Do "They" Care? Video Blog Post

It was very difficult to select one clip that represented a social issue such as: race, power, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. I found many clips, a majority of them being music videos, that could be used to display an issue/topic including, "Renegades" by X Ambassadors, "Freedom" by Pharrell Williams, "Alright" by Walk off the Earth, "I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White" by Prince Ea, "American Oxygen" by Rihanna, & "Take Me to Church" by Hozier. I eventually narrowed my decision down to Micheal Jackson's video (and song), "They Don't Care About Us". Michael Jackson stood for many social issue in many of his other songs and videos; this video captures an issue that is open to personal interpretation. I perceive that "They Don't Care About Us" is tackling the societal issue of power.

I encourage you to search the lyrics for this song to understand the text-based media of the video. His words provide insight to the racism, suffering, and prejudice that many races face in America today. For example, Michael sings:

" 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."

When reading the lyrics of his song you can understand how much of this issue is not just about the us, but about himself too. While Michael Jackson was often quite about politics he did tackle some issue of identity, the environment, and race in his other music videos. This video and song, while his most controversial, also seems to be his most personal as a narrative for his own struggles.


What is the meaning behind the word "they" in the title? It may be a direct attack at the government or the bullies Michael faced in his own life. The music video shows genuine footage of police brutality, famine, the unethical living condition of people in a third world country (child covered in insects, abandoned child, soldiers abusing people), the KKK, the student rebellion on the Tiananmen Square in China, the Vietnam war, etc. All of these issues can be interpreted as caused by the power and class struggle of Americans and the control the government has on minority groups.

Initially, when Michael created this song and music video (one of two videos created) it was considered art. Now (all of) his work is a legacy. Thirdly, and most interestingly, the video still maintains a powerful message. It is hard to listen to the song and watch the video without feeling the need to get angry with him and go out to create some change (no matter what quantity).

Michael Jackson created two music videos for his song "They Don't Care About Us". Something which he has never done before.

The song has been performed in two separate music videos. The interesting thing I noticed is at the end of the prison video it appears as though he is running away and looking back at the camera. This could be a metaphor that he is leaving the issues behind him as he personalizes the hate through his lyrics. However if you search the song, there is another video made in Brazil. When we see Michael running away in the prison video he appears to be wearing the clothing he wears in the Brazilian video. The Brazilian video was created and published before the prison video. However, my own interpretation is that Micheal is running towards a better life, as the Brazilian video has an obvious positive vibe to it.

If you want to watch the other music video for this song check out the link below. The two videos have similarities and differences that, when compared, can present a newly painted picture.

Created By
Emily Williamson


Created with images by Unsplash - "chain link metal" • dying regime - "dismantling of protestival"

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