Speeches of Michael

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Speeches of Michael

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:34 am

Hello everybody!

In this Thread you can find the speeches of Michael that he gave through the years. Have fun reading and talking about them.

Best regards,

Team Army of Love


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NAACP-Image Award (January 16th, 1993)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:35 am

I really wasn’t expecting to win this. I was … I love you all very, very much.
Thank you to the NAACP and all of you. You are very dear, sweet, loving people. Thank you so much!
First I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ to my mother. You see her tonight — she’s the one in blue.
Thank you for giving me life — I really mean that.

I love you!

[Screaming fans in the audience. Michael laughs]

I love you, too.

There are two things which the NAACP stands for which are the most important things in my life: freedom and equality.
In every person there is a secret song in their heart. It says: ‘I am free!’, it sings: ‘I am One!’.
This is the natural feeling of every child. To be free as the wind, to be one with every other child. All the troubles in the world are caused by forgetting this feeling.
And when I perform my connection is with people [sic] to just remind me of that: to be free and to be One.
In this spirit the NAACP has done its cherished work.
Thank you for having the faith to see that I share your work — for I deeply feel I do.
I accept this award on behalf of the world’s healing.
When all our brothers and sisters will be as free and equal as we are today.

I love you so much and I am very honoured and thank you for this award.

Thank you so much.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=33

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Speech at the Grammy Awards ( Feburary 24th, 1993)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:36 am

I love you too, thank you… I hope this puts to rest, I hope this finally puts to rest another rumor that has been in the press for too many years: Me and Janet really are two different people…

[audience laughs]

… In the past months, I’ve gone from “Where is he?” to “Here he is again,” but I must confess, it feels good to be thought of as a person, not as a personality. Because I don’t read all the things written about me, I wasn’t aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up as I did, in front of one hundred million people since the age of five, you’re automatically different. The last few weeks, I have been cleansing myself and it’s been a rebirth for myself. It’s like a cleansing spirit.

[to the screeming crowd] I love you too.

My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood — those were exchanged for hard work, struggle and pain and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price, I cannot re-create that part of my life.
However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents. The sound… of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic. Wonder fills our hearts, for what we have glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.

And that’s why I love children and learn so much from being around them. I realise that many of our world’s problems today — from the inner city crime, to large scale wars and terrorism, and our overcrowded prisons — are a result of the fact that children have had their childhood stolen from them. The magic, the wonder, the mystery, and the innocence of a child’s heart, are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world. I really believe that.

What… what we need to learn, what we need to learn from children isn’t childish. Being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life which is everpresent, and only asks to be lived. They know the solutions that lie waiting to be recognised within our own hearts. Today, I would like to thank all the children of the world, including the sick and deprived… I am so sensitive to your pain.

I also want to thank all those who have helped me to channel my talent here on earth. From the beginning, my parents, all my brothers and sisters, especially Janet. I am so proud of her, it’s incredible. I mean, I remember when we were little, I used to ask her to be Ginger Rogers, while I was Fred Astaire…
The Motown family, my teacher Berry Gordy. Diana Ross, I love you. Suzanne De Pazze. The wonderful, great Quincy Jones. Teddy Riley. My new godson Michael Gibb. My new Sony family, Akio Morita, Mickey Schulhoff, Tommy Motola, Dave Glew, Polly Anthony… Thanks for making one of my most creative efforts, the album ‘Dangerous’, such an incredible success. I love you all so much. Sandy Gallin, Jim Morey. All the fantastic fans around the world — I love you very much.

[Michael receives more cheers from the audiece, as he and Janet leave the stage.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=33

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Neverland-statement (December 22nd, 1993)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:36 am

I am doing well and I am strong. As you may already know, after my tour ended, I remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed to ease the excruciating pain that I was suffering after reconstruction surgery on my scalp.

There have been many disgusting statements made recently concerning allegations of improper conduct on my part. These statements about me are totally false.

As I have maintained from the very beginning, I am hoping for a speedy end to the horrifying, horrifying experience to which I have been subjected. I shall not in this statement talk about the false allegations that have been made against me, since my lawyers have advised me that this is not the proper forum in which to do that. I will say that I am particularly upset at the handling of this matter by the incredible, terrible mass media. At every opportunity, the media has dissected and manipulated these allegations to reach their own conclusions. I ask all of you to wait to hear the truth before you label or condemn me. Don’t treat me like a criminal, ’cause I am innocent.

