Sunday, October 05, 2008
OJ Simpson was just convicted for 12 different counts dating back to a kidnapping incident back in 2007. And in an extreme case of irony, he was sentenced exactly 13 years later to the day of his infamous 'murder trial', in which he was found non guilty.
Similar, but nowhere near as harsh, to his last trial...everybody has an opinion on whether or not OJ should have been found guilty. Stating that this is nothing but payback for what happened 13 years ago in the 'Trial Of The Century'. Saying that his 'luck' ran out. Here is what I think:
OJ Simpson served his purpose. Whether he knew he was doing it or not, he did. Whether he was guilty or not back in 1995, he proved that sometimes, just SOMETIMES, a black man can get a break in a flawed judicial system. I remember being a freshman in high school, an all white boys high school at that, in the lunch room when they announced the verdict. The entire school stopped everything they were doing because at that moment, that trial was so much bigger than OJ Simpson. It was clearly about Race at that point. White people VS. Black People round # 1 million and counting. But this time, it went 'our' way. A black man got off the hook. And I stood up and remember distinctly that all eyes were on me. Like I was OJ Simpson myself. People were genuinely pissed off. And I'm talking 14 -18 year olds. Teenagers who really didn't even understand why they were mad in the first place. But that trial exposed just how racist and angry our country was at the time. Hatred and tensions spread like wildfires across the country. And, in a rare display, the shoe was on the other foot. I can go on and on about how black folks feel like they've been given the short end of the stick in trial cases from the 1600's all the way to now, but that's not the point. OJ Simpson was pivotal in shedding light on just how racist people were (are).
All that being said...the man is an idiot. 13 years later, he's still caught up in mess. Can't seem to sit his dumb butt down and be thankful he hasn't been in prison the last 13 years. Trying to make a quick buck trying to write books that are so inappropriate and disrespectful (If I Did It). The man just doesn't get it. And whether it stemmed from 1995 or not, OJ finally got what he just couldn't seem to avoid. And I'm not going to sit up here and blame it on race or revenge and all of that. OJ should have sat his a$$ down somewhere and not have gotten himself into aNOTHER predicament. But didn't work like that and here we are now. Set back, once again, dealing with the same issues that seem to never go away. Race.
And, this happens at SUCH an important time period for all people of color. In less than a month, we will be a part of the biggest election of our lives when Barack Obama runs against John McCain for the presidency of the United States of America on Nov 4th. This idea, this dream of a black man running this country started out as just a whisper. But now, people are realizing that this could be a reality. But the idea is still so very fragile that we (And I don't just mean Black folks. I mean WE as in people who really care about the state of this country and want to see some positive change) don't need any distractions. So many people are against this that any ammunition will be taken and blown out of proportion.
And as I write this, I'm thinking how can I even reference the two in the same blog. And the answer is simple: It's because, we still live in an era and country that associates the negative images of black people to the collective whole. And every time OJ pops up on the television for doing something stupid, some person in some small, non segregated town (yes, they still have those) says "see. I told you". And it's unwanted distraction from the greatness that is going on right now. OJ's like a rash that won't go away. Every time you think you've got it cured, it pops right back up.
I've digressed slightly. OJ. at 61, you're an older man. And you're going to probably spend the rest of your life in prison. And I feel bad for you. Because I couldn't imagine going to prison at that age. Hell, any age. But, after I was acquitted back in 1995, you probably wouldn't have ever heard from me again. Because I would have counted my blessings. Packed my stuff up and faded to black. And everybody would have been left wondering, what happened to J Lee. But not you, OJ. Not you.
"N***a forgot to duck"
-Denzel Washington as 'Trip' in Glory
"And though it seems Heaven sent
we ain't ready, to have a Black President
-2 Pac - 1991
"America surprise us
and let a Black man guide us"
Yes we can
Change the world"
-Nas - 2008