Michael, Whitney, Tupac, Biggie
Anti-Defamation law proposed
(Sentinel, April 26, 2012-May 2, 2012)
"A good name is better than fine
perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth." (Ecclesiastes 7:1, New International Version)
Indeed, if you have lived long enough to make a "good name" for yourself,
"the day of death [is] better than the day of birth."
good name permeates the trail you made for yourself in life like "fine perfume."
the other hand, no infant, after suffering the tragedy of death, has had time to make such a ‘fine smelling' good name
In varying degrees, and on different levels, many
see Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, and Biggie Smalls as having made good names for themselves.
Foibles, idiosyncrasies, and eccentricities aside, what if after a lifetime
of having made a good name for yourself, detractors campaign to befoul it after your passing?
"The dead themselves do not praise Jah," says Scripture, "nor do any going down into
silence."--Psalms 115:17, New World Translation.
men don't tell tales,' is there any recourse? There is, according to a group calling themselves CadeLaw
Defending the Dead: Advocates
of the California Anti-Defamation Legacy Law (CadeLaw) have been campaigning for laws that would prohibit
anyone from defaming the character of the deceased.
In other words, these advocates
believe that laws against libel, slander, defamation, and other aspects of character assassination
should be equally applicable to you when you're dead.
At first glance, the
ladies behind CadeLaw appear to be a loose-knit group of women that one may be tempted to dismiss as
amateurish; emotional fans who are out of touch with reality, and who are still mourning the death
of their idol, Michael Jackson.
A closer look, however, reveals the richness
of their substance.
CadeLaw Advocates: How did this group
come about? "A year ago several of us came together through an Amazon Michael Jackson community.
"It seemed that each of us had embarked on the same
journey on June 25, 2009. In trying to understand what we were experiencing, we all found ourselves at the same thread
on the Michael Jackson Community.
"We shared our sorrow, anger, confusion,
frustration, tears, discoveries, and joys.
went on we truly became a family and we were very comfortable with one another. We all consider one another to be sisters,
and we are a very close group.
"The emotional pain and sorrow
began to evolve into something deeper. We wanted to find a way to make a difference.
of us became involved in writing letters and posting comments where we saw a need.
"We placed an ad in the newspapers in Gary, (Indiana,) and the surrounding
area on Michael's birthday to honor him and to let it be known that there are people who care about seeing his legacy go
forward without the tinge [sic] suspicion.
efforts prompted some of us to want to become even more involved. After a Skype call where all who wanted
to work on this project came together, MJ shared her idea to take some form of legal action to stop
the spread of untrue and hateful information about Michael.
over that idea lead to another conference call with Karen, Barb, MJ, and Vanessa.
the idea was formed to try to have a law passed in California that would make it illegal to defame a
person who had passed on. Michael Jackson was unfairly portrayed by a biased media throughout most of
"Every aspect of his life was a source of amusement to the media,
and they happily distorted facts and spread rumor and gossip in order to make a profit.
"It was a terrible way to treat Michael. No one in the history of our country has ever
been so vilified in the media.
public figures; it seems everyone felt very comfortable with treating Michael's life like it was a comic strip.
"That is heartbreaking to us because we see what a wonderful man he was.
"Not just for his legendary accomplishments in entertainment and the arts,
but for the contributions he made to the world through his message of love.
"He lived a most remarkable life and managed to remain humble, loving, kind, generous,
"That is why we have come to this
point where we say enough is enough. To have defamed him while he was living was an egregious misuse
of the freedom of speech and the power of words.
"However, to continue
to do so after he is no longer here is reprehensible."
More to come.