Should You Listen To Michael Jackson’s Music?

Written by Michael Cummings on March 6, 2019

On Ben Shapiro’s Twitter feed, he posted a poll question on Michael Jackson.

POLL: Is it still okay to listen to and enjoy Michael Jackson’s music?

As of this writing with a total of 1,295 votes, the results are 78% Yes, 22% No — something I find disappointing. The common response from the people who said Yes was something to tune of “art should be held separate from the person.”

I agree, to an extent.

Everyone is a package. This is why when people say human beings are born basically or inherently good, they’re missing the point: We are both good and bad, and our actions contain varying degrees of both.

Michael Jackson brought his talent for singing and dancing to a level few will achieve. Whether you liked his music or not, when a Michael Jackson song played it was hard not to sing along (dogs howl when I sing so, thankfully, there is no record of my feeble attempts). Some estimates claim the 1982 Thriller album alone sold nearly 66 million, and his net worth was at least $500 million. You don’t accomplish these things if your audience doesn’t love you for what you do.

But not all is what it seemed. If you look at this timeline, news reports, court records, and the HBO Documentary “Leaving Neverland,” you’ll learn of things that put into question what kind of man the King of Pop was. It is true, Jackson was never convicted of any crime but when he admitted to sharing a bed multiple times with boys that were not related to him, clear-thinking adults can and should question his behavior in other areas. When you look at the entire picture, it’s clear to me Michael Jackson considered himself a boy but with the urges of a man. If you listen to what the mothers of two of the boys featured in the documentary, you’ll know Jackson exhibited the behavior of a pedophile including grooming of both the child and his parents to establish trust, and then warning them not to reveal what they knew.

I believe in gradations of sin. Taking a stapler from work does not get graded on the same scale as killing six million Jews, or starving two million Armenians. There are those attempting to rename John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California because of 1971 interview that came out showing The Duke making racist comments. Are these comments unfortunate? Of course, but we must judge people on their Moral Net Worth, not on a few bad transactions.

So far as we know, Michael Jackson didn’t cheat on his wife. He didn’t fail to pay his taxes. He didn’t abuse a dog. Whether the singer was mentally ill from a hard upbringing is irrelevant. The truth is all evidence thus far reveals a very sick man who preyed on little boys, the details of which are awful. His Moral Net Worth is in the dark red.

In light of this, my family and I will not listen to the music of a monster, however good the music may be.

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.