Thursday, June 02, 2005

Judgement Day is coming

The sexual abuse case against Michael Jackson will soon go to a jury.

I've pretty much avoided commenting on the trial so far, simply because I don't really care that much about it. Not that I don't think Mr. Jackson is a weird pervert who is probably guilty of everything the prosecution is alleging; I just don't have much interest in high-profile celebrity trials.

However, that doesn't mean I don't think it's important. It is, and not just to obtain justice in such a weighty matter. No, I think the Michael Jackson verdict will produce significant effects in our society, especially on the Left Wing of the political spectrum. There are three influential elements of the American Left whose philosophies are on a collision course with each other, no matter what the verdict is.

There is the hyper-tolerant, if-it-feels-good-do-it wing of academia and the Media that have provided cover for the bizarre behavior of most Hollywood celebrities. If Jackson is found guilty, they would be forced to admit that in some people, being weird might just be a sign that the person is dangerous. Most normal persons who have watched Mr. Jackson's strange transmogrification from a black man into a white woman have rightly concluded that something's just not right with Michael. For the Tolerance Police, who were not able to condemn even the practice of a grown man sleeping with boys, a guilty verdict would be a clear repudiation of their "anything goes" attitudes.

However, if Jackson is found innocent, the militant, Black-man-can't-get-no-justice types who helped him play the race card will have to answer to their communities. Michael's not very popular among most African-Americans, largely because they view his many plastic surgeries as a sign of his loathing of his own race. Unlike OJ, he's not "one of them", and so there will not be any widespread celebrations at his acquittal. Instead, they will wonder why their community leaders cried racism to help a wealthy pervert beat a child molestation rap.

Finally, the group with the most to lose are the angry, all-men-are-molesters, children-never-lie feminists. For them, a "Not guilty" verdict would be a disaster. They have labored long and hard to create a Kafkaesque, guilty-until-proven-innocent kangaroo court system that treats child abuse allegations as beyond reproach. If the jury in such a high-profile case determines this was just a case of extortion, it would be a significant defeat for them. In this case, the child's own testimony was indirectly corroborated by other witnesses. If they can't get a jury to side with them in such a slam-dunk case, then they are losing influence indeed.

So who is the ultimate winner in this case? No one. Not the victim, who will be reviled by Jackson fans if he is found guilty. Not Mr. Jackson, who will forever be viewed as a pervert, no matter what the verdict is. Not the people of the State of California, who will have to endure appeal after appeal by the Jackson lawyers. No one wins.

But there are some guilty parties who are not on trial here, and I think they are the ones who bear the ultimate responsibility. If the parents of the children who visited Neverland had been even the least bit vigilant, none of this would have happened. That may sound harsh, but as a parent there would have been no way in Hell I would have let any of my kids spend the night at Michael Jackson's house unsupervised. Up until 30 years ago, most parent's wouldn't have.

But sometimes, money and celebrity trump common sense. And this whole mess is the natural result.


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