Jun 23 2011

Dr. Patrick Treacy’s Speech at Gardner St. Elementary, June 22, 2011

Category: Friends,Justice,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 1:03 am

Yesterday, June 22, 2011, Dr. Patrick Treacy gave this profoundly moving speech at Gardner St. Elementary School which Michael once attended and which once again proudly displays his name on its auditorium.

The event at which this speech was made was a private function set up to honor Michael’s humanitarian legacy, and was done in association with the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait.

Principal Urbina and Gardner St. Students in front of Michael Jackson Auditorium

Principal Urbina and Gardner St. Students in front of Michael Jackson Auditorium

Dr. Treacy’s Speech:

Fifty three years ago, a young black boy was born in a small town in Indiana. This was a different time, a time when the African-American Civil Rights Movement tried to gain freedom from oppression by white Americans.

It was also a time when the next generation of post-war Americans were growing up, the sons of soldiers who had freed prisoners from the tyranny of prison camps like Auswitch and Buchenwald, a time when all of Europe was filled with a profound and abiding gratitude to the American people.

As Elie Wiesel, a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust said in a speech to an important gathering of White House dignitaries in 1999 ‘Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being’.

And gratitude is what we should now have today for that young American black boy. His name was Michael Jackson, someone I am privileged to call my friend, somebody who often stood alone to fend for the children in the world, for the destitute, for the victims of disease and injustice.

Michael was very troubled by the suffering he saw in the world and even more to the indifference to it. His first words to me when we met were

‘Thank you so much for helping the people of Africa’.

There were no airs and graces, no pomp and circumstance and his only concern was for the lives of other people who lived on a different continent than the one in which either of us were born.

I had been to Africa and seen the devastation of the plague of HIV at first hand and when we discussed it, there was tears in his eyes and he said we had to do something together for the people of Africa.

He planned to hold a great concert in Rwanda and we would fly there together in his private plane and then down to see his great friend, Nelson Mandela. Sadly, these events were not to happen and the world lost one of its great humanitarians.

In that speech, Elie Wiesel had also some words to say about indifference. He said ‘To be indifferent to the suffering in the world is what makes the human being inhuman’.

For the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbour is of no consequence. Their lives are meaningless as indifference reduces the other to an abstraction. Indifference always benefits the aggressor — never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten.

Michael Jackson felt that pain, not just for the hungry children, but for himself when the people of America remained indifferent to the injustice that was perpetrated upon him making him a virtual prisoner in his own land, causing him to flee to the Middle East and eventually find solitude in Ireland, my home.

What an irony that someone who cared so much about the rest of humanity was rejected by his own. It was a pain he felt deeply and one that on occasion he discussed with me, but mostly he did not want to talk about it and I never opened those painful memories …being like him, exiles beyond the norm.

Michael Jackson was never indifferent. He brought light where there was darkness, hope where there was despair; he never turned away from cruelty when he could give compassion.

We have just started a new century, a new millennium. The first ten years have been some of the most brutal the planet has ever encountered. The century started with terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. These actions dragged this great nation into conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been wars in over twenty countries, which cast a dark shadow over humanity: So much violence, so much pain.

If there is one thing to do today, to preserve Michael Jackson’s memory — that is not be remain indifferent to the suffering we see all around us in the World.

There are times when I feel God has abandoned this world, the terrible earthquake in Haiti where bodies were cut from building by hacksaw, the funeral undertakers in Zambia where the coffin-makers work banging nails in wood late into the night, the streets of Northern Ireland where throats are cut for pronouncing a word on a beer bottle with the wrong accent.

I have lived in Baghdad, I have been a prisoner of Saddam Hussein, I carry the war wounds of Northern Ireland and I say to you here today that there is a God who looks down on all of this wrong and he brought us Michael Jackson to help to solve it.

Over seventy years ago a ship with a human cargo of one thousand Jews — was turned away from the port of St. Louis back to Nazi Germany. The ship, which was already on the shores of the United States, was sent back and the people left to the fate of the dictator.

This happened in America, a country with the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. It is happening again today, with the bombing and terrorization of innocent children on foreign shores. Don’t let it happen, stand up for the things Michael stood for, to wipe out injustice, to combat disease and try and save the planet we live in.

What will the legacy of Michael Jackson? How will he be remembered by generations as yet unborn?

Let’s be grateful to God that he sent us such an angel to live amongst us for a while and let us not be indifferent to the wrongs we see around us. If Michael ever wanted us to do one thing that would make him happy as he looks down over us today it would be not to turn away from the victims of oppression and aggression and if in doubt about ever knowing what how to act. . . just think . . .

. . . ‘What Would Michael Do?’

