THOSE CRAZY BLACK -- ER, WHITE PEOPLE!
The thought I keep having as I consider both the pro-Paterno riot at Penn State and the continued GOP-base support for Herman Cain is that now we have a pretty good response to a canard that's been kicking around for nearly a generation: namely that some sort of group depravity, or inability to deal with reality, explains the fact that more blacks than whites seemed to believe that O.J. Simpson's not-guilty verdict was just.
Most whites of my acquaintance think it's self-evident that Simpson is guilty (I think he was guilty, too) -- but this goes beyond that. A lot of white people seem to think that no white person could be so blinded by a sense of group solidarity as to believe that so obvious guilty a person is innocent. Yet the GOP base, which is nearly all white, has remained remarkably supportive of Cain, because (race notwithstanding) he became the standard-bearer of Wingnuttia a couple of months ago, and even the massive amount of smoke out there won't convince them that there's fire. Similarly, the overwhelmingly white crowd backing Paterno seems oblivious to the fact that he enabled multiple acts of pedophilia.
So: group solidarity trumping rational thought? If that's what you think happened with African-Americans and O.J., and you think white people are immune to that sort of thing, well, look around you.