Black people defending Michael Jackson may seem bizarre to some, given his appearance and actions. Although Jackson has expressed black pride and blames his skin-lightening on vitiligo, a disease that causes pigment loss, he has been viewed as so far removed from his race, people joke he's no longer a member.
I find this more interesting as a jumping-off point than for Jackson's particular case. Look, my parents, and most nice middle and upper parents of that generation, raised us to be "color-blind". Plus, we pretty much have no memory of Jim Crow. So - okay - I'm pretty color-blind. I do tend to be classist, which is also wrong, mea culpa. But people can change their speech and carriage, I mean, I'm just middle-class myself; what I don't get is why people still get so hung up on "race". My nieces are half-"hispanic"/half-"white". So are they hispanic or anglo? Or does it depend? And then the whole "white" thing is split up into about five different groups . . . this is why I wish we could just get rid of the concept of "race". We differ from each other in no ways that are essential, only in culture, which is interesting, and coloration, which is also interesting but about which too much has been made.
But all this race-mongering. And people still buy it. It must really be "a black thing". (Personally, I think it's a "low-class urban thing" that sympathetic types carry into the suburbs; see the experience of the Irish-Americans - another awful hyphenate - over the period from 1850-1950.)