Occupy Michael Jackson
By Valmai Owens Tue, Feb 28, 2012
What are we waiting for?
I watched the Occupy movement become a living entity with great interest. To me, it marked a long-awaited awareness of social and economic inequality that had been buried beneath an avalanche of apathy and hopelessness, not just in this country, but worldwide. I was also impressed by the unity and collective passion of the protestors. I considered the vast undertaking of calling for global protests to be no small feat, especially non-violent protests, and was quietly astounded when on October 15, 2011, tens of thousands of demonstrators staged peaceful rallies, for the most part, in 900 cities around the world. A critical mass had been formed, and once the momentum had begun, there was simply no stopping it. An idea started to grow within me—a rather bold idea, but one I found to be shared by a few other, like-minded individuals.
I have, for quite some time, been thinking about and studying the true relevance of Michael Jackson’s legacy. It has meant going beyond just the music and dance, and his humanitarian work, to look closer at the spiritual aspects that are often overlooked in discussions on his life and work. I am not sure why this subject seems to be avoided by many, especially the talking heads who have made lives and careers out of writing extensively on everything Jackson, but I see similar parallels to the post crucifixion of the Christ. Jesus was vilified, persecuted, and condemned for his teachings that were deliberately misinterpreted as that of radical beliefs, and heralded as a call to arms against Roman rule and the rigid doctrines of the Jewish faith. It was only after they hung him on the cross and entombed him did they realize what they had done, and how serious the consequences would be.
In Jackson’s case, he too was vilified, persecuted and condemned, but not only for the color of his skin, his indefinable sexuality, plastic surgery, and eccentric life-style, he was condemned for his audaciousness in speaking out against social inequality and injustice toward mankind and our planet, and he was condemned for his enlightened spirituality. This particular condemnation was cleverly hidden under the guise of artistic criticism ,and veiled by the clever manipulation of truth by tabloid media, but it was there, simmering in the fetid waters of ignorance, fear, racism, and hate. “How dare a black man call us to awareness? How dare he point his finger at wrongs we have done? How dare he talk of social and moral change? How dare he make us feel guilty?” But he did, and therefore he had to be put back in his place, and the only legal way of lynching Jackson was through words.
Once the public crucifixion of his name and humanity had begun, it was only a matter of time before his spirit succumbed to the inevitable. However, as with the Christ, Jackson’s entombment didn’t quell the masses, nor did his demise end the movement of consciousness that he had begun using his music as the vessel to carry change. Upon his death, another critical mass was created in the form of millions of grieving fans around the world, as they felt the full force of his unleashed spirit upon their minds and souls. Instead of putting Jackson back in his place, his persecutors had unwittingly put him in a place of insurmountable power and importance. Did they know what they had done? Did they see the far-reaching consequences of their actions? How could they not!
I am not by any means deifying Jackson or equating him to God or Jesus—there is a certain similarity in the circumstances surrounding both their lives and deaths, and it gives one a real sense of Jackson’s importance to this world. He was not an accident; he was far more than the music and dance, and I believe he knew exactly what his purpose was here on earth. His spiritual connection to the Divine and the universe allowed him to be channeled; it allowed him to deliver the age-old message, “Change now, before it is too late!” Millions heard it, but millions more needed to hear it before it could become a reality, and they needed to hear it in a blinding moment of spiritual awareness. Unfortunately, it took his death for the enlightenment to begin.
And does that critical mass created on June 25, 2009, still exist? Is the enlightenment, the understanding of the message still embedded in the hearts and minds of those who heard it? In part, I believe it is. Although some particles have dispersed somewhat, essentially the core is still intact. All it needs is to start spinning again, a jumpstart, a refocus of energy, and part of that refocus is to Occupy Michael Jackson. Imagine that for a moment and what it could mean. Imagine millions of supporters and fans around the globe working together as a whole, a single unit, to reclaim Jackson’s name, character, spirituality and humanity from media persecution, ignorance, injustice, racism, hate and fear. Reclaiming it and occupying it! Imagine creating a movement of change never seen before, toward love and peace and equality. Impossible? Too bold an idea?
For many, 2012 is the year the world will end, but as I am not a doomsday advocate, I think it more symbolic of a change as opposed to obliteration. We are standing on the precipice of a monumental shift in social, moral, racial, sexual and political thinking. A new age is dawning, brought about from years of careless disregard for life, for humanity as a whole, and for the Earth which we call home; brought about from the same message that has been delivered time and time again. Just how many times does humanity have to hear it before we act upon it? Now is the time to listen!
Change is not something that we leave for others to work toward and sacrifice for. It takes a body of movement, a momentum created by those who share the purpose and goals, the same ideals and hope, the same passionate beliefs. We can create that movement. We can begin the momentum. All we have to do is want to. It might mean shedding our personal agendas, our egos, the conflict and separation amongst us, the negativity and pessimism that exists. We were all once united in grief; dare we now unite to Occupy Michael Jackson for change, to act upon the message delivered?
Perhaps Michael himself has the answer:
"I said you had to do it. You said you didn't want to. We talked about it, and we agreed that maybe
I could help.
I said you were wrong. You insisted you were right. We held each other's hand, and right and wrong disappeared.
I began crying. You began crying, too. We embraced, and between us grew a flower of peace.
How I love this mystery called We! Where does it come from, out of thin air? I thought about this mystery, and I realized something: We must be love's favorite child, because until I reach out for you, We is not even there. It arrives on the wings of tenderness: it speaks through our silent understanding. When I laugh at myself, it smiles. When I forgive you, it dances in jubilation.
So We is not a choice anymore, not if you and I want to grow with one another. We unites us, increases our strength; it picks up our burden when you and I are ready to let it fall. The truth is that you and I would have given up long ago, but We won't let us. It is too wise. "Look into your hearts," it says. "What do you see? Not you and I, but only We."
What are we waiting for?