I have been forced to submit to a dehumanizing and humiliating examination by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week. They served a search warrant on me, which allowed them to view and photograph my body including my penis, my buttocks, my lower torso, thighs, and any other area that they wanted. They were supposed to be looking for any discoloration, spotting, blemishes or any other evidence of a skin disorder called Vitiligo that I have previously spoken about.

The warrant also directed me to cooperate in any examination of my body by deposition to determine the condition of my skin including whether I had Vitiligo or any other skin disorder. The warrant further states that I had no right to refuse this examination or photographs, and if I failed to cooperate with them they would introduce that refusal at any trial as an indication of my guilt.

It was the most humiliating ordeal of my life, one that no person should ever have to suffer. Even after experiencing the indignity of this search, the parties involved were still not satisfied. They wanted to take even more pictures. It was a nightmare, a horrifying nightmare, but if this is what I have to endure to prove my innocence, my complete innocence, so be it.

Throughout my life I have only tried to help thousands upon thousands of children to live happy lives. I am not guilty of these allegations, but if I am guilty of anything it is of giving all that I have to give to help children all over the world; it is of loving children of all ages and races, it is of gaining sheer joy from seeing children with their innocent and smiling faces, it is of enjoying through them the childhood that I missed myself. If I am guilty of anything, it is of believing what God said about children: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not for this is the Kingdom of heaven.” In no way do I think that I am God but I do try to be God-like in my heart.

I am totally innocent of any wrongdoing and I know these terrible allegations will all be proven false. Again, to my friends and fans, thank you very much for all of your support.

Together, we will see this through to the very end. I love you very much and may God bless you all. I love you. Good-bye.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=33

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Michael’s speech at the NAACP-Awards (January, 5th, 1994)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:37 am

For decades, the NAACP has stood at the forefront of the struggle for equal justice under the law for all people in our land. They have fought in the lunch rooms of the South, in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court and the board rooms of America, for justice, equality and the very dignity of all mankind.

Members of the NAACP have been jailed and even killed in noble pursuit of those ideals, upon which our country was founded. None of these goals is more meaningful to me at this time in my life, than the notion that everyone is presumed to be innocent, and totally innocent, until they are charged with a crime, and then convicted by a jury of their peers. I never really took the time to understand the importance of that ideal until now, until I became the victim of false allegations, and the willingness of others to believe and exploit the worst before they have a chance to hear the truth.

Not only am I presumed to be innocent, I am innocent!

And I know the truth will be my salvation. You have been there to support me when others weren’t around, and I thank you for that. I have been strengthened in my fight to prove my innocence by my faith in God, and by my knowledge that I am not fighting this battle alone.

Together, we will see this thing through.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=49&Itemid=33

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Bollywood-Awards 1998

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:38 am

Michael’s speech at the ‘Bollywood-Awards’.
‘Outstanding Humanitarian Award’
The prize includes the inscription:
“Although Michael comes from a young American tradition he is the rebirth of an old Indian soul. His actions are expressions of the ‘Philosophy Weda’, which calls for working for people not for own interests.”

Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for this honour you’ve awarded me tonight. I have always believed that the real measure of celebrity-success was not just how famous he becomes but what he does with that fame and fortune. Especially in todays technological and media advanced society the attention and fortune shower on an individual celebrity is often times immensely disproportioned to his or her achievements.

Today a person can literally become a celebrity over night throughout the entire world, and that kind of attention can be difficult for an individual to handle. But I have also learned that such fame can also be an enourmous effective medium to focus attention and mobilise resourses for a worthy cause.

I have been blessed with so much and have an opportunity to do what few others can. But I believe it is more than just an opportunity but a duty. I feel to reap and enjoy the fruits of my talents for myself would be selfish, irresponsible and unconscionable. In these days of such abundance and advancement — and what we can do — it pains me to think that we do so little for our children.

In some ways I feel undeserving to recieve an award for something that is my duty. I accept this award at the guesture of encouraging from the people of India and the commission to do more for mankind. I love you very much.
[…]

Mahatma Gandhi knew how important bringing the world attention was to gaining freedom for India without using any weapons. In some ways he was the first person to truly understand the importance and power of the public. He has always been an inspiration to me and it gives me even greater joy and pride to be recognized by his people. I am here today inspiration for my Hinduja — Mr. Hinduja and your lovely family, I love you very much. We have the same mission to bring world peace. Kamoud Mandhona [name spelling?] has created a great show, Manesh [name spelling?] thank you for your wonderful costume. I appreciate it very much. I love you all, thank you.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=50&Itemid=33

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Michael’s speech in Oxford University (March, 6th 2001)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:39 am

Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr. President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept.

