Thursday, April 01, 2004

BBC - Michael Jackson 'may tour Africa'

Is this an April Fools' Day joke? Since when has Michael Jackson wanted to have anything to do with blackness?

Singer Michael Jackson may stage a concert tour of Africa to support the Aids fight if he gets permission from the judge in his child abuse trial.

A US Congress member revealed the plan at a press conference in Washington DC where Jackson appeared but said little.

Sheila Jackson Lee said the tour could be held in May or June after invites from ambassadors.

Jackson will need a judge's permission to travel outside the US after handing over his passport following his arrest.

He is charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a child with the intent of committing a crime.

The star, who is currently out on $3m (£1.6m) bail, denies all the charges. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Smiled

When details of his possible tour were announced, there was mild applause at the press conference. "That wasn't loud enough," said Jackson - his only words during the event.

The narcissism of that last statement tells me this probably isn't a joke after all. It's amazing what child-molestation charges can do for one's desire to connect with one's black roots.