The Washington Post

The Jackson family drama: Why we can’t ignore it

The whereabouts of Katherine Jackson is the latest saga in the family’s drama. (Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

It’s been hard to follow the various tweets, statements and interviews (Jezebel pulled together a great summary of the timeline), and I’m still not sure if Mama Katherine was kidnapped, vacationing, resting or just tired of raising kids. The only really clear thing seems to be that Paris and Prince missed their grandmother and wanted her at home with them.

But, ever since Latoya accused Papa Joe of abuse, Janet eloped with James Debarge and Jermaine fell into the vat of Fashion Fair foundation, we’ve been all agog at the antics of this family.

For 25 years they have become the train wreck that never ends, crashing again and again, from generation to generation.

Admittedly some of the staring and pointing is because we want to understand how things got to this point. No one saw this coming back when The Jackson 5 won amateur night at the Apollo Theater in 1967.

We side-eyed a little when Michael’s face started changing color and shape, but when he moonwalked, spun, stood on the tips of his toes and said “SHAMON!” we managed to look past it.

We did double takes when Janet divorced dancer Rene Elizondo since no one knew she was married to him. But she was Penny on “Good Times,” and we all felt sorry Janet, I mean Penny, got burned with the iron.

We gasped and clutched our pearls when Jermaine hooked up with Randy’s ex-girlfriend/baby mama and had three children with her making them the younger cousins of their older siblings. Yeah.

There are no words for the reaction to the child molestation allegations against Michael.

Still, I think some of us held out hope that the three kids Michael left behind would manage to have normal lives without the veils and media circus.

In the three years since his death, it seemed they were on their way to regular-ville. Prince and Paris stopped being homeschooled and started attending a private school. Their tweets are about random teenage stuff — English class, Justin Bieber, new outfits, playing video games, movies — with some more serious stuff mixed in too, such as quotes from their dad and Gandhi.

It seemed as if the crazy that had touched much of the previous generation might skip this branch of the Jackson family tree.

Then Paris tweeted about her grandmother being missing, and the accusations started flying, and here we are popping corn and waiting for the next update. Watching another crash.

Here’s hoping this all gets settled soon, and Paris, Prince and Blanket can go back to trying to just be kids.

Tanya Ballard Brown, a long-time Michael Jackson fan, writes, tweets and tumbls about pop culture and entertainment.

More from The RootDC:

Colorado theater shootings: Resisting cinemaphobia

2012 Kids Count: D.C. children show setbacks in poverty

International AIDS Conference: Time for black church leaders to break the silence

International AIDS Conference: Continuing the fight



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