Today would have been Michael Jackson’s 59th birthday, in case you’ve forgotten how tragically young the music legend was when he passed away during the “Summer of Death” in 2009.
He’s mourned by countless fans across all social media platforms today.
But, obviously, no one could miss Michael Jackson more acutely than his own children. His daughter, Paris Jackson, posted a beautiful tribute to honor her late father on his birthday.
Taking to Instagram, Paris Jackson posted a moving birthday message that both memorializes and celebrates who her father was — very specifically, to her.
“Birthday wishes to the love of my life, the one person who showed me what passion truly was, the one that gave me solid morals to live by and how to dream.”
Michael Jackson’s legacy in the public might be his music, accusations levied against him, and his distinctive image and brand. Though, mostly, music.
To Paris, however, he was her father. Of course that’s how she remembers him.
“i will never feel love again the way i did with you. you are always with me and i am always with you. though i am not you, and you are not me, i know with all of my being that we are one. and our souls will never change in that way. thank you for the magic, forever and always.”
That is an extremely sweet, if lengthy, sentiment.
Paris would certainly have made Michael Jackson proud on Sunday at the VMAs.
While Katy Perry’s awkward VMAs hosting had network higher ups worried, Paris Jackson spoke out against the very alarming hate and violence that is increasingly popping up across the US.
Remember back to a year ago, when people were warning that fringe right hate groups, neo-Nazis included, would feel emboldened by a Donald Trump victory?
Well, since 2016 was a cursed year, Trump won … sort of … and those groups were very emboldened by a man who seemed to make it clear that he shares their values occupying the highest office in the land.
Just a few weeks ago, torch-bearing Nazis descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of an enduring symbol of white supremacy.
In separate attacks against counter-protesters, various white supremacists beat black men with planks of wood, menaced their opposition with firearms, and of course one of them plowed into a crowd in a terrorist assault, killing one and leaving dozens of others injured.
A lot of celebrities spoke up “against the violence,” but nobody at the VMAs seemed willing to tell it like it is.
Until Paris got her hands on a microphone, that is.
Paris Jackson called out white supremacy for the evil that it is.
“Lets leave here tonight knowing that… We must show these Nazi, white-supremacist jerks in Charlottesville and all over the country that as a nation with liberty as our slogan we have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination.”
That’s not really a surprise coming from Paris Jackson.
In addition to being a fairly woke young woman with strong spiritual leanings and a great deal of political awareness, like, she’s not exactly from an all-white family.
For so many of us, the fight against Nazis is deeply personal.
(It should be for all of us, really)
To be fair, even though we love Paris Jackson, we should acknowledge that, in the days leading up to the VMAs, some of her tweets had us a little worried.
She spoke about antifa as people who answer violence with violence.
That’s often true — antifa are individuals who are “anti-fascist,” thus where the name originates. They show up where Nazis show up in order to make it clear that their evil views have no place in a good, just society.
Paris, at the time, advocated responding to hatred with peace, in the fashion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We would point out that MLK was murdered, so we wouldn’t recommend that anyone try to mirror his footsteps.
But since she didn’t say anything about antifa or counterprotesters at the VMAs, which seems to indicate that she listened as people responded to her on Twitter.
And maybe she learned and grew as a person.
That’s what really defines wisdom more than anything else — a willingness to listen.
Michael Jackson would be tremendously proud of her.