Monday, September 29, 2008

Recollecting OJustice

Unlike so many whose attention was riveted by courtroom events in LA
where Orenthal J. Simpson sat, for more than one year, accused of two brutal murders, I was not a faithful or vigilant purveyor of justice, California style via CNN, CBS or the LA Times. I simply didn't have enough time to have the kind of patience which that kind of media watch demanded. Nor am I inclined to follow O.J. Simpson's latest legal woes; though the media has once again made it as easy as a stroll down the street.

Some media analysts dubbed The People v. Orenthal J. Simpson, "The Trial of the Century." Others accused the media of once again, pandering to the lowest common denominator.

There were audible rumblings about how the option to watch Mr. Simpson's lawyers-in-shining-armor defeat the fire-breathing dragon prosecutor Clark while laying racism at the familiar door of the LAPD resulted not in the fairest trial possible for Mr. Simpson but in the most sincere and ruthless manipulation of the people's right to seek recompense for
the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald J. Goldman.

Money talks in America, sometimes rightfully, sometimes not. Sometimes it gets in the way of our ideals, to which every single one of us, like it or not, is wed.

I was hopeful Mr. Simpson's multi-million-dollar dream team would reveal evidence sufficient to expel my conclusion that one of my childhood football heroes was a killer.

I wanted the memories of O.J. to stay intact, like granite on the side of a mountain so I could point toward them and say "That's someone to be like."

I tip my hat to that other O.J.

The gentleman.

The athlete.

Despite the verdict, I am relieved, in an economic way, that Mr. Simpson's money removed the noose around his neck. What a shame it would have been if an innocent man, who spent millions to defend and assert his innocence, lost.

Mr. Simpson was able to tell the jury he "did not, would not and could not," commit the crimes for which two people still lay dead, unaccounted for.

When the children of Nicole Brown Simpson find themselves unprotected by the veil of youth and uncover the gruesome details of their mother's death as free agents in the domain of public information, I hope their father is able to assert he did everything he could to lay justice before their feet by routing out the true killer(s). What a fantastic offering that would be.

The O.J. Simpson trial put to rest one thing for sure--Racial hatred isn't expelled from the hearts and souls of those paid to "serve and protect" just because they flash a badge, tote a gun or wear an LAPD-issued uniform.

It so happens that Mark Fuhrman's zealousness, his passion for hate, brought home the truth about black folk. They do have something to fear, something to be concerned about, a reason to be suspicious of justice, American-style.

It is possible to reach very separate conclusions about the guilt or innocence of O.J. Simpson, the prosecution's success, the defense team's skill, without giving a moment's thought to the hue of the defendant. That's what justice should be about.

But if the jury traded the lives of two people for one whose life is thought to be too symbolic, too endowed with cultural import rendering him in effect, the symbolic vindication of all the wrongs white America has bequeathed black America, then justice is even more of a dream than Dr. King ever fathomed.

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