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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Jacko’s fans prove themselves equally bizarre

The music blared last Friday in Santa Maria, Calif., from a sound truck a few feet away from Michael Jackson as he entertained an estimated crowd of more than 1,000 fans from the hood of a black S.U.V. Fans cheered and chanted words of support and endearment to the pop superstar. Members from the Nation of Islam provided the security and even distributed invitations to attend an after-party retreat at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The New York Times described the affair as “a remarkable scene that mixed a courtroom appearance with a frenzied street carnival.” The spectacle occurred immediately after Jackson left a court hearing to which he arrived 15 minutes late and pleaded not guilty to nine felony charges. Jackson’s tardiness and flamboyant display, while offensive to the legal system, is hardly a troubling issue. After all, the man is an entertainer. The disturbing matter, however, pertains to the fans who applauded and caroused with a man charged with sexually molesting a child. These individuals showed no respect for the severity of the charges Jackson currently faces. In fact, many have already mentally dismissed the nine felony charges involving seven counts of lewd acts with a child and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to a child to facilitate abuse. While these individuals have the right to voice their opinions, to adamantly maintain Jackson is innocent without hearing all the details pertaining to the case is sheer foolishness. If one looks at the prior conduct of Jackson as it relates to children, it becomes apparent that these current charges might have some validity to them and must be taken seriously, especially by his fans.
This is not the first time Michael Jackson has been accused of molesting a child. As reported by the World Net Daily, 10 years ago the parents of a 13-year-old boy, Jordan Chandler, accused Michael Jackson of molesting their son during an overnight stay at Neverland Ranch.
Subsequently, the parents dropped the charge after a substantial sum of money, estimated between $15 to 20 million, was deemed suitable compensation for the violation of their child. As a result, Jackson’s controversial behavior has continued.


“(Jackson’s) precarious behavior with children must not go unnoticed and unsanctioned simply because the court has yet to rule on the matter.”


In a 2003 interview with British journalist Martin Bashir, Jackson admitted he still sleeps with children in his bed. According to a Fox News report, later that year, during a “60 Minutes” interview, Jackson responded to a question regarding the acceptability of sleeping in the same bed with children by saying, “If you’re going to be a pedophile, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper, if you’re going to be a murderer, it’s not a good idea.” What, if anything, would transform the practice into a good thing? Clearly the man is reality-impaired, and so are the fans who ignore statements such as this one.
Now some will vehemently proclaim Jackson should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and they are right. But that assertion merely states the obvious. Indeed, the public should refrain from condemning Jackson prior to hearing all of the evidence, but it should not immediately exonerate him either. His precarious behavior with children must not go unnoticed and unsanctioned simply because the court has yet to rule on the matter. Think about it. What would happen to the average citizen who chose to engage in a similar lifestyle with children? They would be shunned by society. Certain standards must be upheld and the practice of recreationally sleeping with children should not be one of them. Unfortunately, though, Jackson’s celebrity status, in the minds of many, justifies a little more leeway. That is frightening.
Outside the courthouse and at the Neverland shindig, the fans’ behavior inadvertently sent a message: Jackson’s conduct with children is acceptable and the charge of child molestation is trivial. These people are at the very least, guilty of being naive. Jackson’s behavior is hardly acceptable and the charge, carrying a maximum of 20 years, is certainly not trivial. Jackson, for his part, better wise up and respect the severity of the situation. The public should wait on the evidence before deciding to condemn or support him and refrain from trying him merely in the court of public opinion.
– Nicholas Davis is a senior political science major.

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