Archive for July 12, 2009


I have written many Michael Jackson articles, I hope my readers will not get weary. I keep writing about him or referring to him because he did a lot for many people and he touched many lives as well. Most persons only know of the various accusations against him. I wanted to write an article about people giving back and what better man to refer to than the Entertainer of all time, the king of pop – who gave back to so many charities worldwide – Michael Jackson.

The Guinness Book of World Records in the 2000 edition listed Michael Jackson as having the record for supporting the most charities – all of 39. These donations have come in the form of monetary donations through sponsorships or by participating in their silent auctions. Below is a list of all the charities that benefited from Michael Jackson.

  • AIDS Project L.A.
  • American Cancer Society
  • Angel Food
  • Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
  • BMI Foundation, Inc.
  • Brotherhood Crusade
  • Brothman Burn Center
  • Camp Ronald McDonald
  • Childhelp U.S.A.
  • Children’s Institute International
  • Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
  • Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Dakar Foundation
  • Dreamstreet Kids
  • Dreams Come True Charity
  • Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Love Match
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Minority Aids Project
  • Motown Museum
  • NAACP
  • National Rainbow Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Australia
  • Society of Singers
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
  • The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
  • Transafrica
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
  • Volunteers of America
  • Watts Summer Festival
  • Wish Granting
  • YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw
  • This is a man who could have squandered his earnings on women or the many other things that were around him but he found the time and heart to donate part of his earnings to the various charities worldwide. Even on his will part of his earnings will go to the work to keep doing good in our communities. How many people do we know that when they die stipulate in their wills that charities should benefit from their lives? This is what some people refer to as having a ‘good heart’.

    This giving is even emphasized by companies; they dub it ‘Social Responsibility’. The many companies who keep giving back must be congratulated for it. It is so ironic that companies who give back to communities always want a huge media following to report on the little good they do. It is all a stunt. Companies who give to charities in silence are the real heroes of our time. I hate to see when businesses fail to sponsor events, failing to see the benefits they can gain long term.

    Michael Jackson’s song Man in the Mirror is an amazing song that underlines this point of starting with the man in the mirror, me. The song invites listeners to analyze themselves asking ‘Who am I to be blind?’ to today’s problems.

    We are all one people. Oops! Some people see the world differently, some people see races and classes but we are all one. Some persons cannot give cash, or items but if we cannot afford that we can share love to those who need it.

    Companies who make billions and millions of profits annually all celebrate and watch as people beg a little bit more, while the poverty level continues to rise. We have a responsibility to the world and the environment. Michael Jackson who some may only know him to abuse drugs in his death will be remembered as man who gave willingly to the less fortunate. He looked on the man in the mirror and made that change. So as we move on with our lives and join companies and even start our own, remember the lyrics of one of my favourite MJ Hits – Man in the Mirror.

    Below is a video I found on http://www.youtube.com with the co-writer of the song Man in the Mirror Siedah Garrett giving a tribute to Michael Jackson. Take a listen….The song is touching as she reflects on the life of Michael Jackson.

    I had to include this other video, the original, nothing hits home better.

    So recently we saw where Sarah Palin resigned from her governor position in Alaska. This huge discussion is on whether she should have resigned or not is making the rounds. She is also be flogged in the media for resigning with a more than a year left to serve.

    PALIN CABINETThe lines are drawn in the sand and what will you do: support Palin or hit against her?

    I will take the side of supporting Palin’s decision to step down as governor of Alaska. I should note that Palin has been a stellar governor, saving her state in these harsh economic times. But some claim this is because her state has oil. I would agree with that point but having oil isn’t enough. Palin is able to manger the state’s affairs making huge investments in education and security which are of paramount interest.

    States like California who are having trouble these days should take a leaf out of Palin’s book to manage their state effectively. Her track record as a governor is amazing but many people do not hear about her record as a manager and leader.

    Sarah Palin’s move to step aside from her position in Alaska makes some Presidential hopefuls fearful in their steps. Men like Romney and Huckabee and the many others are shaking as they are aware of the power Palin has to energize a crowd which they aren’t able to do. She has personality, wit, beauty, power, experience as a leader etc. People will begin to listen to Palin more as Obama’s actions in the Whitehouse make the American economy worse. As the democrats advance their agenda on higher taxes and a health care system the Obama led administration will fail thus making any move by Republicans a winner and will energize voters. There is a book deal underway and once this book goes ‘bestseller’ Palin will have written a part of the story for 2012.

    Let me not get ahead of myself though what if Palin does not run for President in 2012. What will be certain is that any candidate she decides to support will get some of her die heart supporters as well. This woman’s ability to energize and persuade should not be underestimated and I believe that is why she is being ridiculed so much because people are very afraid of the Palin brand. All she needs is a great team behind her from strategizing to promoting her positively in the media.

