Somewhat unlike the media response, the black response this time out is actually more textured than it was a short while ago during the feverishly ethnocentric campaign to save the job of black Police Chief Bernard Parks. Even though the Parks fracas did not travel outside L.A. and this one has, one can extrapolate encouragement from the fact that Al Sharpton and Inglewood Police Chief Ron Banks condemned the Jackson beating as unconscionable, but iterated that the problem may well be more behavorial or cultural than racial. Sharpton put out something of a disclaimer in saying that if it turns out to be that a black cop was involved in the beating, that cop would be as swiftly condemned as Morse. That Inglewood's government and police personnel are heavily black forces a complexity and raises uncomfortable questions that would otherwise be lacking, and that's a good thing.
An even better thing, now that everybody's in town, would be a vigil calling attention to another scandal that got zero response, but is eminently deserving of some. Fremont High School in South-Central, the lowest-ranking campus in the state according to test scores, was profiled in the L.A. Times yet again as state auditors step in to administer life support. The story was a supremely tragic one of black and brown youngsters left to wither on the vine; even Fremont's successful students are, in the big picture, failing. This isn't police brutality, but it's brutality nonetheless, and its social ramifications are at least as serious.
Okay, I take back what I said earlier: If Michael Jackson is looking for a real cause, if he really wants to save the children, now's his big chance to claim an untrammeled field of outrage. Sharpton and Company can catch up later.