I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford.

You and I have been working so hard to form ‘Heal the Kids’, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at ‘Heal the Kids’, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our ‘Heal the Kids’-team.

I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X.

I’ve even heard that ‘Kermit the Frog’ has made an appearance here, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Kermit’s message that it’s not easy being green. I’m sure he didn’t find it any easier being up here than I do.

As I looked around Oxford today, I couldn’t help but be aware of the majesty and grandeur of this great institution, not to mention the brilliance of the great and gifted minds that have roamed these streets for centuries. The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatest philosophical and scientific geniuses — they have also ushered forth some of the most cherished creators of children’s literature, from J. R. R. Tolkien to C. S. Lewis.

Today I was allowed to hobble into the dining hall in Christ Church to see Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland immortalised in the stained glass windows. And even one of my own fellow Americans, the beloved Dr. Seuss graced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of children throughout the world.

I suppose I should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this evening.

Friends, I do not claim to have the academic expertise of other speakers who have addressed this hall, just as they could lay little claim at being adept at the ‘Moonwalk’ — and you know, Einstein in particular was really terrible at that.

But I do have a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people will ever see.

Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink — it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche.

And friends, I have encountered so much in this relatively short life of mine that I still cannot believe I am only 42.
I often tell Shmuley that in soul years I’m sure that I’m at least 80 — and tonight I even walk like I’m 80.

So please harken to my message, because what I have to tell you tonight can bring healing to humanity and healing to our planet.

Through the grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my artistic and professional aspirations realised early in my lifetime. But these, friends are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who belted out ‘Rockin’ Robin’ and ‘Ben’ to adoring crowds was not indicative of the boy behind the smile.

VTonight, I come before you less as an icon of pop — whatever that means anyway —, and more as an icon of a generation, a generation that no longer knows what it means to be children. All of us are products of our childhood. But I am the product of a lack of a childhood, an absence of that precious and wondrous age when we frolic playfully without a care in the world, basking in the adoration of parents and relatives, where our biggest concern is studying for that big spelling test come Monday morning.

Those of you who are familiar with the ‘Jackson Five’ know that I began performing at the tender age of five and that ever since then, I haven’t stopped dancing or singing. But while performing and making music undoubtedly remain as some of my greatest joys, when I was young I wanted more than anything else to be a typical little boy.

I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my friends.

But fate had it otherwise and all I could do was envy the laughter and playtime that seemed to be going on all around me. There was no respite from my professional life.

But on Sundays I would go ‘pioneering’, the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do. And it was then that I was able to see the magic of other people’s childhood. Since I was already a celebrity, I would have to do on a disguise of fat suit, wig, beard and glasses and we would spend the day in the suburbs of southern California, going door-to-door or making the rounds of shopping malls, distributing our ‘Watchtower’-magazine.

I loved to set foot in all those regular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playing ‘Monopoly’ and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes of everyday life. Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me they were mesmerising. I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings.

When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first. We simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin knew.

I do not tell you this to gain your sympathy but to impress upon you my first important point — it is not just Hollywood child stars that have suffered from a non-existent childhood. Today, it’s a universal calamity, a global catastrophe. Childhood has become the great casualty of modern-day living.

All around us we are producing scores of kids who have not had the joy, who have not been accorded the right, who have not been allowed the freedom, or knowing what it’s like to be a kid. Today children are constantly encouraged to grow up faster, as if this period known as childhood is a burdensome stage, to be endured and ushered through, as swiftly as possible. And on that subject, I am certainly one of the world’s greatest experts.

Ours is a generation that has witnessed the abrogation of the parent-child covenant.
Psychologists are publishing libraries of books detailing the destructive effects of denying one’s children the unconditional love that is so necessary to the healthy development of their minds and character. And because of all the neglect, too many of our kids have, essentially, to raise themselves. They are growing more distant from their parents, grandparents and other family members, as all around us the indestructible bond that once glued together the generations, unravels.

