Message Hidden In Art


Black Or White


..."The first few minutes of the Black or White video seemed relatively benign and consistent with the utopian calls of previous songs (Can You Feel It, We Are the World, Man in the Mirror). Jackson, adorned in contrasting black-and-white apparel, travels across the globe, fluidly adapting his dance moves to whatever culture or country he finds himself in. He acts as a kind of cosmopolitan shaman, performing alongside Africans, Native Americans, Thais, Indians and Russians, attempting, it seems, to instruct the recliner-bound White American Father (played by George Wendt) about the beauties of difference and diversity. The main portion of the video culminates with the groundbreaking “morphing sequence,” in which ebullient faces of various races seamlessly blend from one to another. The message seemed to be that we are all part of the human family – distinct but connected – regardless of cosmetic variations.
In the age of Trump and the resurgence of white nationalism, even that multicultural message remains vital. But that’s not all Jackson had to say. Just when the director (John Landis) yells “Cut!” we see a black panther lurking off the soundstage to a back alley. The coda that follows became Jackson’s riskiest artistic move to this point in his career – particularly given the expectations of his “family-friendly” audience. In contrast to the upbeat, mostly optimistic tone of the main portion of the video, Jackson unleashes a flurry of unbridled rage, pain and aggression. He bashes a car in with a crowbar; he grabs and rubs himself; he grunts and screams; he throws a trash can into a storefront (echoing the controversial climax of Spike Lee’s 1989 film, Do the Right Thing), before falling to his knees and tearing off his shirt. The video ends with Homer Simpson, another White American Father, taking the remote from his son, Bart, and turning off the TV. That censorious move proved prescient.

Joseph Vogel
Original source:



"Anger and rage are the prelude to a shift in consciousness. Unless we feel rage at some of the inequities and injustices of our society, there is no hope for transformation."
Michael Jackson in response to his Black or White Panther dance (1992 article)




Stephen King collaborated on the 1996 short Ghosts. The film tells the story of a Maestro with supernatural power, who wants to rush away a crowd of people led by a mayor who uncompromisingly condemns everything that differs from his ideas of normality. It is Michael's reaction to how society sees him and how he is treated by representatives of so-called justice (namely Tom Sneddon) and the media. Michael Jackson plays five characters.

Pictured below is Michael Jackson with a mask created for his role as mayor. The man on the right is Clarence Strider, a racist sheriff who allowed the escape of justice after the gasification of 14-year-old black boy Emmett Till. The cause of the lynch was the accusation of a white shop assistant who said the boy had bothered her during the purchase. Emmet Till was then brutally beaten, maimed, shot and thrown into the river by the assistant's husband and his half-brother. The murderers were not punished by the court, a jury consisting of only white men liberated them. They later confessed to the act. Like the saleswoman, she admitted that her testimony was not true.


Awesome threads from :



Michael Jacksons Song THREATENED contains excerpts from Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone", an american television anthology series. Jackson refers in THREATENED to some significant Twilight Zone episodes. Significant for his past, present and future. Each episode is a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, suspens or horror, often concluding
with a macabre or unexpected Twist . The summary of this excerpts Michael Jackson selected for the song are piece - by - piece like a biography of his public character.

Episode I. "IT'S A GOOD LIFE!"


"ABOUT TO EMBARK" is an excerpt from The Twilight Zone episode "The Bard".
It's very interesting that this episode reflects the controversy about the Cascio tracks on the MICHAEL Album. By the way, unfortunately I can't say for sure that there is in fact Michael Jacksons voice on this songs or not. I wish I could. But remember: even in THREATENED he experimented alot with the sound and his voice.

"The Bard" - Pt. II.


"In His Image" - Pt. III.


Judgement Night Pt V. (part IV isn´t available)


At times -- especially after 1993 -- Michael Jackson was dealing with mass hysteria and the fear of the unfamiliar around his public persona.  Jackson made a clear point in his short -- film "Michael Jacksons -- Ghosts". The villagers -- the public - from a place called Normal Valley, are scared of the Maestro (Michael Jackson)  because he doesn't fit their definition of "normal". And they want to drive him out of town because of that fear. Just like the characters act in the Twilight Episode "The Fear". They do not know what the point of her fear exactly is. It is probably too much imagination.

The only problem is: What is fear all about?
"The major ingredient of any recipe for fear is the unknown." Michael Jackson was a master in many fields: But how is it possible, that the world's greatest entertainer can be at the same time a synonym for the unknown.
"It depends on, who must look up and who can look down". I really think it's the perfect episode for Michael Jackson for his song THREATENED. And I think it's not a coincidence that he made a deliberate choice to make it clearer for us to understand what he's singing about.
The only option to understand what he wants to tell us is "to look at it (his music) in layers you understand it better."

The Fear-Pt. VI.




