Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Life

The Gloved One’s ‘Jew Me, Sue Me’ Moment

Amid the media scandal-mongering over the untimely demise of Michael Jackson, only a few reports have zeroed in on the Gloved One’s infamous 1995 song “They Don’t Care About Us,” which “outraged” the Anti-Defamation League with its “antisemitic” lyrics: “Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me.”

Jackson explained to The New York Times: “I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone. I am the skinhead, I am the Jew, I am the black man, I am the white man.”

If Jackson was really the Jew, one wonders if he would have been welcomed later by members of the Nation of Islam movement quite so enthusiastically Whatever the rationalizations, there is really no sane reason for Jackson to be praised as he is in “TYPISCH!: Klischees von Juden und Anderen” (“TYPICAL!: Clichés of Jews and Others”) a current exhibit at Vienna’s Jewish Museum, for supposedly having “attempted to destroy stereotypes” by marring his face with multiple nose jobs.

Far from seeing the late singer as a breaker of stereotypes, readers might side instead with ADL National Director Abe Foxman, who castigated the Gloved One for making a “decision which reinforces intolerance” by releasing a video version of “They Don’t Care About Us” as well as for later manifestations of antisemitism.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.