This violation has bred a new generation, Generation O let us call it, that has now picked up the torch from Generation X. The O stands for a generation that has everything on the outside — wealth, success, fancy clothing and fancy cars, but an aching emptiness on the inside. That cavity in our chests, that barrenness at our core, that void in our centre is the place where the heart once beat and which love once occupied. And it’s not just the kids who are suffering. It’s the parents as well.

For the more we cultivate little adults in kids’ bodies, the more removed we ourselves become from our own child-like qualities, and there is so much about being a child that is worth retaining in adult life. Love, ladies and gentlemen, is the human family’s most precious legacy, its richest bequest, its golden inheritance. And it is a treasure that is handed down from one generation to another. Previous ages may not have had the wealth we enjoy. Their houses may have lacked electricity, and they squeezed their many kids into small homes without central heating. But those homes had no darkness, nor were they cold. They were lit bright with the glow of love and they were warmed snugly by the very heat of the human heart. Parents, undistracted by the lust for luxury and status, accorded their children primacy in their lives.

As you all know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas Jefferson referred to as ‘certain inalienable rights’. And while we Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.

I would therefore like to propose tonight that we instal in every home a ‘Children’s Universal Bill of Rights’, the tenets of which are:

1 — The right to be loved, without having to earn it

2 — The right to be protected, without having to deserve it

3 — The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing

4 — The right to be listened to without having to be interesting

5 — The right to be read a bedtime story without having to compete with the evening news or East-Enders

6 — The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools

7 — The right to be thought of as adorable — even if you have a face that only a mother could love.

Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.

About 12 years ago, when I was just about to start my ‘Bad’-tour, a little boy came with his parents to visit me at home in California. He was dying of cancer and he told me how much he loved my music and me. His parents told me that he wasn’t going to live, that any day he could just go, and I said to him: “Look, I am going to be coming to your town in Kansas to open my tour in three months. I want you to come to the show. I am going to give you this jacket that I wore in one of my videos.” His eyes lit up and he said: “You are gonna give it to me?” I said: “Yeah, but you have to promise that you will wear it to the show.” I was trying to make him hold on. I said: “When you come to the show I want to see you in this jacket and in this glove…” and I gave him one of my rhinestone gloves — and I never usually give the rhinestone gloves away.

And he was just in heaven. But maybe he was too close to heaven, because when I came to his town, he had already died, and they had buried him in the glove and jacket. He was just ten years old.

God knows, I know, that he tried his best to hold on. But at least when he died, he knew that he was loved, not only by his parents, but even by me, a near stranger, I also loved him. And with all of that love he know that he didn’t come into this world alone, and he certainly didn’t leave it alone.

If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with. A professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might vanquish you, but you will still triumph.

How could any of them truly prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy of love. The rest is just packaging. But if you don’t have that memory of being loved, you are condemned to search the world for something to fill you up. But no matter how much money you make or how famous you become, you will still feel empty. What you are really searching for is unconditional love, unqualified acceptance. And that was the one thing that was denied to you at birth.

Friends let me paint a picture for you. Here is a typical day in America — six youths under the age of 20 will commit suicide, 12 children under the age of 20 will die from firearms — remember this is a day, not a year.

Three hundred and ninety-nine kids will be arrested for drug abuse, 1 352 babies will be born to teen mothers.

This is happening in one of the richest, most developed countries in the history of the world. Yes, in my country there is an epidemic of violence that parallels no other industrialised nation. These are the ways young people in America express their hurt and their anger.

But don’t think that there is not the same pain and anguish among their counterparts in the UK. Studies in this country show that every single hour, three teenagers in the UK inflict harm upon themselves, often by cutting or burning their bodies or taking an overdose. This is how they have chosen to cope with the pain of neglect and emotional agony. In Britain, as many as 20 % of families will only sit down and have dinner together once a year. Once a year!

And what about the time-honoured tradition of reading your kid a bedtime story? Research from the 1980s showed that children who are read to, had far greater literacy and significantly outperformed their peers at school.

And yet, less than 33 % of British children ages two to eight have a regular bedtime story read to them. You may not think much of that until you take into account that 75 % of their parents did have that bedtime story when they were that age.

