Nothing happens that approach anymore. Nothing can. But this was 1982, and Michael Jackson was God, yet not only God in range and power, yet there was positively that, yet God in his good mystery; God in how a child would hear tell of him, God in how he lived among a fable and lore; God since a Walkman was still uncommon, and we was immature and could not count on a automobile radio, since my relatives lived between NPR and WTOP. So a legends were all we had—tales of conspicuous feats and illusory deeds: Michael Jackson mediated squad wars; Michael Jackson was a zombie king; Michael Jackson tapped his feet and stones incited to light. Even his accouterments felt over me—the studded jacket, a stimulating glove, a leather pants—raiment of a divine, chaste by me, a mortal child who squinted to see past Saturday, who would not even see Motown 25 until it was past 30, who would not even possess a duplicate of Thriller until we was a grown man, who no longer believed in miracles, and knew in my heart that if a black man’s God was not dead, he certainly was dying.
And he had always been dying—dying to be white. That was what my mom said, that we could see a failing all over his face, a decaying, a thinning, that he was disintegrating into something white, desiccating into something white, erasing himself, so that we would forget that he had once been Africa pleasing and Africa brown, and we would forget his pharaoh’s nose, forget his immeasurable eyes, his gorgeous smile, and Michael Jackson was yet a impassioned of what felt in those post-disco years to be a trend. Because when we consider of that time, we consider of black group on manuscript covers smiling behind during me in Jheri curls and blue contacts and we consider of black women who seemed, by some cryptic edict, to all be a tone of manila folders. Michael Jackson competence have been failing to be white, yet he was not failing alone. There were a rest us out there, born, as he was, in a plod of this country, innate in The Bottom. We knew that we were tied to him, that his earthy drop was a earthy destruction, since if a black God, who done a zombies dance, who brokered good wars, who remade mill to light, if he could not be pleasing in his possess eyes, afterwards what wish did we have—mortals, children—of ever evading what they had taught us, of ever evading what they pronounced about a mouths, about a hair and a skin, what wish did we ever have of evading a muck? And he was destroyed. It happened right before us. God was destroyed, and we could not stop him, yet we did adore him, we could not stop him, since who can unequivocally stop a black God failing to be white?
Kanye West, a God in this time, awakened, recently, from a prolonged open doze to welcome Donald Trump. He hailed Trump, as a “brother,” a associate dispatcher of “dragon energy,” and impugned those who objected as suppressors of “unpopular questions,” “thought police” whose strategy were “based on fear.” It was Trump, West argued, not Obama, who gave him wish that a black child from a South Side of Chicago could be president. “Remember like when we pronounced we was gonna run for president?,” Kanye pronounced in an talk with a radio horde Charlamagne Tha God. “I had people tighten to me, friends of mine, creation jokes, creation memes, articulate shit. Now it’s like, oh, that was proven that that could have happened.”