Lost Children and the Real Story

LOST CHILDREN is the name of the song that Michael Jackson released on his INVINCIBLE album in 2001. LOST CHILDREN is Jacksons song for „all the lost children“.
...But LOST CHILDREN is so much more.
... Michael Jackson sampled the child voices for LOST CHILDREN from the „Twilight Zone“ episode „Kick the Can“. The episode is set in a home for the aged.
In LOST CHILDREN Jackson quotes exactly that „Home for the aged“ as a symbolic terminus for adults and for everything lost that was once childlike and alive. Dead end retirement home. That ist the place of Michael Jackson LOST CHILDREN. A dying place. Rod Serling introduced this place to his audience in 1962 in the episode „Kick the can“...

They Don´t Care About Us

Civil Disobedience: The Story Behind «They Don’t Care About Us»


And yet another scandal. «They Don’t Care About Us» even managed to break the controversy record previously set by «Black or White» — because this time there were two scandals at the same time. First, the US Jewish community was disturbed by the lyrics because it allegedly contained anti-Semitic words (the lyrics to this song is being discussed to this day). Then the Brazilian government did exactly what the good old Communist governors in the USSR used to do – «we maintain that everything is fine in our state, and whoever doesn’t think so will be silenced.» And even Pele, a nice man, a great football player and a national hero, supported this point of view. Perhaps, the most irritating thing for everybody was that Michael Jackson, who had been indifferent to politics up to that point, suddenly released a song that manifested his views very directly: “You know I really do hate to say it, the government don’t wanna see…» 

June, 1995: Soon after the release of the HIStory album, a scandal flares up about words “jew me” and “kike me” used in «They Don’t Care About Us.» Michael is forced to apologize for using these words. According to CNN, the controversial fragments of the lyrics will be rewritten to sound like “do me” and “strike me.” Later these words are masked by sound effects, and History is reissued with a new version of «They Don’t Care About Us.» The original version of the album is a collector’s item today.

February, 1996: Scenes for one of the two «They Don’t Care About Us» short films (known as “the prison version”) have already been filmed in a real prison in Queens, New York. Michael Jackson is planning to go to Brazil to shoot the second version of the short film. Meanwhile, the Brazilian authorities intend to prohibit the filming – some of the government members expressed their dislike towards the project as, in their opinion, it would show Brazil in an unfavorable light; yet others approved of the idea hoping that a Michael Jackson video would draw the world’s attention to the Brazilian poverty, and the region might even get some help. Brazilian officials are mostly concerned that the video will show impoverished districts of the city – Brazil is hoping to win the right to host the Olympic Games, and a demonstration of the Rio slums may affect their chances of hosting the Olympics in 2004. Residents of Rio de Janeiro favela are, nevertheless, very happy that the world will finally get to see their living conditions.

February 6: A day after the Brazilian judge gave permission to film the video for 20 days, he suddenly changes his mind and reduces the filming period to 5 days only.

February 11: Michael arrives in Rio. A day earlier, Spike Lee already started shooting in the central district of Bahia. The favela is shot in Rio; Michael’s dance with the Olodum band (a worldwide known Brazilian drum band consisting of approximately 200 members) and the scene where a young woman breaks through the cordon to hug Michael are shot in the historical part of another Brazilian city, Salvador. The territory where the filming takes place is protected by 1500 policemen. Michael dances for six hours straight (just two months after he collapsed during a rehearsal in New York on December 6, 1995). In the beginning of the video, a girl speaks in Portuguese, “Eles nao ligam pra gente,” which means “they don’t care about us.”

March 23: Global (except for the USA) premiere of the Brazilian version of “They Don’t Care About Us” short film. On MTV Europe, the video is broadcasted at 1 pm in program «First Look.»

April 16: “They Don’t Care About Us” debuts at No. 5 in the European chart. It also debuts at No. 9 in Sweden and at No. 4 in England (the fourth single off the History album to make a debut in the Top 5 in Great Britain).

April 22: “They Don’t Care About Us” short film is banned from broadcasting on MTV USA and VH-1. It was shown by MTV USA only once, with a notice of withdrawal from further rotation. The decision is caused not by the footage, but by the lyrics of the song.

June, 1996: “They Don’t Care About Us” short film is staying at No. 1 in the Top 20 on European MTV for several weeks. French musical channel MCM plays both versions of the short film without restrictions. (MCM also plays «Scream» short film without sound or video cuts, unlike MTV.) The prison version is prohibited on several music channels due to scenes of violence contained in the short film.

The fall of 1996: One of Brazilian football teams uses “They Don’t Care About Us” as its anthem and performs a ritual dance, copying Michael’s movements from the video, before each game to scare and demoralize the opponents.

September, 1997: MTV Europe starts showing the prison version of “They Don’t Care About Us” short film, but only after midnight.