Clearly, we do not have to ask ourselves where all of this pain, anger and violent behaviour comes from. It is self-evident that children are thundering against the neglect, quaking against the indifference and crying out just to be noticed. The various child protection agencies in the US say that millions of children are victims of maltreatment in the form of neglect, in the average year. Yes, neglect. In rich homes, privileged homes, wired to the hilt with every electronic gadget. Homes where parents come home, but they’re not really home, because their heads are still at the office. And their kids? Well, their kids just make do with whatever emotional crumbs they get. And you don’t get much from endless TV, computer games and videos.

These hard, cold numbers which for me, wrench the soul and shake the spirit, should indicate to you why I have devoted so much of my time and resources into making our new ‘Heal the Kids’ initiative a colossal success. Our goal is simple — to recreate the parent-child bond, renew its promise and light the way forward for all the beautiful children who are destined one day to walk this earth.

But since this is my first public lecture, and you have so warmly welcomed me into your hearts, I feel that I want to tell you more. We each have our own story, and in that sense statistics can become personal.

They say that parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another. I have discovered that getting parents to re-dedicate themselves to their children is only half the story. The other half is preparing the children to re-accept their parents.

When I was very young I remember that we had this crazy mutt of a dog named Black Girl, a mix of wolf and retriever. Not only wasn’t she much of a guard dog, she was such a scared and nervous thing that it is a wonder she did not pass out every time a truck rumbled by, or a thunderstorm swept through Indiana. My sister Janet and I gave that dog so much love, but we never really won back the sense of trust that had been stolen from her by her previous owner. We knew he used to beat her. We didn’t know with what. But whatever it was, it was enough to suck the spirit right out of that dog.

A lot of kids today are hurt puppies who have weaned themselves off the need for love. They couldn’t care less about their parents. Left to their own devices, they cherish their independence. They have moved on and have left their parents behind.

Then there are the far worse cases of children who harbour animosity and resentment toward their parents, so that any overture that their parents might undertake would be thrown forcefully back in their face. Tonight, I don’t want any of us to make this mistake. That’s why I’m calling upon all the world’s children — beginning with all of us here tonight — to forgive our parents, if we felt neglected. Forgive them and teach them how to love again.

You probably weren’t surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that exists in my relationship with my own father is well documented. My father is a tough man and he pushed my brothers and me hard, from the earliest age, to be the best performers we could be. He had great difficulty showing me affection. He never really told me he loved me. And he never really complimented me either. If I did a great show, he would tell me it was a good show. And if I did an okay show, he would say nothing. [Michael’s voice breaks and he starts to cry]

He seemed intent, above all else, on making us a commercial success. And at that he was more than adept. My father was a managerial genius and my brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and under his guidance I couldn’t miss a step.

But what I really wanted was a Dad [he is still crying]. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my father never did that. He never said “I love you” while looking me straight in the eye, he never played a game with me. He never gave me a piggyback ride, he never threw a pillow at me, or a water balloon.

But I remember once when I was about four years old, there was a little carnival and he picked me up and put me on a pony. It was a tiny gesture, probably something he forgot five minutes later. But because of that moment I have this special place in my heart for him. Because that’s how kids are, the little things mean so much to them and for me, that one moment meant everything.

I only experienced it that one time, but it made me feel really good, about him and the world.

But now I am a father myself, and one day I was thinking about my own children, Prince and Paris and how I wanted them to think of me when they grow up. To be sure, I would like them to remember how I always wanted them with me wherever I went, how I always tried to put them before everything else. But there are also challenges in their lives. Because my kids are stalked by paparazzi, they can’t always go to a park or a movie with me. So what if they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth? “Why weren’t we given an average childhood like all the other kids”, they might ask?

And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: “Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to give us all the love in the world.”

I hope that they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them, and not criticise the things they had to give up, or the errors I’ve made, and will certainly continue to make, in raising them. For we have all been someone’s child, and we know that despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That’s just being human.

And when I think about this, of how I hope that my children will not judge me unkindly, and will forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my own father and despite my earlier denials, I am forced to admit that he must have loved me. He did love me, and I know that. There were little things that showed it. When I was a kid I had a real sweet tooth — we all did. My favourite food was glazed doughnuts and my father knew that.

So every few weeks I would come downstairs in the morning and there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed doughnuts — no note, no explanation — just the doughnuts. It was like Santa Claus. Sometimes I would think about staying up late at night, so I could see him leave them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn’t want to ruin the magic for fear that he would never do it again. My father had to leave them secretly at night, so as no one might catch him with his guard down.

