Letter: Good luck, Michael, but I prefer to stay black

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THE CONCEPT of blacks wanting to be white is not new ('Michael Jackson: beyond the pale', 2 August). Black men, for example, who seek white partners do exactly what Michael Jackson has done, but in a different way. They produce, and notably contrive to produce, a half-black child: less Negroid, still 'black' but more acceptably so.

Michael Jackson is not only a victim of his own success but also - in a world where, for too many, being white is synonymous with success - he is a victim of his race. The only real difference between him and the black man and woman in the street is that, with all his money and all the yes-

people around him, he has never really grown up.

While I am not condoning Michael Jackson's actions, he is fundamentally no different from other blacks who aspire to whiteness, by whatever means. He is not the first black person to try to whiten, or Europeanise, his features (and let us not forget that white people are having surgery to fatten their lips and pump up their backsides). Nor is he the first pop star to do so. One should not try to blame him for all peoples of colour who try to lighten their skin tone.

As a person, not a performer, Michael Jackson seems to have become a rather pathetic figure, but those who follow him are no less pathetic. To those who seek the very whiteness which, if they do not already possess it, shall be forever unattainable to them, I say: 'Good luck]' These people are in no way a reflection of myself and others such as myself who are totally at home with our Negroid features.

From J Minott-Williams

Croydon, Surrey