The Director

Both versions of «They Don’t Care About Us» short film were directed by the same director, Spike Lee. The atmosphere of both videos clearly bears the influence of the two extraordinary people and great talents — Jackson and Lee; you can feel the pivot of energy created by this powerful duet. Spike Lee is a famous movie director. His movies “Jungle Fever,” “Get on the Bus” (Michael lent song «On The Line» for this one) depict problems of racial and social relationships – for instance, they tells what happens when a black man falls in love with a white woman and how their milieu reacts to this. These are powerful and sincere movies, and Spike Lee is an outstanding director whose achievements in films have been acknowledged and appreciated. So it is really interesting to hear his impressions from working with Michael Jackson.

“I’ve met Michael a couple of times. He got an award in New York City a couple of years ago from the United Negro College Fund as the Performer of the Year. Michael came to my house in Brooklyn, we sat and talked for four hours about the arts, movies we like, musicians — just the stuff we admired… And I mentioned to Michael that, on his History CD, there was a song I would really love to do a music video for, this great ballad Stranger in Moscow. And Michael said, ‘You do music videos?’ ‘Yeah, Michael, I do lots of music videos.’ So I gave him the reel with the stuff I’d done, and he said, ‘Great!’ Then the next time he called me back he said, ‘I want you to do Stranger in Moscow, but let’s do They Don’t Care About Us first.’”

“The original concept was not meant to be two videos, the prison stuff was going to be combined with the stuff we shot in Brazil. The marching orders Michael gave to me were that he wanted it to be hard-driven, he wanted the spark, an edge to it. He wanted to see a lot of archival footage in it that would chronicle man’s inhumanity to his fellow bothers and sisters. And using that as a starting point, we came up with this idea of Michael being one of many convicts in this prison.”

“Everything he’s involved in, he wants it to be the very best it ever was. That’s a great attitude, and it’s also a great responsibility. And in everything he does, he told me, ‘Spike, I want this to be the best’ – he doesn’t call it a music video – ‘I want this to be the best short film ever!’ I said, ‘Okay, Mike!’” (laughing)

(On the video set) “Mike said he was gonna try to drive the crowd into a frenzy, and he did. And these two ladies jumped out from the crowd — security was lacking on one side, so these ladies jumped out, grabbed him, he fell to the ground! (laughing) I picked him up… and I asked the cameraman later, ‘Did you shoot it?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, and I’ve got you too.’ That was very funny. We did not plan this, that was not rehearsed, they just broke through, and it was exciting….
…Michael has a plane waiting, he has to be in New York with his crew tomorrow, so we’re gonna try to get as many shots as we can before Mike has to jet.”

“Here in this Brazilian video, you can see the love Brazilian people have for Michael. It’s out there. Shooting ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ with Michael Jackson in Brazil was one of the highlights of my career, and I’m including the feature films. I just had a great, great, great time. I think it was historical what we did. It was awesome.”


Spike Lee (about problems with getting a permission to film in Brazil): “Michael loves Brazil and the Brazilians and he doesn’t need to go half way around the world to show that shanty towns exist in Rio. This is ridiculous and pathetic. We’re not trying to topple the Brazilian government. In the eyes of the world, complicating Michael Jackson’s visa is making Brazil appear a ridiculous country — as if it were a banana republic.”

Bob Jones (about video ban due to the lyrics): “Michael is not a racist, as evidenced by his many endeavours on behalf of people of all religions.”

Michael Jackson (on accusations of anti-Semitism): “It’s not anti-Semitic. Because, I’m not a racist person. I could never be a racist. I love all races of people — from Arabs, to Jewish people, like I said before, to blacks. But when I say, “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me,” I’m talking about myself as the victim, you know. My accountants and lawyers are Jewish. My best friends are Jewish — David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stephen Spielberg, Mike Milkin. These are friends of mine. They’re all Jewish. So how does that make sense? I was raised in a Jewish community.”


Never before has Michael Jackson spoken about the political aspect of social problems; sometimes he was asked in an interview what he thought of politics, but he always responded sincerely that it was all Greek to him.

Since Michael became a superstar, the USA has changed three presidents, and Michael met each of them – Reagan, who was the first to invite him to the White House, Bush-senior and Bill Clinton at whose inauguration Michael performed and whom he apparently liked the most. But all this had nothing to do with politics – just with Michael’s inexhaustible curiosity and desire to see everything with his own eyes. And is there a politician who doesn’t seem charming during a half-an-hour conversation at the official reception? Michael probably had neither time, nor desire to try to understand their character or work any deeper.

