U.S. History/Panther dance

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Question
Hello !

I have about Michael Jacksons music video Black or White. And in the panther dance at the end he smashes some windows. It says "hitler lives", "no more wet backs" and "nigger go home". What does this mean, and why does he use this in the video. I know it has something to do with racism.

<3

Answer
Hello,

Presumably the message he is attempting to convey is that he is violently opposed to such racist messages.  Interestingly, the original video did not contain those racist messages. Rather, it simply showed Jackson smashing windows in several buildings and a car.  This caused controversy as critics accused Jackson of promoting violence and vandalism in his videos.  At the time, Jackson apologized and said the destruction was meant to represent the animal behavior of the black panther.

Those racist messages were then added into the video, to alter the message from random violence to violence against racist ideas or messages.  It was never really part of Jackson's original vision for the video.  It was only added to limit criticism of the violence, under the assumption that people are okay with violence directed at racist messages rather than random property violence.  In later DVD releases of the video, the original version without the racist messages has been restored.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy

Expertise

I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.

Experience

I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.

Publications
http://unlearnedhistory.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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