He was scared of human emotion, he didn’t understand it or know how to deal with it. But he did know doughnuts. And when I allow the floodgates to open up, there are other memories that come rushing back, memories of other tiny gestures, however imperfect, that showed that he did what he could.

So tonight, rather than focusing on what my father didn’t do, I want to focus on all the things he did do and on his own personal challenges. I want to stop judging him.

I have started reflecting on the fact that my father grew up in the South, in a very poor family. He came of age during the Depression and his own father, who struggled to feed his children, showed little affection towards his family and raised my father and his siblings with an iron fist. Who could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope, struggling to become a man in a world that saw my father as subordinate. I was the first black artist to be played on MTV and I remember how big a deal it was even then. And that was in the 1980s!

My father moved to Indiana and had a large family of his own, working long hours in the steel mills, work that kills the lungs and humbles the spirit, all to support his family. Is it any wonder that he found it difficult to expose his feelings? Is it any mystery that he hardened his heart, that he raised the emotional ramparts? And most of all, is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers, so that they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and poverty? I have begun to see that even my father’s harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me. Because he wanted no man ever to look down at his offspring.

And now with time, rather than bitterness, I feel blessing. In the place of anger, I have found absolution.

And in the place of revenge I have found reconciliation. And my initial fury has slowly given way to forgiveness.
Almost a decade ago, I founded a charity called ‘Heal the World’. The title was something I felt inside me.

Little did I know, as Shmuley later pointed out, that those two words form the cornerstone of Old Testament prophecy.

Do I really believe that we can heal this world, that is riddled with war and genocide, even today? And do I really think that we can heal our children, the same children who can enter their schools with guns and hatred and shoot down their classmates, like they did at Columbine? Or children who can beat a defenseless toddler to death, like the tragic story of Jamie Bulger? Of course I do! of course I do or I wouldn’t be here tonight.

But it all begins with forgiveness, because to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves. And to heal the kids, we first have to heal the child within, each and every one of us. As an adult, and as a parent, I realise that I cannot be a whole human being, nor a parent capable of unconditional love, until I put to rest the ghosts of my own childhood. And that’s what I’m asking all of us to do tonight. Live up to the fifth of the ten Commandments.

Honour your parents by not judging them. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

That is why I want to forgive my father and to stop judging him. I want to forgive my father, because I want a father, and this is the only one that I’ve got. I want the weight of my past lifted from my shoulders and I want to be free to step into a new relationship with my father, for the rest of my life, unhindered by the goblins of the past.

In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope.

In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort.

In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream.

And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.

To all of you tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your disappointment.

To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further.

And to all of you who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend your hand to them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a desolate and lonely world.

Shmuley once mentioned to me an ancient Biblical prophecy which says that a new world and a new time would come, when “the hearts of the parents would be restored through the hearts of their children”. My friends, we are that world, we are those children.

Mahatma Gandhi said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Tonight, be strong. Beyond being strong, rise to the greatest challenge of all — to restore that broken covenant.

We must all overcome whatever crippling effects our childhoods may have had on our lives and in the words of Jesse Jackson, forgive each other, redeem each other and move on. This call for forgiveness may not result in Oprah-moments the world over, with thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at least be a start, and we’ll all be so much happier as a result.

And so ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my remarks tonight with faith, joy and excitement. From this day forward, may a new song be heard.

Let that new song be the sound of children laughing;

Let that new song be the sound of children playing;

Let that new song be the sound of children singing;

And let that new song be the sound of parents listening.

Together, let us create a symphony of hearts, marvelling at the miracle of our children and basking in the beauty of love.

Let us heal the world and blight its pain. And may we all make beautiful music together.

God bless you, and I love you.

Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=33

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Anti-Sony-speech (London, June, 15th, 2002)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:40 am

… Anyway, I first let me say, I really don’t like to talk that much. I really don’t. I prefer performing than talking.

Let me just say this… The tradition of great performers… the tradition of great performers from — I really want you to know what I say! — from Sammy Davis Junior, to James Brown, to Jackie Wilson, to Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. The story is usually the same though. These guys worked really hard at their craft, for the story ends the same. They are usually broken, torn and usually just sad, because the companies take advantage of them, they really do.

And… Sony…Sony… Being the artist that I am, at Sony I’ve generated several billion dollars for Sony, several billon. They really thought that my mind is always on music and dancing. It usually is, but they never thought that this performer — myself — would out think them.