The Americans don’t need to understand it deeply anyway, as they don’t depend on the personality of the current resident of the White House as much as we do. So an average man may allow himself not to think about these things. And for a very long time, Michael seemed to worry only about those problems that depended upon our common consciousness and awareness, such as people’s attitude towards nature and their surroundings (many of Michael’s songs are about this – “Heal The World”, “Man In The Mirror”, “Jam”, “Keep The Faith”). These are our problems, the solution to them is in our hands, and no government can help us solve them or prevent us from doing it. But there were other problems too…

Those “other” problems stormed into Michael’s life unceremoniously and suddenly. After finding himself a victim of a fabricated accusation, he must have come to a realization that the seemingly inviolable laws did not always work. Presumption of innocence, a sacred principle, turned out to be an empty word. An average man thinks that money and fame solve any problem, but Michael found out they didn’t help him either.

Trying to get out of this nightmare, Michael probably kept wondering how a common humble man would feel facing the government and judicial system – a humble man who couldn’t afford to hire the best lawyer, for whom no celebrities would speak, and who didn’t have thousands of loyal fans. And even if it’s true that everybody’s equal before the law, a humble man is clearly powerless and vulnerable. And having experienced this notion of “equality of rights,” or, to put it better, “equality of no rights,” Michael spoke his mind in a song on behalf of a humble man.

The song is a first-person narration, and in its refrain, the superstar relates to problems of common people. “They don’t really care about us” means “you and me.” Someone else could have written “they don’t really care about people,” but not Michael. For him, this notion of us is absolutely natural, almost sacred. Rumor has it that Michael Jackson is isolated from the society — sometimes this observation even used to justify his behavior. This may partly be true, but not when we talk about the empathy and ability to relate. Michael Jackson considers himself a common citizen and is not afraid to speak like one. And isn’t it true? Doesn’t the major part of Michael’s problems lie in the narrow-minded prejudice and everyday racism of the society?

If we analyze the very essence of the negative attitude towards Michael Jackson expressed by many people, we will sure find double-dyed extreme uncouth racism in all its ugliness. “Don’t you black or white me” is a deeply personal line, but it’s not a problem of people’s attitude towards Michael specifically, it’s a global problem. And that’s just one line in that song.

Michael didn’t know what to do with this – being a law-abiding citizen who never conflicted with authorities, he had nothing to offer; for him, it was just one of those conditions that “makes you wanna scream.” Here I will quote Olga Petrova from Krasnoyarsk who made a very astute observation:

“At first, I thought that there was something unfinished about the TDCAU short film, something missing. Now I realize that it is the very thing that was never intended to be there – the energy of aggression, destruction, a call to arms. (This may sound unpleasant, but in our everyday lives and in our souls, we more often see manifestations of the aggressive energy fuelling accusations, and not the energy of resistance empowering self-control and fortitude against repressions.) There is no spite and no spirit of revenge in this song – no accusation, only a protest and an indignation. You could say that this song is about civil disobedience.»

The content and energy of the song stay within boundaries so prudent that it’s nearly impossible to find any aggressive notes in it. “All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us” – one can hardly address this matter with a more reserved and delicate line.

In a way, during that period, the Michael had a personal need for public statements, such as “beat me, hate me, you can never break me,” as much as he saw a social need for them. The song sounded then and still sounds today like a manifest of spiritual endurance and disobedience against the deliberately lying accusers. If we approach the song in this way, seeing it as both personal and social, it’s easy to see why Michael released two different short films for the song – the prison version with a powerful documentary drama and the flamboyant Brazilian version.

In the Brazilian version of the short film, policemen who look stern and indifferent to the festive whirlwind of colors and rhythms are probably the only thing that reminds us of the social meaning of the song (otherwise you might think city dwellers celebrate something) — the lively joy and free self-expression of people is under vigilant control, and you can never be sure that this freedom won’t be suppressed.

But the prison version is completely dedicated to the social theme. The short film uses imagery that is harsh to the point of being uncomfortable to watch. (Michael used documentary footage of the student rebellion on the Tiananmen Square in China, of brutal police beatings of African Americans in Los Angeles, as well as footage from the Vietnam war.)

The ghosts of the beaten people are haunting Michael even in his solitary cell: these are not just television images, there are real life pictures – a horrible reality of human humiliation and suffering that surrounds us everywhere, breaking into our everyday life, our minds, depriving us of peace, leaving us no place to hide. The short film revives the images of Roosevelt and Martin Luther King who, according to Michael, “would not let this be.” (It could be argued that this line is supposed to expresses the opinion of an average man – a white man for whom Roosevelt is the most honorable and honest president, and a black man for whom Martin Luther King is the embodiment of the very spirit of the American civil rights movement.)

The tension in the video is palpable, and yet we observe an amazing scene: it is not a revolt, a mutiny or an escape, but a totally peaceful riot not suppressed by the prison guards. It looks like Michael «lightens» the message of his leadership on purpose. He expresses his angry protest too explicitly, with demonstrative insolence — sweeping tableware off the tables and hitting a guard’s baton right in front of his face. Notice that Michael is the only prisoner who moves freely around the prison’s dining room, creating an impression of a somewhat light-headed mischief, irresponsible for the consequences of this daring game. It is simply a demonstration of protest against the disregard for human rights and laws by the authorities.