-Dr. Patrick Treacy

A video of the speech can be seen here:

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14 Responses to “Dr. Patrick Treacy’s Speech at Gardner St. Elementary, June 22, 2011”

  1. SaraJane says:

    This is a powerful & emotive speech by Dr Patrick Treacy, a very sincere and gracious human being, it shows the epitome of what Michael represented.

    Thank you so much Dr Treacy & thank you Seven.

  2. Solar says:

    Seven, this post truly reflects the perfect alignment of cosmic forces, a divinely perfect example of Heaven touching Earth!

    Thank you, Dr. Treacy, from the bottom of our hearts!

  3. DanubeSerri says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I love that he acknowledged Michael as an angel.. he absolutely was and is and forever will be.

  4. Cynthia Kent says:

    Very heartwarming seeing this! Dr. Treacy on behalf of Michaels fans..we cannot begin to “Thank-You” enough for being there for Michael, being his true friend and supporting his legacy..it was so refreshing veiwing this. I do hope he will be called to testify..with all the malarky takig place on Murrays end we NEED someone like Dr. Treacy there.
    @ Susan…you hit the nail on the head about todays society! This is what broke Michaels heart.What he tryed to tell us through his songs..his speeches..his actions. HE KNEW all would be lost if we didn’t change our attitudes by using L.O.V.E. as a weapon against an indifferent & uncaring world…sometimes it does seem things are spinning out of control doesn’t it? These days it is taboo for an adult male to even SHOW affection for a child in school or elsewhere. They are afraid to be labled a pedifile for Gods sake!! This is SO sad. Michael WAS what this world needed more of. You cant even pat a child on the back to tell him what a great job he’s doing out of fear it wil be taken the wrong way. Michael even spoke of school tragedys..thats why!! It’s lack of love and attention..The US is the most guilty of all but thats another story.
    Thank you SEVEN but this just had to be said, I’m sure I’m not alone in my views. God bless Dr. Treacy, I hope we see a lot more of him!!

  5. Joyce says:

    Beautiful, heartfelt words from Dr. Treacy. A wonderful tribute to Michael and an important lesson passed on to these students at Gardner St. Elementary School. I also read the article you linked from “MJJCommunity” which gave more information about this special event that was sponsored by the “Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait” (MJTP) to benefit the school’s arts and music program. What an incredible way to honor Michael’s humanitarian spirit and continue to spread his message of love and his mission to heal the world. MJTP artist,David Ilan, even taught the students how to do dot drawings and then they all created their own dot images that were inspired by Michael! The MJTP will be putting the student’s artwork on their online auction to benefit the Gardner Street School’s arts and music program. I certainly want to check out this special artwork!

    When I read about events such as this it just makes me feel Michael’s spirit is so present, surrounding all of us with his love. Thank you so much Seven for sharing these amazing stories and events with all of us.

  6. Magic77 says:

    Gracias Siete por darnos la oportunidad de tener estas hermosas palabras del doctor Treacy sobre la persona de Michael, tan lleno de ternura y que dio al mundo la bondad, y la paz por la que tanto luchó.

  7. Seven says:

    @Carina,

    Dr. Treacy is/was on the witness list so I’m guessing there is a chance he could be called to testify.

  8. Susan says:

    Hi Seven:

    Thank you for posting those amazing words of Dr. Treacy. Thank you Dr. Treacy for taking the time to honour Michael with your lovely words.

    Indifference is a cold emotion or perhaps I should say lack of emotion to have. It brought back the words of LMP of how she was indifferent to Michael and that made him cry. This is what is so disturbing in today’s society. Many are only concerned with themselves and and never stop to think how their words or actions will affect someone’s life or feelings. Michael was such a warm, compassionate soul and that’s one of the many reasons we love and miss him so much. How anyone could be indifferent to Michael is beyond belief. Thanks again, Seven, for all you do.

  9. carina for mjj says:

    What a decent ,nice and loving thing to do do Dr. Patrick Treacy! Thank you so much.
    BTW is Dr. Treacy going to be a witness in tha murray trial?

  10. zenriver says:

    so touching & it moved me to tears ~ thank you for posting it Seven

  11. Max says:

    What wonderful, loving remarks. Michael was fortunate to have such a friend. I want to thank Dr. Treacy for his dedication to their friendship, and for the fact that he often still speaks of Michael in the present tense.

  12. Karin says:

    Thank you so much for this most touching and beautiful speech from Dr Treacy Seven.

  13. Sumi says:

    Wow, that’s such a good speech of Dr. Treacy. Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what needed to be said there. And it’s also encouraging that people begin to change their attitude towards Michael when they listen to people who really knew Michael and see the contrary to the media crap.

  14. Jackie says:

    It’s a beautiful day today! I know that Michael is so proud and happy more than ever because his legacy is honored and his dreams come true! I love you Michael!

    What a wonderful way to wake up!
    God bless Patrick Treacy and thank you for sharing,Seven!