    She is a mother, an abused woman in the media and when that hits back voters do not take it likely and will benefit her more.

    Right now it is a wait and see situation. What is certain for sure whatever move she makes the media will be all over it. She excites many, clearly.

    Many times we see politicians on the job and wonder what it is like to be there to experience the moments. Recently I was invited to share in the festivities at our parliament in Jamaica. The experience was spectacular.

    parliamentAs I entered the doors I was greeted to security systems beeping clearly signalling what kind of possessions I had on me. There was security all around clearly you could tell security is a major issue when so much power comes together. No alarms rang; I walked up to the gallery. In the gallery clearly there were sections outlined. One section had high profile persons; managers, CEOS, investors all ready to hear what the minister had to say. Dr Christopher Tufton would be presenting on recent developments in the Ministry of Agriculture.

    All my life the proceedings, all the pictures I have seen of parliament were aerial shots focusing on the speakers on any particular day. Clearly sitting in the gallery I had a bird’s eye view of the proceedings seeing all the politicians who appear to be at the helm of the country.

    As I sat I was in awe the entire time, couldn’t believe I was granted this experience to see parliament in action. I looked around seeing the power of the people in the gallery, the media section etc. The media area shocked me. There were not a lot of media personnel covering the event. I found it amazing but daunting. I believe the more journalists covering events like these and even working in the industry the more objectivity and coverage regular citizens will have of what is really happening at the highest level of government.

    From watching parliamentary proceedings on television as well, one cannot ignore how noisy the politicians are. Most of them on television would be gyrating and chatting away as the speakers made their points.  Found it embarrassing. Well, the same greeted me. The politicians showed no regard for those who were speaking. Most were reading documents, shouting across the isle, signing documents, sending messages continuously, the constant walking in and out etc. I was amazed but not impressed. I feel that when a presentation is being made your duty is to listen with the intention to make suggestions or ask questions at the end. This was not so in parliament. However, I do not feel that persons must sit throughout presentations for over two hours without even commenting on an issue with the person near you, but the constant chatting and disrupting behaviours must not be condoned.

    p3_2 When I entered the gallery and looked down at the seats I noticed that some seats were empty but documents were thrown all over the area in front of the chair signalling that someone was sitting in the seat. Later, former Miss World winner now turned politician Lisa Hanna walked in with another member of the Opposition. I have not fell that feeling in a long time. Her beauty mesmerized me, I was shocked, amazed, even flabbergasted.  Even years after winning the title Lisa Hanna is able to look refreshing, great and constantly keeping up with fashion and style. She truly added to the excitement of the afternoon.

    As the speech went on, more members walked in clearly they took breaks, some even conducting business on the floor while the speech went on.

    Later the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, Phillip Paulwell etc walked in to take their seats. What was interesting was that most members of the governing party were present while most of the Opposition were evidently missing in action.

    Joke of the day

    roger-clarke-pointingRoger Clarke former Minister of Agriculture when his party ruled was present for the proceedings. There has been characterisation of him in the media as a negative famer who opposes everything the ruling government does. Recently he was portrayed as a fat rice eating famer who eats everything on a farm. In the minister’s speech, he referred to the successful rice testing done by the government and brought into parliament packaged rice products for his demonstration. This was seen as a positive movement for the government because previous governments have not been able to achieve this level of success where they are able to produce value added products for the international and local market.

    There was a huge uproar by politicians on the floor who sought to ensure that the minister gave Roger Clarke all the rice he brought to parliament. This was a light moment but everyone had a moment to laugh and take it all in.

    The speech was very long but the time was allotted to Dr Christopher Tufton to complete his speech.

    peter-bunting-gen-secAfter his speech ended Opposition member Bunting gave a speech on his constituency and even commenting on changes that should be made to Jamaica Constabulary Force. What was amazing the ruling party teased him before he began his speech calling him ‘Facebook’.

    Recently, after the Opposition lost two bi-elections Bunting made remarks on his Facebook page about a leader not searching for consensus but a molder of one. This was seen as controversial and was reprimanded by some for his comments. The teasing I found very alarming because I think he was ashamed in the moment.

    This teasing was obvious right through the proceedings with members from both sides shouting defaming slangs at each other. I found it disgusting at times but I guess people can have fun.

    So my day ended with me experiencing parliament. Not many citizens will ever get to go through the doors at our parliament but this day will always be treasured by me. I enjoyed my day, while some parts were horrible to digest I was able to take it all in and see what parliamentary proceedings were all about.

    Corve DaCosta