Michael is trying to convince people to fight for their rights, raising the spirit of protest against oppression and humiliation — but, of course, prison riots never end at slamming fists against the table or dancing on top of it, and Michael knows this very well. The real life problem is that a call to fight “for freedom and independence” can easily erase the line between the good and the evil, between a disobedience and an attack… And the spirit of protest easily mutates into the spirit of revenge, inflicting violence on those who oppressed our dignity and freedom.

The last scene of the video shows — in Michael’s own unique way — his confusion about what he should do with his leadership in these circumstances. While his scream is still lingering in the air, Michael, already free, is running up the stairs, glancing back — running away from the prison, the riots, his own scream and himself… Leaving an unspoken question, “I don’t know what lies ahead… Where will this spirit of struggle lead me, where will it further manifest?”

One more conclusion deserves to be highlighted: Olga noted very astutely “how naturally and confidently Michael expresses the pain and anger as a messenger of the Nature (in ‘Earth Song’), and how unsure he is of his role when speaking about the pain and anger of humans (in ‘They Don’t Care About Us’).” It’s harder to stand up for people – primarily because people (unlike the Nature) are oftentimes the ones to blame for their own troubles and misfortunes.

The question of whether the use of the «controversial lyrics» in «They Don’t Care About Us» was appropriate is still open. Right now Jennifer Lopez has to deal with her own share of trouble because of using the word “nigger” in one of her songs; I guess these matters are not as simple they seem to us. To us, this may look like a silly superstition, but I talked about this to a girl from the USA once, and she told me that “the context for bad words doesn’t matter – the very fact that a superstar is using them can set a bad example.” It sounds quite strange, considering the range of obscene words per minute of an average Hollywood blockbuster… But perhaps, this is a matter of mentality that has to simply be accepted.

As for the Brazilian controversy, the story is ridiculously plain. Michael sang that the government didn’t care about people, and the Brazilian government illustrated this perfectly. The Brazilian authorities worried about their money and reputation of the country — clearly not understanding that they only undermined it more by trying to create obstacles for Michael Jackson, — but they didn’t care about the population of the Rio slums. (Authorities in developing countries often have this difficulty — the lack of flexibility of thinking.) But those half-naked tanned boys and girls, children and adults (and we, too) understood once again that there was one person in the world who would always care for us.

Article by Anastasia Kisilenko, 2001.
The article was published in Dangerous Zone fanzine, Issue 13-14.


"If Martin Luther was livin'/ He wouldn’t let this be/ Skin head, dead head / Everybody’s gone bad" sang Michael Jackson in the song "They Don't Care About Us."
Taken from the album HIStory: Past, Present and Future – Book I, released in 1995, "They Don't Care About Us" is probably Michael Jackson's most politically-engaged track.

And with good reason. The song openly discusses racial discrimination, skinheads, Martin Luther King, and the passive stance authorities often take against injustice. "All I want to say is that/ They don't really care about us," crooned the King of Pop, implicitly referring to people of color in America.
Aside from the political lyrics which are still extremely relevant, one version of the video clip has been getting a lot of attention now, over twenty years since its release.
Both versions of the video were directed by Spike Lee, who is known for his activism on behalf of people of color, as is evident in his filmography which includes Jungle Fever (1991) and Malcolm X (1992).

Michael's version was a big hit at the time. In the clip, he appears handcuffed in a jail cell before going on to dance in the middle of the prison cafeteria filled with mostly black prisoners.
The inmates begin to protest, while archival images flash onscreen portraying historic police violence, famine in Africa, human rights violations and Ku Klux Klan gatherings.

Modern relevanceIn a divided America that often prefers to ignore racial tensions, the video for "They Don't Care About Us" feels pretty provocative.
Particularly since it came from one of the most iconic black pop musicians of all time – who also happened to be adored by the white middle class. Due to the controversial content, the clip was actually censored in the 1990s, and MTV and VH1 would only air it after 9pm.
In the days following the death of 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, references to Michael Jackson's video have been popping up all over Twitter. Many shared the clip online saying the images and content took on even deeper meaning in Trump's America.

The first version of Michael Jackson's 'They Don't Care About Us' video which was refused to be played on tv & we know why. ☻
— Hanan. (@USoulSurvivor) August 13, 2017

A tweet asserting that "the first version of Michael Jackson's 'They Don't Care About Us' video... was refused to be played on tv & we know why" has been liked by over 160,000 people and retweeted over 106,000 times.
And if we needed any further proof that the clip still has a strong impact, the comments section under the video on YouTube recently had to be deactivated because the debates were getting too violent.
"They Don't Care About Us" seems like the perfect anti-racist anthem for these trying times.