So, we can’t let them get away with what they’re trying to do, because now I’m a free agent… I just owe Sony one more album. It’s just a box set, really, with two new songs which I’ve written ages ago. Because for every album that I record, I write — literally, I’m telling you the truth — I write at least 120 songs every album I do. So I can do the box set, just giving them any two songs.

So I’m leaving Sony, a free agent,… owning half of Sony! I own half of Sony’s Publishing. I’m leaving them, and they’re very angry at me, because I just did good business, you know.

So the way they get revenge is to try and destroy my album! But I’ve always said, you know, art — good art — never dies. …Thank you.

And Tommy Mottola is a devil!

I’m not supposed to say what I’m going to say right now, but I have let you know this. Please don’t videotape what I am going to say, ok? Turn that off please. Do it, do it, I don’t mind! Tape it!

Mariah Carey, after divorcing Tommy, came to me crying. Crying. She was crying so badly I had to hold her. She said to me, “This is an evil man, and Michael, this man follows me.” He taps her phones, and he’s very, very evil. She doesn’t trust him. He’s a horrible human being. And we have to continue our drive until he is terminated. We can’t allow him to do this to great artists, we just can’t.

I just wanted to let you know, I appreciate everything you’ve done, you’ve been amazing.

You’re so loyal! Diana, everybody, Waldo, all the people here! I love you all. You’ve been amazing, I love you!

But still, but still, I promise you, the best is yet to come!


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=33

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Speech against racism (July 9th, 2002)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:43 am

… I remember a long time ago in Indiana, [when I was] like 6 or 7 years old, and I had a dream that I wanted to be a performer, you know, an entertainer and whenever I’d be asleep at night, and my mother would wake me up and say, ‘Michael, Michael, James Brown is on TV!’ I would jump out of bed and I’d just stare at the screen and I’d do every twist, every turn, every bump, every grind.

And it was Jackie Wilson; the list goes on and on you know, just phenomenal, unlimited, great talent.

It’s very sad to see that these artists really are penniless because they created so much joy for the world. And the system, beginning with the record companies, totally took advantage of them. And it’s not like they always say: ‘they built a big house,’ ‘they spent a lot of money,’ ‘they bought a lot of cars’ — that’s stupid, it’s an excuse. That’s nothing compared to what artists make.

And I just need you to know that this is very important, what we’re fighting for because I’m tired. I’m really, really tired of the manipulation.

I’m tired of how the press is manipulating everything that’s been happening in this situation. They do not tell the truth, they’re liars. And they manipulate our history books. Our history books are not true, it’s a lie. The history books are lies, you need to know that. You must know that.

All the forms of popular music from Jazz, to Hip Hop to Bebop to Soul, you know, to talking about the different dances from the Cake Walk to the Jitter Bug to the Charleston to Break Dancing — all these are forms of Black dancing!

What’s more important than giving people a sense of escapism, and escapism meaning entertainment? What would we be like without a song? What would we be like without a dance, joy and laughter and music?

These things are very important, but if we go to the bookstore down on the corner, you won’t see one Black person on the cover. You’ll see Elvis Presley. You’ll see the Rolling Stones. But where are the real pioneers who started it?

Otis Blackwell was a prolific phenomenal writer. He wrote some of the greatest Elvis Presley songs ever. And this was a Black man. He died penniless and no one knows about this man, that is, they didn’t write one book about him that I know of because I’ve searched all over the world. And I met his daughter today, and I was honored. To me it was on the same level of meeting the Queen of England when I met her.

But I’m here to speak for all injustice. You gotta remember something, the minute I started breaking the all-time record in record sales — I broke Elvis’s records, I broke the Beatles’ records — the minute [they] became the all-time best selling albums in the history of the Guinness Book of World Records, overnight they called me a freak, they called me a homosexual, they called me a child molester, they said I tried to bleach my skin. They did everything to try to turn the public against me. This is all a complete conspiracy, you have to know that.

I know my race. I just look in the mirror, I know I’m Black.

It’s time for a change. And let’s not leave this building and forget what has been said. Put it into your heart, put it into your subconscious mind, and let’s do something about it. We have to! It’s been a long, long time coming and a change has got to come. So let’s hold our torches high and get the respect that we deserve. I love you. I love you.

