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Michael Jackson - They Don't Care About Us

Written by Michael, and recorded for his HISTORY album, issued in June 1995.

Lyrics deemed ‘anti-Semitic’ by Jewish groups:
Jew me, sue me, everybody do me;
Kick me, kike me, don’t you black or white me.

Michael, who insisted it was a public awareness song, responded by
releasing a statement that read:

‘The idea that these lyrics could be deemed objectionable is extremely
hurtful to me, and misleading. The song in fact is about the pain of
prejudice and hate, and is a way to draw attention to social and political
problems. I very much regret and apologise from the bottom of my
heart if I have hurt anyone’s feelings in conveying my own.’

Michael further stated he would re-record the song, changing ‘jew me’
to ‘do me’ and ‘kike me’ to ‘strike me’, and that apology stickers
would be affixed to all existing copies of HISTORY.

New pressings of HISTORY in 1996 saw ‘jew me’ changed to ‘chew
me’, and ‘kike me’ changed to ‘hike me’.

‘I’m talking about myself as the victim,’ Michael later explained.
‘David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stephen Spielberg, Mike Milkin –
these are my friends. They’re all Jewish, so how does that make sense?
I was raised in a Jewish community.’

Chosen for single release by Michael, ahead of Sony Music’s
preference, Money.

Charted at no.4 in the UK but, unsurprisingly given the controversy it
had stirred up, struggled to no.10 on the R&B singles chart and no.30
on the Hot 100 in the States.

No.1 in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Italy.

Two promo short films made, both directed by Spike Lee.

Shooting of the first short film delayed by 20 days, as the Governor of
Rio was fearful filming the city’s shanty town area of Doña Marta
might adversely effect Brazil’s chances of hosting the 2004 Olympic
Games. Finished promo censored by MTV and VH1 as, although the
offending words were muffled, Michael could still be seen mouthing
‘jew me, sue me.’ Premiered on 22nd March 1996.

Michael was reportedly unhappy with the first promo, and had Spike
Lee put together a second, featuring prison footage shot in New York
that wasn’t used in the first version. This more accurately reflected the
angry, defiant mood of the song, but was banned by MTV and several
other TV stations, so was only rarely screened and still awaits an
official release.

Live performances screened in Germany and New Zealand, as part of
televised concerts.

Eighteenth of Michael’s 20 ‘Visionary – The Video Singles’ reissues,
with the music on one side of a Dual Disc and the accompanying short
film on the other side. Issued in June 2006 in the UK – charted at
no.26.


They Don’t Care About Us - Lyrics

Written and composed by Michael Jackson

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, aggravation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Bang bang, shock dead
Everybody's gone mad

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me
Do me, Sue me
Everybody do me
Kick me, strike me
Don't you black or white me

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

Tell me what has become of my life
I have a wife and two children who love me
I am the victim of police brutality, now
I'm tired of bein' the victim of hate
You're rapin' me of my pride
Oh, for God's sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy...
Set me free

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
trepidation, speculation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
black man, black mail
Throw your brother in jail

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I'm tired of bein' the victim of shame
They're throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can't believe this is the land from which I came
You know I do really hate to say it
The government don't wanna see
But if Roosevelt was livin'
He wouldn't let this be, no, no

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, speculation
Everybody litigation
Beat me, bash me
You can never trash me
Hit me, kick me
You can never get me

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

Some things in life they just don't wanna see
But if Martin Luther was livin'
He wouldn't let this be

Skin head, dead head
Everybody gone bad
Situation, segregation
Everybody allegation
In the suite, on the news
Everybody dog food
Kick me, strike me
Don't you wrong or right me

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us



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