"En 1993 Michael Jackson llegaba a Brasil para dar un concierto en Sao Paulo. Después de largas negociaciones mis padres decidieron no dejarme ir a verlo porque era demasiado joven y tenía lugar en otra ciudad.

Sin embargo lo seguí todo por televisión, radio y periódicos. Una de las cosas que me impresionaron fue que uno de los coches del equipo hirió a un fan que trataba de ver a su ídolo. Se habló mucho de aquel accidente en ese momento e incluso echaron la culpa a Michael del mismo (y ni siquiera iba en el coche). Eso me hirió personalmente. Pero lo que más me llamó la atención (a mí y a todo Brasil) fue que un día antes del concierto Michael visitó al muchacho en el hospital. Ese día todo el hospital se paró y Michael se tomó fotos con médicos y enfermeras antes de entrar a ver al chico. Habló con su familia y prometió pagar todos los gastos médicos así como los gastos de escuela de su hermana.

Tres años después, mi profesor de inglés me avisó de que Michael iba a grabar un vídeo en Rio. La localización: Morro Dona Marta, al sur de Rio. Algunos políticos intentaron impedirlo porque arruinaba la imagen de la ciudad. Lo que no entendían es que Michael quería mostrar la verdadera pobreza de esta comunidad, no arruinar su imagen sino sacar a la luz un problema que necesitaba ser resuelto. El 11 de febrero de 1996, Michael llegó a Rio de Janeiro después de un día entero grabando en Pelourinho, Salvador. Llegué a las cinco a su hotel y Michael apareció cinco veces en el balcón. Bailó, saludó, gritó y jugó con un par de niños que estaban con él en su habitación con vistas a la playa de Copacabana.

Unas tres horas más tarde Michael salió hacia un coche color verde rodeado de unas fuertes medidas de seguridad para no ser aplastado por los fans. Aunque estaba un poco distante, pude ver su mano saludando a la gente desde la ventanilla y a alguna gente corriendo detrás del coche. Mientras se aproximaba al fuerte, Michael saludaba a todo el mundo con medio cuerpo fuera del coche. Me impresioné verle dar la mano a un barrendero. ¿Se imaginan saludando con una mano al artista mas grande del mundo mientras con la otra sostiene una escoba? Cuando llegó al Fuerte traté de acercarme a él pero los hombres de seguridad le rodeaban y no me fue posible. Pero de nuevo Dios vino en mi ayuda. Llevaba puesta una camiseta con Michael dibujado en ella y era idéntica a una que él había arrojado desde el balcón de su hotel la noche anterior. Cuando me vio tratando de acercarme a él llevando esa camiseta – que posiblemente pensó era la misma que él había arrojado- le hizo una señal al de seguridad para que me dejara acercarme. El coche paró unos segundos y me vi estrechando la mano de Michael. No pude decir ni una palabra pero él me agradeció que estuviera allí, me dio un caramelo estrechando mi mano y diciendo su frase más famosa: “Te quiero.”

Después de irse el coche todavía tenía su perfume en mi mano y desde ese día lo uso también.

Después de la visita de Michael a esa comunidad, el gobierno de Rio de Janeiro creo un programa de pacificación para esas barriadas. Dona Marta fue el primero en beneficiarse de ese programa. En 2010 tomé parte en la inauguración de una estatua de Michael situada en el lugar donde se grabó el vídeo, en la cima de la montaña".

Leandro Lapagesse, Brasil


Mosaico e estatua do Michel Jackson

CI Exclusivo Rio de janeiro ( RJ ) 24 / 06 / 2010 - Mosaico e estatua do Michel Jackson que estão sendo preparados para homenagear um ano de morte do cantor na laje que o astro fez um clipe no morro Santa Marta em Botafogo - Foto Guilherme Pinto / EXTRA / Agência O Globo Infoglobo
Via Blues¬if_t=like

Dejen que me presente, me llamo Luis Fernando Costa Longhi, tengo 16 años y nací y me crié en Brasil.

Estaba en casa de mi abuela cuando leí por primera vez que Michael vendría a Brasil a rodar el video para su nuevo sencillo: They Don’t Care About Us. No podía creerlo. Creía que estaba viviendo un sueño, pero gracias a Dios era realmente verdad…

El 2 de febrero leí acerca de la primera controversia sobre el rodaje: “Rio quiere ‘dirigir’ el nuevo vídeo de Michael Jackson”. El gobernador de Rio de Janeiro estaba en contra del rodaje del vídeo. Decía que no sería un buen ejemplo para Rio si iba a mostrarle a todo el mundo escenas de pobreza y violencia… sin embargo los habitantes de las favelas apoyaban el rodaje diciendo que eso alertaría al mundo sobre sus condiciones de vida.

