The Race Card -- "Don't Leave Home Without It."
Michael Jackson, according to the Santa Barbara district attorney, allegedly molested a 12-year-old boy. But not long after the search of Michael Jackson's estate, and the issuance of an arrest warrant, Jackson defenders whipped out the race card quicker than you could say "Billie Jean."
Using the race card in Michael Jackson's case strikes one as particularly galling. His talent propelled him to unimaginable heights, replete with homes, cars and whatever toys imaginable. His 2,600-acre Neverland Ranch sports an amusement park, a zoo and requires 60-some caretakers. He thinned his features through surgeries, straightened his hair, and, because of an alleged skin disease, his skin became whiter than an Idaho picket fence.
Do the police pull him over for Driving While Black? Does a department store detective follow him around, fearing that he may clip some valuable? Does a racist bank refuse to lend him money? Did his adoring fans shun him because he married the daughter of Elvis Presley and fathered two children with a white woman? Yet now his defenders ask us to believe that "racist" Santa Barbara DA Tom Sneddon stands willing to risk his reputation to add another notch to his belt by bringing down a black man. Please.
First up, Johnnie Cochran. On "Larry King Live," Cochran questioned the timing of the arrest warrant because, on the very same day, Michael Jackson's record company released his "Number Ones" CD. "I think it's more than coincidence," said Cochran, "I think it was planned." Actually, the publicity probably boosted sales.
Next, former Jackson Five member and brother Jermaine Jackson bellowed on CNN, "This is nothing but a modern-day lynching!" Just in case the point escaped anyone, Jermaine later appeared on "20/20," and said, "They're a bunch of racist rednecks out there who don't care about people."
Jesse Jackson, not having enough in his "In" box, also weighed in. "It seems that the excessive zealotry has almost taken away the focus of how serious this situation is," said Jesse. "Michael has been condemned without a trial." Excessive zealotry? Did Jesse also chastise the media for their "excessive zealotry" in the case of Martha Stewart, Scott Peterson, Robert Blake or Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel? Condemned without a trial? Name one reporter who said, "He did it."