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And he had always been dying—dying to be white. That was what my mother
said, that you could see the dying all over his face, the decaying, the
thinning, that he was disappearing into something white, desiccating into
something white, erasing himself, so that we would forget that he had once
been Africa beautiful and Africa brown, and we would forget his pharaoh’s
nose, forget his vast eyes, his dazzling smile, and Michael Jackson was but
the extreme of what felt in those post-disco years to be a trend. Because
when I think of that time, I think of black men on album covers smiling
back at me in Jheri curls and blue contacts and I think of black women who
seemed, by some mystic edict, to all be the color of manila folders.
Michael Jackson might have been dying to be white, but he was not dying
alone. There were the rest us out there, born, as he was, in the muck of
this country, born in The Bottom. We knew that we were tied to him, that
his physical destruction was our physical destruction, because if the black
God, who made the zombies dance, who brokered great wars, who transformed
stone to light, if he could not be beautiful in his own eyes, then what
hope did we have—mortals, children—of ever escaping what they had taught
us, of ever escaping what they said about our mouths, about our hair and
our skin, what hope did we ever have of escaping the muck? And he was
destroyed. It happened right before us. God was destroyed, and we could not
stop him, though we did love him, we could not stop him, because who can
really stop a black god dying to be white?

https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/49978-im-not-black-im-kanye
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