Jermaine Jackson: Internet Is Helping Children ‘Communicate and Adapt to Different Cultures’

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 27, 2010 | 4:24 PM EDT

( - Jermaine Jackson, former member of the “Jackson 5” and the late singer Michael Jackson’s brother, told that the Internet is helping children “communicate and adapt to different cultures,” adding that the “world doesn’t start or end here in the U.S.”
His comments were made at the kick-off event for the Children Uniting Nations’ annual conference in Washington, D.C., a non-profit organization that works with at-risk and foster youth.
Part of the group’s mission is to “create loving, tolerant and capable world citizens.”
At the event, asked Jermaine and Randy Jackson, “What does the term ‘world citizens’ mean to you and how can ‘world citizens’ be created among today’s youth?”

“Just bringing them up so they’ll be able to communicate and adapt to different cultures, not just in the U.S. but other parts of the world. The world doesn’t start or begin here in the U.S. – it’s much more worldly. They need to be a world. Now that we have the Internet, it’s bringing things closer,” Jermaine Jackson said.
Randy Jackson, also a former member of the “Jackson 5” and also Michael Jackson’s brother, said today’s youth need more “positive role models.”
“Well, first of all, I think, role models. It’s very important to today’s youth, and when you talk about positive role models – and that’s what’s really missing. Children need role models, and they need fathers, and they need families,” Randy Jackson said.
“You know, 50 percent of the mothers in America are single – single mothers – and we need just better role models, and I think that’s important,” he said. also asked Jermaine Jackson if violent music lyrics, specifically rap lyrics, could influence children in a negative way.
“Yes, children are listening, but at the same time they’re singing about their plight and what they’ve been through, and it’s not always good,” he said. “But at the same time, there’s been a lot of positive rap as well.
“We’re not going to knock rap because rap is giving these, these rappers a voice and also giving them a means to have a better life – express themselves,” Jackson added. “So, we want positive messages, of course.”
Jermaine Jackson also said that the Jacksons’ music relates to Children Uniting Nations’ mission.
“Our music has always been the message to inspire and enlighten young people, children around the world,” he said. “That’s been the message in the family’s existence since day one. So this is nothing new to us. We are here, because we want to see children have a better chance.
“Children today could be the leaders of tomorrow if we instill the right morals and principles in them and give them guidance,” Jermaine Jackson added. “That’s what they need today because the politicians today are not doing a good job. We need the children to come up strong and to really, really, really give them a chance to make changes.”
When asked what politicians and specifically President Barack Obama need to do for children, Randy Jackson said he is not going to say whose “fault it is” that enough has not been done for children in need.
“I just think that it’s important to bring out that maybe there’s been a little bit of a gap between government and social consciousness when it comes to children and kids,” he said, “and I’m not going to say whose fault it is. It’s all of our faults.
“I think we, as citizens of this world, we have to do our part to help people in need,” said Randy Jackson. “We are a family. We understand the importance of family. So, we’re here to bring out that we are going to do our part in supporting families all over the world through our music.”