Remembering the Vision

Last week was the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. And while so many people listened to his music and watched his videos and remembered them in their own way, I sat down and watched “The Jackson’s – An American Dream”. This was a great movie that told their story starting with Joe and Katherine Jackson dating all the way down to their children growing to adulthood. The other major event marking last week was Father’s Day. The combination of the two leads me to write my most provocative, opinionated blog entry since inception. As I watched the movie I again gave thought to the depiction of Joe Jackson as cruel and abusive. I had to wonder if the movie added much to his persona or if he really treated the children that way. I have heard some say he was a strict father and tough businessman, but that has been said about many fathers in this country’s population. For me I watched one aspect of his character: his vision of how talented his children were. Now many would say that he simply was looking to exploit them for monetary gain. But I’m not sure if that was what drove him to really push the boys as he did. I say boys because he had daughters who stayed at home while the boys entertained. For all that Joe Jackson did, he didn’t seem to be interested in pushing the girls into show business, even though Latoya and Janet later made their way regardless. Joe seemed to just “know” that the boys would be successful but he also taught life lessons along the way. That’s why even if you can’t forgive his transgressions as a father, you must respect the fact that he saw Michael and Germaine and all the boys were talented long before Berry Gordy or Dianna Ross. So if you give Gordy or Ross credit for their greatness in finding such great talent, and really listen to Michael Jackson and credit him with musical greatness where does that leave Joe Jackson? While so many want to shut him out of the family, I think they have to respect the one thing that he gave the entire family including Michael: Vision.

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