Friday, November 17, 2006


i never cared whether or not oj was innocent or guilty. i never paid much attention to the trial. i avoided its details at all costs. i thought the crime was heinous and unfortunate. the fact that people cared so much, and that they seemed to largely base their opinion of oj's innocence on race, disturbed me. it still does.

i remember that a friend of mine had a sleepover party, and she invited about half a dozen friends over to watch movies and be teenagers together. i was the last one to get picked up by my parents, 'cause i chose to go watch a school football game with her and her family. we woke up for breakfast that morning in her quiet, upper middle-class cul-de-sac, my friend, her parents, and i. we were munching on whatever, making small talk that morning, and her father turned to me and asked me what i thought about the oj trial...

at the time, i was a little disturbed by the question. everything was going so well, and i didn't want to talk about controversy. but i concealed my annoyance at having the flashlight shown on me, the only black person at that table, perhaps even for a mile of the house. i told the truth - that i didn't follow the trial, and that i didn't have an opinion on what the verdict should be. i look back now and wonder if my friend's dad was simply amusing himself by putting me on the spot, or maybe if i was the only black person he knew that he wasn't afraid to grill candidly.

in any case, some time later, i was the only black person in the room when my seventh-period advanced spanish class turned on the television while waiting for our teacher to finish watching the verdict in the teachers' break room. my classmates were disappointed and outraged. i was largely ambivalent when the not guilty verdict was read. that was partly due to an effort of mine to transcend whatever suspicions my classmates may have had about some black allegiance between me and the accused. like one of my favorite comedians says, i wasn't getting no oj check in the mail, so there was no reason to be pressed.

and since that moment, i've felt pretty much the same way. i'm not in the habit of following murder trials, no matter who the accused is. i still have no basis for an opinion on oj's innocence or guilt.

but i now have a very good reason to be appalled.

regardless of his innocence or guilt, i find it absolutely offensive that oj would write a book and participate in a television special that addresses how he theoretically would have committed the murders he was accused of, if in fact he was the one to commit the crime. i find it completely disappointing that there is an audience for this. i, for one, will not be reading the book or watching the show. i feel sympathy for the families of the victims, most especially oj and nicole's son and daughter, who have been stripped of the opportunity to be loved as i have by my parents. it is completely inappropriate that oj would even hint at the fact that he may have killed those people. it is twisted and cruel to tease and taunt the public, and to disrespect your own children, with this shameless media pimping.

i'm so disgusted, i have no further comment.