According to the Anti-Defamation League, the title of Michael Jackson’s song “They Don’t Care About Us” should be “I Don’t Care About You.”
Jackson apologized last summer for including anti-Semitic lyrics in the song that is part of his “HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I” album.
The ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and others last June protested the words “Jew me, sue me,” and “kick me, kike me.”
Jackson said at the time that he would re-record the song and change the lyrics to “to me” and “strike me.”
In his letter of apology, Jackson wrote, “My intention was for this song to say `no’ to racism, anti-Semitism and stereotyping.
“Unfortunately, my choice of words have unintentionally hurt me very people I want to stand in solidarity with. I just want you all to know how strongly I am committed to tolerance, peace and love, and I apologize to anyone who might have been hurt.”
Jewish leader were satisfied with Jackson’s response.
But, after the video version of the song was recently released – with the original anti-Semitic lyrics – on a nationally syndicated television program, the ADL expressed outrage.
“We accepted your apology, and we assumed that the video would conform with our understanding,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote in a Feb. 6 letter to Jackson. “Apparently we were wrong.”
Foxman added, “With the release of such a video, instead of remaining a spokesman against hate an prejudice, you have made a decision which reinforces intolerance.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.