Please don’t put this in your heart today and forget it tomorrow. We will have not accomplished our purpose if that happens. This has got to stop! It’s got to stop, that’s why I’m here with the best to make sure that it stops. I love you folks. And remember: we’re all brothers and sisters, no matter what color we are.

Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=33

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Bambi-Awards (Berlin, November 21st, 2002)

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:44 am

Dear Dr. Burda, dear Dr. Turnhofer, ladies and gentlemen, I have many good reasons for my visit to Germany. Coming back to Berlin, so full of energy, it’s very special to me. Berlin, Ich liebe Dich [Berlin I love you].

September 11th has changed our world. Not long ago the Berlin wall came down, but recently new walls were built. In 1989 people in Germany said: “Wir sind ein Volk.” [We are one people].*

We are Germans, we are Armenians, French, Italians, Russians, Americans, Asians, Africans and many other nationalities.

We’re Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Hindus.

We’re black, we’re white.

We are a community of so many differences. So complex, and yet so simple.

We do not need to have war.

And to the children of Germany I want to say this: We need you. The world needs you. Please go for it. Go after your dreams. Go after your ideals. You can become everything you wanna become. Become an astronaut, become a scientist, a great doctor, and of course, become an artist. Maybe you get a Bambi award like me then.

I want you to know, I love Germany! You are very special in my heart, so much really. Always appreciate the gift of life. Be happy and have fun.

I love you.
Thank you very much.

Michael’s official reaction after the balcony incident:

I offer no excuses for what happened. I made a terrible mistake. I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my kids.


Source: http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54&Itemid=33

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James Brown funeral, December 30, 2006

Beitrag  Guardian am Mi Jun 30, 2010 10:45 am

Speech of Reverend Al Sharpton
"We used to ride around somewhere between Beech Island and Bamberg. And he'd tell me, Reverend, I was born out in these woods. He said "I shined shoes on Broad Street." he said, "but the reason I'm not bitter is god blessed me and he gave me a talent. And I didn't let anyone tell me how to use my talent. They called me names. They persecuted me. They set me up. They framed me. They locked me up. But they couldn't lock me down." there was a god. There was a god that was with me all the way. And he said "no matter what, I know that there's a god, and I believe in god, and I believe god believes in me." So he sung his song and he danced his dance, but he wasn't just singing for himself. He sung for us. He danced for us. He screamed for us. "

"Last thing he told me about a week ago, Ms. Hogan called me and said, Reverend Sharpton, Mr. Brown is trying to reach you. And we talked about every week. I sometimes would wait till the next day to call, because you need a good half hour to put aside to talk to James Brown. You never could cut him ff. He would just keep talking. But Mr. Bobby called me about two hours later and said, you need to call him, he wants to talk to you. It was the last conversation we had. He said to me, Reverend, he said, "I've been watching you on the news. I want you to keep fighting for justice. But I want you to tell people to love one another. I want you to fight to lift the standards back." He said, "What happened to us that we are now celebrating from being down? What happened we went from saying I'm black and I'm proud to calling each other niggers and ho's and bitches?" He said, "I sung people up and now they're singing people down, and we need to change the music."

He said, "I want you to stay with your teacher, Reverend Jackson, don't get so big headed you can't stay with your teacher, y'all got to clean it up." Then he said to me, "Reverend, have you talked to Michael?" I said, "no, I think he's out of the country." He said, "Tell him I love Michael. Tell him don't worry about coming home. They always scandalize those that have the talent. But tell him we need to clean up the music and I want Michael and all of those that imitated me to come back and lift the music back to where children and their grand mommas can sit and listen to the music together."

"And even though many stars you helped and even though he knows they're going to criticize him, Michael said, he doesn't care what they say. Michael came for you today, Mr. Brown. Come on up, Michael. Come up here. I don't care what the media says tonight. James Brown wanted Michael Jackson with him here today. Brothers and sisters, as I bring the family and then Mr. Bobby and then we will conclude the eulogy, I think it is only appropriate, based on my last conversation, we hear some words of expression from Michael Jackson.

MICHAEL JACKSON:
“Hello. What I'm going to say is brief but to the point. James Brown is my greatest inspiration. Ever since I was a small child, no more than like 6 years old, my mother would wake me, no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I've never seen a performer perform like James Brown. And right then and there, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown.[fans scream] I love you. But James Brown, I shall miss you and I love you so much. And thank you for everything. God bless you. And I love you"


Source:
http://www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=197&Itemid=33


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