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Why Did So Many Black Women Support R. Kelly?

Singer R. Kelly leaves a Chicago courthouse. Getty Images hide caption

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That's the question News & Notes contributor and Newsweek national correspondent Allison Samuels is asking:

... The reaction to the case raises a host of familiar, difficult issues, starting with the role celebrity can play in a criminal trial. Fame has long affected—or perverted—the way justice is meted out by a jury. The celebrity effect is arguably more pronounced when the defendant is black, in part because African-Americans feel protective when one of their own achieves mainstream success.

"It's sick," says Aaron McGruder, creator of the comic strip "Boondocks," which featured a scathing episode focused on Kelly and his supporters. "The love we have for our celebrities in the black community no matter what they do is crazy, and there is no excuse for it. It's just blind and clueless."

As Samuels points out, blogs like What About Our Daughters fielded a huge response from women following a jury's acquittal of Kelly on child pornography charges.

For her part, What About Our Daughters blogger Gina McCauley says:

"You bet things are beginning to change. Black women are giving up sacrificial lamb duty and we no longer have to rely on mainstream media and the Black Elite Establishment to have a voice."

What do you think?

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