Michael salió de Nueva York la noche del 8 de febrero. Vestía sombrero negro y chaqueta roja de “Torpedoes Soccer Club”. Iba acompañado de dos niños, Nicole y Marine y por Spike Lee. Viajaron en un vuelo regular y la gente que viajaba en el mismo decían que Michael iba feliz y cantando. No era vuelo directo, hacía escala en Rio. Michael tomó otro vuelo hacia Salvador de Bahía. Aterrizaron a las 11:50 a.m.

El aeropuerto nunca antes había estado tan lleno de gente. Había miles de fans esperando a Michael. Tenían cámaras y posters. Algunos vestían como Michael: “Haría cualquier cosa por ser como Michael” decía uno. Todos los fans estaban cantando “You Are Not Alone”. Michael y los niños fueron los últimos en bajar del avión. Llevaba una mascarilla negra. Saludó a los fans y de repente llegaron más fans y periodistas de todas partes tratando de hacerle fotos y hablar con él. Todo en vano. Michael trató de quedarse un poco más en el aeropuerto pero había tanta confusión que no era posible quedarse un minuto más allí. Se metió en el coche y se dirigió al hotel en el centro de Salvador.

Todas las habitaciones de la planta once del hotel Tropical fueron reservadas para Michael y su personal. ¡Había treinta y ocho apartamentos! Michael pidió toallas blancas, agua mineral, fruta tropical y zumos de naranja y manzana en su habitación. Tan pronto como entró en el hotel, una fan intentó entrar también rompiendo las barreras pero desafortunadamente se rompió el pie izquierdo.

Spike Lee decidió dar una entrevista a la prensa por la tarde. En ella dijo que era un fan de Olodum, el grupo de percusión afro-brasileño que participaba en el vídeo. Después de la entrevista, Spike Lee fue a Pelourinho, lugar del rodaje, para algunos ensayos antes del rodaje.

Michael estaba en el hotel mientras Spike fue a Pelourinho. Algunos miembros del personal arrojaron fotos autografiadas de Michael desde su suite a los fans que estaban fuera del hotel. Por la noche, Michael pidió gambas, pescado y pollo para cenar. La gente que trabajaba en el hotel dijo que Michael era muy amable con ellos. Mientras él descansaba, los habitantes de Dona Marta preparaban la casa donde se quedaría el domingo antes del rodaje. Habían instalado aire acondicionado y un bonito papel pintado en las habitaciones.

El sábado, Michael llegó a Pelourinho a las 12:15 p.m. Estaba todo el barrio bloqueado. Muchos fans estaban tristes porque no podían acercarse a su ídolo. Michael llevaba un paraguas para protegerse del sol y camisa negra de manga larga. Los niños que llegaron con él a Brasil estaban también. Entró a la habitación para cambiarse de ropa y permaneció allí unos minutos. Doscientos percusionistas estaban esperándole. Apenas podían esperar para cantar y bailar con el Rey del Pop.

Cuando Michael salió de la habitación llevaba ya la ropa para el rodaje: jeans, camiseta de Olodum y chaleco negro. Mientras Michael estaba en la azotea de un edificio rodando algunas escenas, una fan intentó romper el cordón de los guardaespaldas. Michael se dio cuenta, le tiró una toalla blanca y les pidió a los guardaespaldas que la dejaran subir a encontrarse con él. Se quedó en su habitación por lo menos una hora. Después le dijo a la prensa: “Estaba temblando mucho. No podía creer que estaba con él. Es tan humilde, tan amable… No entendía nada de lo que decía pero todo el mundo pudo notar que estaba feliz. ¡Nunca le había visto tan feliz antes!”

Después, Michael fue a su habitación a cambiarse de ropa. Cambió la camiseta blanca por una roja. Algunas mujeres brasileñas que estaban en el mismo edificio dijeron: “¡Oh, es muy tímido! Nos pidió que saliéramos de la habitación mientras se cambiaba, aunque no podíamos ver nada… estaba también riendo mucho y estaba muy feliz!”.

Otra fan rompió la barrera de los guardaespaldas cuando Michael estaba bailando en las calles. Era más mayor y gruesa que la otra fan. Intentó abrazar a Michael y le hizo caer. Spike Lee le ayudó a levantarse y siguió rodando el vídeo. Michael trataba siempre de estar cerca de sus fans. En sus últimas escenas en Salvador pidió a un niño que se uniera a él mientras bailaba. El niño estaba tan nervioso que se le pusieron los labios blancos. ¡Estaba bailando con el Rey del Pop! Todos los arreglos fueron hechos por Neguinho do Samba, director de Olodum. No tengo palabras para describir mi entusiasmo cuando escuché el ritmo de Olodum mezclado con la voz de Michael. ¡Era perfecto!

