I've never owned a Michael Jackson record, nor do I have plans to buy one.
In death, Jackson is being heralded as on of the most influential singers of all time and as an ambassador for race relations. Baloney! Jackson was a child prodigy who later squandered his talent. True, he was a pioneer in music videos and created some highly entertaining and influential ones, but that makes him an entertainer, not a great singer. He was better at grabbing headlines than creating truly great music. Sales alone do not make a song great.
How can Jackson be considered a uniting force between blacks and whites when he couldn't accept being black? It's ironic that he's an African-American icon who felt the need to bleach his skin and narrow his nose at great cost to his health.
There is no merit to the claims that he was the force behind uniting black and white music genres. That process began before Jackson ever set foot on stage. Hank William, Sr. crossed the tracks to take guitar lessons from Rufus Payne, a black street musician. Elvis was influenced by black R&B and blues singers and publicaly acknowledged his debt to them long before doing so became fashionable. Ray Charles made unforgettable crossover albums. In the 50s and early 60s, kids in the Jim Crow South couldn't resist black music and defied authority to get their hands on it. Although the skewed charts of the times hid the fact, Little Willie John's version of "Fever" outsold Peggy Lee's version by 2 to 1. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Little Richard enticed white middle class kids with new music that blended musical styles. Sam Cooke and Clyde McPhatter brought black Gospel influences into pop music, a legacy that will never die. A comprehensive list of those who drew on American musical styles to create new music and use art to overcome racial boundaries is endless. Thank God that the triumph of music over racism began long before the 1983 release of Thriller.