We should just come out and say it. Michael Jackson sexually abused at least five boys - and probably more. And it’s taken until 2019 and an HBO documentary for people to pay attention. So what if he was insanely talented? He was also a pedophile. To deny it any longer is not blind faith, it's delusional.
The facts have been here all along. When Jackson was 34, he spent thirty consecutive nights sleeping with Jordie Chandler in his bed - in the boy’s house while the mother or father was there. He also shared beds with four other boys Jason Francia, Gavin Arvizo, Wade Robson, and Jimmy Safechuck - and “courted” their parents into allowing this by paying them, sending them on trips, giving them gifts of beautiful jewelry, houses, cars, and more.
Some of these boys testified under oath that Jackson never touched them, but several have come forward in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland to condemn Jackson. Both the fathers of Jordie Chandler and Wade Robson have now committed suicide - the ripple effects of Jackson’s actions. Very recently, Corey Feldman, a child star and advocate against sexual abuse, who was friends with Jackson, said he can no longer defend Jackson.
This story is highly disturbing, to say the least. What’s more disturbing - the fact that these stories have been blowing around media since 1993 and only now are they really being taken seriously. Even back in 1993, Latoya Jackson, Michael Jackson's sister, called out her brother in chilling video footage saying "Michael is my brother, I love him a great deal but I cannot, and will not, be a silent collaborator of his crimes against small, innocent children."
Michael is my brother, I love him a great deal but I cannot, and will not, be a silent collaborator of his crimes against small, innocent children.
Jackson didn't find anything wrong with sleeping with children
Jackson was unapologetic about his sexual attraction to children (specifically boys aged 7-13). Vanity Fair reports that “In a 2002 documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson told Martin Bashir there was nothing wrong with sharing his bed with boys.”
Nothing wrong with sharing your bed with boys? One of my favorite commentators recently asked on Twitter, “If a grown adult man in your neighborhood invited your 7-year-old son to come sleep in his bed, how would you respond?” We would probably react with disgust and certainly keep our sons away from him!
If a grown adult man in your neighborhood invited your 7-year-old son to come sleep in his bed, how would you respond?
Yet many out there still defend Jackson for his actions. Some say that the relationships were consensual. Others say that Jackson only wished to have sleepovers with his “friends.” Really? How have we gotten to the point where we excuse disordered behavior like this?
The bottom line - like it or not - is that any man who sexually abuses a child is a pervert. And Michael Jackson was clearly a pervert. Yet his name lives on in our society mostly unstained. His reputation as a remarkable musician flourishes next to praise for his exploratory personality - and little to no criticism.
Why does society turn a blind eye towards abuse?
Shockingly, it seems that our society is still comfortable turning a blind eye to Jackson’s behavior. It’s 2019, and we are no strangers to media bias at this point. Yet in the age of the #MeToo movement, it is blatantly ironic that Jackson’s name has not been slashed to pieces long before now.
Yet there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Jackson’s behavior is a growing trend in today’s society. A 2010 study from the National Center for Victims in Crime reveals that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of childhood sexual abuse. Further, 20% of women and 5-10% of men can recall a sexual abuse incident or assault from their childhood. Sexual abusers of children are often those who the child is close with - a coach, extended family members, family friends, and sadly even parents.
Sexual abusers of children are often those who the child is close with - a coach, extended family members, family friends, and sadly even parents.
This should honestly not come as a surprise, given the rate at which our society consumes child pornography. In a 2016 FBI investigation, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimated that their analysts received over 26 million sexual abuse images and videos - of children. The Department of Justice also discovered that the website “Tor” had 1.3 million images of children being violently sexually assaulted, just on that website alone!
The Department of Justice also discovered that the website “Tor” had 1.3 million images of children being violently sexually assaulted, just on that website alone!
This past year’s expose of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church puts emphasis on this as well. Evil men who held roles in which they were deeply trusted and venerated have now shown that they were deeply unworthy of this trust - after revelations came that they had molested and abused many (specifically male) children.
Then there is the flippant way in which we treat the sexuality of our children. We see this in the infamous story of the 10-year-old drag boy - a child whose mother dressed him up as a woman and permitted him to dance naked for money. While many people protested in disgust at this behavior, many others rose to the defense of the mother saying that children have the ability to choose and consent to their gender identity and actions.
Yet these are children - little, impressionable, growing people whose minds are still developing, who might not know yet how to do division in math class. Heck, they might still believe in Santa Claus. They are not yet capable of making informed decisions on life, which is why it is vital that their parents properly guide them until they are mature enough to make decisions.
This seems impossibly obvious, yet apparently must be said
Children deserve to be given safe, comfortable, and secure childhoods - not pushed into bizarre roles and forced to be the sexual toys of disturbed adults! We need to be safeguarding our children from horrific encounters like this, not paving the way for legislation that will permit perverts like Jackson to have free reign over our children.
Stories like Michael Jackson’s show that we need to be much more aware of our world today, much more wary of who we allow our children to spend time with, and more vigilant about teaching our children to be prudent. Jackson’s story - and society’s subsequent lack of anger - reveal that we cannot just hopefully trust that everyone else wants what is best for our children, especially if only for the reason that we like them.