Michael dejó Salvador el sábado por la noche y se fue a Rio. Su avión, en vuelo regular de nuevo, aterrizó en Rio a las 8:15 p.m. Iba todo vestido de negro pero sin mascarilla. El domingo, Michael llegó a Dona Marta a la 1:00 p.m. en helicóptero. Dona Marta es una de las favelas más grandes de Rio, unos 12.000 habitantes viviendo en condiciones por debajo del nivel mínimo de calidad pero con las más bellas vistas de Rio: Pueden ver todas las playas desde sus pobres casas.

Michael llevaba pantalones negros, camisa roja y negra de manga larga y sombrero negro. Tampoco llevaba mascarilla esta vez. Solo dos cadenas de tv tenían permiso para quedarse en la azotea de la casa donde Michael rodó las escenas en Rio. Una de ellas, la de la televisión brasileña, tenía a una de las mejores reporteras de Brasil: Gloria María, que pidió a Michael que dijera al menos unas pocas palabras a los brasileños, él dijo: “I love you, Brazil!”. También le preguntó a Bob Jones quién había decidido rodar el video en la favela. Dijo que Michael y Spike lo habían decidido porque quería que Michael estuviera cerca de sus fans y de las cosas básicas de la vida, de las cosas que realmente importaban.

El maquillaje de Michael tardó dos horas. Rodó algunas escenas en las estrechas calles de la favela y mientras bailaba cerca de las casas pidió a una mujer que tomara su mano y bailara con él. Después subió a la cima de la favela. ¡Es tan grande que tardó quince minutos en llegar a lo más alto! Llevaba otra camiseta de Olodum con algunos símbolos africanos en ella. Los habitantes de la favela no podían creer que estaban tan cerca de Michael. Pasó más de seis horas rodando en Dona Marta.

Volvió a su hotel a las 7:00 p.m. No fue en helicóptero, prefirió ir en coche. Tan pronto como llegó a su habitación salió a la ventana a saludar a sus fans. Sobre las 8:00 volvió a la ventana, se quitó la camiseta y fingió arrojarla a sus fans. ¡Se volvieron locos! Decían: “We love you, we love you, MJ!” Algunos de ellos durmieron frente al hotel esperando a que volviera a salir, pero no lo hizo.

En la mañana del lunes 12 de febrero, Nicole y Marine arrojaron algunas servilletas firmadas con mensajes: “I love you, Michael Jackson”. Nadie sabe si en realidad fue Michael o los niños quienes escribieron esas palabras pero por supuesto los fans prefieren pensar que fue Michael quien las escribió.

Michael y los niños salieron después en helicóptero a ver la ciudad. Sobrevolaron las playas de Ipanema y Copacabana, el Corcovado y el Pan de Azúcar. Llevaba ropas negras y la mascarilla negra también. El piloto del helicóptero dijo después a la prensa: “Le gustó Rio. Estaba muy impresionado con las favelas y la gente que vivía allí. ¡Es tan sensible! Me sentí muy honrado de ser su piloto en esta visita”.

Después de la visita, Michael decidió ir de compras a Ipanema. Llegó al Vip Center Mall a la 1:45 p.m. La noticia se extendió rápidamente y muy pronto, todo el mundo en Rio sabía que Michael estaba en el Mall. De repente, Rio empezó a tener atascos de tráfico. Todo el mundo quería ver a Michael. Fue a una tienda de CDs, cogió de los Beatles y de Beach Boys pero no pudo comprarlos porque solo los alquilaban. Después fue a una tienda donde vendían instrumentos musicales. Pasó un rato en los instrumentos de percusión. Decidió ir a La Look Toy Store donde gastó mas de 1.000$. El Mall estaba lleno y Michael no parecía preocupado por eso. Ignorando las normas de seguridad salió varias veces de la tienda, dio muchos autógrafos a los fans y les dijo: “I love you!”. Dos niños intentaron pasar el cordón de seguridad y entrar a la tienda. Michael les compró juguetes y les dio algo de dinero. Ellos también le dieron a él moneda brasileña de recuerdo.

Michael volvió al Rio Palace Hotel donde recibió un disco de platino por vender 200.000 copias de HIStory en Brasil. Hasta el final de la tarde salió varias veces de su habitación para saludar a sus fans.
El lunes 12 de febrero por la noche partió para Nueva York. Realmente no sé por qué algunos políticos de Rio estaban tan preocupados de que Michael mostrara escenas de pobreza en su vídeo. No hizo eso. Vino a Brasil y nos ofreció unos días de felicidad y alegría. Todo lo que quiero decir es que los políticos brasileños solo se preocupan de sí mismos. No se preocupan por nosotros”.

Luis Fernando Costa Longhi, Brasil




'What More Can I Give' was written as a response to the riots in L.A. in 1992