

  8. Thanks Phonte for articulating what many of us feel. MJ is still so grossly misunderstood...That's part of the tragedy.

  9. so good i printed it out and i'm carrying it around in my bag whenever i need to whip it out and combat the media frenzy...and the occasional smart-assed co-worker. absolutely brilliant.

  10. Avatar

    this is EXCELLENT! People really need to stop sleepin on Phonte I @ macedonia, good idea.

  11. Take THAT MJ haters!! Hmph!!

  12. This was a wonderful read! I'll read all of Phonte's tribute from home, but I just wanted to post a few comments. I never thought Michael Jackson harmed any child. My heart wouldn't allow me to believe such ugly lies. I have been absolutely enamored with Michael Jackson since I was 4yrs old and saw him in "The Wiz" In my mind he's always been a genius, an icon, larger than life, phenomenal entertainer. I am truly saddened by his death but I'm so glad there are true fans out there who will stand up to defend & honor his legacy.

  13. MJ & Self Hatred.....I'm still uncertain about this. While everything Phonte stated is valid & true, the facts remain that MJ's features are those of a Caucasian, his "children" are Caucasian, and I can't recall MJ making any public appearances w/ a female of color.
    Regardless, as a black man I won't allow people to tarnish his image and legacy b/c of false allegations and weird behavior.

  14. Beyond the suspect nature of the original accusers:
    1) Jordan Chandler's MOTHER denied the allegations - Evan Chandler was his stepfather. Now really - YOUR BLOOD MOTHER denies it - but your step father is adamant? Suspect.
    2) Evan Chandler is on TAPE saying something to the effect of "If i go through with this I will get a lot of money . . .anything I want". ULTRA SUSPECT.
    3) Evan Chandler then later attempted to kill his step-son after a dispute over the settlement money. SUH-SPECK-ED.
    4) To the second accussers...even if you believe Michael is innocent would you leave him or anyone not within your family unattended with your child? I mean with the allegations, it doesn't make sense that the 2nd accuser's parents would allow the situation to happen if it were true...let alone Michael was proven innocent in that case. S-U-S-P-E-C-T!

  15. I find it quite amazing someone who claims to be a fan of michael can then say especially to us black people he was our brother. He was and still is inspirational to all the world i live in Scotland and have always taught my girls it dont matter if your black or white like the great master said. People are cruel and greedy and that is what michael ultimately died through other peoples greed. Goodbye King of Pop. Will always love you


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