Despite his adoring fans, some fail to give Jackson his due

Michael Jackson will forever be remembered for the legacy he has left the world through his music and inspirational messages. Jackson’s impact nowadays is still noticeable, especially when considering the estimated one billion people that tuned into his memorial earlier this week. Viewers around the…Michael Jackson will forever be remembered for the legacy he has left the world through his music and inspirational messages. Jackson’s impact nowadays is still noticeable, especially when considering the estimated one billion people that tuned into his memorial earlier this week. Viewers around the world shared the emotional moment, as well as celebrated the life and achievements of the “King of Pop.” Unfortunately, in recent days, we have witnessed public figures pushing their own agendas against Jackson and tainting the legacy of this great icon.

New York Representative Peter King can be seen on YouTube speaking out against society for “glorifying a pervert and pedophile.” King does not understand why the media devoted so much attention to this “lowlife,” when they could be covering the deaths of men and women in our military or praising the accomplishments of teachers and firefighters. Not only has King disrespected the Jackson family with these comments, but his negativity goes against the peace and harmony that Michael stood for in his life. Yes, Jackson is a celebrity and is receiving airtime that could be used to recognize everyday heroes in our nation, but doesn’t that seem like an impossible feat for America? We will always be more interested in the rich, powerful, and successful people in society, no matter whether they are dead or alive. The difference with Jackson is that he used his talent and abilities to send important messages to the world. Only Jackson could move enough listeners with “Earth Song” and make them feel the devastation that humans are creating on Earth with war, pollution, and over consumption of resources.

Not only does Jackson stand as a symbol that future heroes can listen to and take inspiration from, but it seems that King has forgotten about Jackson’s acquittal on all ten charges against him for child molestation. As a Republican congressman who represents his state, the nation, and its laws, isn’t King insulting the value of judges and juries by repeatedly calling Jackson a pedophile when he was proven innocent? It’s okay; we can continue praising Mr. King for his valiant efforts in fighting for teachers’ recognition, especially after seeing his whopping 18% rating by the National Education Association.

Along with King, one of the biggest disgraces to the world, Bill O’Reilly, also spoke out against Jackson. O’Reilly has attacked Jackson for his “incredible selfishness” in spending millions of dollars on himself while singing songs like “We Are the World,” which promoted awareness to Africans dying of hunger. Unfortunately, O’Reilly is oblivious to the fact that the $60 million revenue from this single, album, and music video went towards victims of famine in Africa. That may be shocking to some, but for Jackson, it seemed relatively normal considering he supported more charities than any other pop singer in history. Also, he didn’t simply donate his money, but he made countless appearances to hospitals, orphanages, and foundations, meeting and supporting those affected by disease, poverty, and death. I’m sorry, Mr. O’Reilly, but I guess some people don’t have the time you do to tell people to “shut up” and yell at them from your comfortable studio; some, like Jackson, would rather go into the world with a smile and do their part to make it better and spread their positivity and hope.

His accomplishments and controversies may never be put to bed, but more than anything, I hope, that amid the hateful and ignorant talk about him, Michael Jackson can finally rest in peace.

Remy is a senior in communication and English.