In 1989, Gardner Street Elementary school in LA dedicated the name of its auditorium in Michael Jackson’s name; Jackson had been a past pupil of the school and due to the height of his success, the school decided to make reference to their past star pupil. Sadly, when Michael was accused of child abuse, the school made the decision to cover up the pop-stars name as not to offend parents of the school.
This cover-up continued for the rest of Michael’s life despite him being found innocent of all charges; but earlier this year a campaign began to uncover Michael’s name at the school. Websites, Facebook pages and fan groups became involved, many in the LA area met with the school to reveal the King of Pop’s name upon the auditorium. Those who couldn’t attend the meetings, including myself, wrote letters to the school campaigning to reveal Michael’s name.
On October 15th 2010, the school finally uncovered Michael’s name, with much celebration by both the Jacksons and Michael’s fans. However this celebration was short lived as a spokesperson for SNAP, a charity for the survivors of abused by priests, said that the uncovering was ‘disappointing’ and was a ‘slap in the face’ for those children who have been abused. And now fans, family and friends of Michael are wondering, will these accusations ever end?
The spokesperson explained that despite Michael being acquitted in 2005, the accusations in 1993 which resulted in a pay out from Jackson has left people with doubt and suspicion. But you would hope that a spokesperson for an organisation would complete a little research before making these statements; but seeing they didn’t, here are some facts.
The 1993 accusations were made by Jordan Chandler, whose family rather than taking the usual route of childhood abuse and informing the authorities, decided to take it upon themselves to sue Michael Jackson, and accepted a huge pay out. You have to question the integrity of anyone who would rather take a pay-out rather than see a pedophile be sent to prison where he can’t harm another child. There are many books written on the real story behind the Michael Jackson allegations and the evidence is quite clear that the Chandler’s were money grabbing liars with not a single piece of evidence against Michael.
But many question, if this is the case, why did Michael pay out? Michael was incredibly depressed at the time and was not fit enough to fight against these accusations and was advised to pay out as it could have continued for years. However in 2005 when similar accusations were made, Michael was ready to fight and cleared his name once and for all under US law. He has been legally acquitted, and anything other than this is slander.
Why Joelle Casteix, the spokesperson for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) needed to make any comment, is unbeknownst to many people. Michael was neither a priest, and nor was he a pedophile. And what would Casteix’s words have brought to this situation? Was there a need? One can only assume that it was some shameless self promotion of the charity to increase donations. Instead she has just upset a lot of people, who thought that these horrific accusations had finally been put to rest. The sad part is, that if Michael was still around, he would of most likely provided a large donation to the organisation, due to his incredibly charitable nature.
Many fans, including myself, have taken it into their own hands and emailed the charity asking for a retraction of the statement. It is currently the next big project since the uncovering of his name from the elementary school. It is refreshing to know that Michael’s friends, family and his fans are continuing Michael’s legacy and promoting his innocence long after his death seeing he isn’t around to do this himself. And so, while the accusations will keep coming, Michael’s fans will not stop fighting…