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President Obama Needs To Make Statement on Michael Jackson’s Death

June 26, 2009

UPDATED

When Elvis Presley died in 1977  President Jimmy Carter issued a statement on the passing of a cultural icon and musical legend.  Considering the world-wide impact that Michael Jackson was, and the fact he was the product of America, I think it essential that President Obama make a statement.  As of this writing he has not done so.  And it is a glaring absence.  One need not embrace all parts of Michael Jackson’s life to make the point that he was a musical phenomenon that requires recognition, and respect at this time.

Mr. President, the world is waiting.  This is not enough.

Here are the words used by President Carter at the time of Elvis Presley’s death.

Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.

11 Comments
  1. angry permalink
    July 10, 2009 3:54 PM

    I could agree more with the blong entry and `js. i am totally pissed off with both Potus and Oprah. In their positions it behooves them to aknowledge MJs passing and contribution not just as an enternainer but as a global humaniarian — if not as the legendar that set the pace for acceotance of black personalities in mainstream America. Obama responded only after prompting and of course made sure that hi statements were measured to the extreme, frankly needlessly so. Both are black folks who to a certain extent, `i believe, feel that they have to pander to those voices that sill accuss `mj of paedophilia despite the fact that he was aquitted of all charges — his innocence was never in doubt as far as i was concerened — and this is true for most of the rest of the world.. if not the US
    I am black, deeply respect POTUS and Oprah’s accomplishments. But I now look at them in a different light post MJ demise. i am very pissed off with both of them and totally bewildered. i just don’t get it. `i am thoroughly disappointed and only have negatove feelings at this juncture about them. I never met MJ, insanse as it sounds, MJ was like family to me, he’s always been a part of my life .. even from a distance, and i have never been an obessive fan. But I have always appreciated what he gave the world and the world’s response to him. As someone articulated, he was initialy my imaginary boyfriend then became my crazy beloved cousin. IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT THAT OBAMA AND OPRAH SLEIGHT MICHAEL JACKSON via defening silence or respnses designed to make sure that MJ haters don’t turn on them. it’s so rubbish! can you tell `i’m pissed? what to do?

  2. Laura permalink
    July 8, 2009 5:49 PM

    I absolutely agree, and the silence has gone on way too long at this point. That includes Oprah’s silence. Both of these are quite disturbing. They’ve both got speech writers, for crying out loud, and they’re paid to be politically correct when writing words that deal with potentially sensitive issues like the accusations he was exonerated of way back when.

    Anyway, I don’t get it and I don’t like it. I think he should read your blog and then read mine, lol!

  3. Bet Power permalink
    July 6, 2009 1:23 AM

    Even Bush made a formal presidential statement when James Brown died. Obama has missed an opportunity to comfort Americans, especially African Americans, at the passing of the greatest cultural artist/dancer/singer the world has ever known, who happened to be a Black American. MJ is an international phenomenon. Obama’s silence is blaring, worldwide. Is he ashamed of the fact that without MJ opening the door wide, there might be no President Obama today?

    Watch the “Smooth Criminal” music video … the long form, 5+ minutes. If MJ’s dancing in that video is not art in motion, I don’t know what is. It’s like watching Picasso paint … or one of Van Gogh’s paintings come to life and start moving around. There are scarcely words to describe MJ’s art and lyrical messages of change, hope, love, and empowerment.

    Gee, many thought those things were what Obama was all about.

    Obama is going to look right-leaning if he continues on the path he is taking after getting off the path that placed him in office to begin with. I know that many in the Black community are pissed at Obama’s omission.

  4. June 28, 2009 12:26 PM

    When Frank Sinatra died (another fave of mine) President Clinton had a
    prepared remark. Also Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain,and France’s
    PresidentChirc also had statements, among others. I mention this to underscore my orignal thoughts on this matter. When the big names slip away to the larger stage leaders comment. They all like to be seen as part of the social fabric, and connected to the patterns of life in the nation they represent, or the bigger world. That is how politics is played.

  5. Supriya permalink
    June 28, 2009 12:11 AM

    Why is there so much obsession with Elvis? Just because President Carter issued a statement for Elvis, does not necessitate that Obama do the same…

  6. Casey permalink
    June 27, 2009 9:29 AM

    Michael’s life had a huge impact on our cultural society. His life impacted several generations on a worldwide spectrum. It is a shame his own country’s leader does not have a statement to comment on concerning his life and sudden death.

  7. June 27, 2009 9:24 AM

    Thanks for saying what I think many are thinking. You seem to do that with some regularity. After all the White House has something to say about everything. When people actually need words, nothing.

  8. June 27, 2009 9:13 AM

    Where is Oprah? The American people are in public mourning. Has she said anything yet? Normally she can’t keep her mouth shut.

    Winfrey always brings solace to the climate of the day, no matter what the issue. She doesn’t need to be partisan but I find it odd that after giving statements post-Diana, 9/11, Katrina and the tsunami she would take such a silent stance on this, the biggest celebrity death in a decade.

  9. June 26, 2009 6:06 PM

    I can see the Washington Times headline now: “Obama Praises Accused Child Molester”. Finding a way to recognize Michael Jackson without embracing all aspects of his life in this age of gotcha journalism would be far more difficult than finding the right tone to take in commenting on the situation in Iran. I think our President is far too politically savvy to make that mistake.

  10. Patrick permalink
    June 26, 2009 4:11 PM

    Really? What should he say? Most of us would rather hear his comments about health care, the carbon tax, or the crisis in Iran. No disrespect to Jackson or his family, but the man’s passing has been well documented in the news already.

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