race relations

OJ’s Gettin’ Out

After serving 9 years of a possible 33 year sentence for armed robbery, Orenthal James Simpson has been granted parole.

This is interesting and frightening, because while there is always the possibility of human error and fallibility, based on all of the evidence that I have consumed in regards to OJ, I do believe that he murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman 20 plus years ago.

Even though OJ will not openly admit this, there was undeniable proof that he physically abused Nicole multiple times during their relationship.

And yet, during the parole board hearing, OJ illustrates that he is still highly delusional by saying, “I always thought I’ve been pretty good with people, and have basically spent a conflict-free life”. Basically, except for a couple of brutal murders, spousal abuse, and the crime he’s just spent 9 years in jail for.

But as we all know, OJ was never criminally convicted for the murders he was tried for, so it is not legally possible to deny him for parole because a judge thinks he killed Brown and Goldman. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that OJ Simpson is going to be able to survive in society without re-offending, and I think this because he has yet to take accountability for his actions. He could have admitted that while he has had lots of conflicts in his past, he has changed and developed a better way of being. Instead OJ dances around the topic and tries to paint himself as “basically conflict-free” which should have been a red flag: DENIAL.

Maybe OJ has changed. It is in the realm of possibility. Has society’s view of OJ changed? Not really. But if you’ve seen the outstanding documentary series “OJ: Made in America” (I’ve seen all the episodes twice and some portions of them three times) then you’ll know that OJ still has fans out there. Fame is enticing enough for some people to celebrate OJ regardless of his past. Plus there are still underlying (or more likely overt) racial tensions that have always strongly influenced how OJ has been treated by the American public and by the judicial system. What’s going to happen next?

While I don’t respect or admire OJ, there is still something about him that I choose to pay attention to. He is an anomaly to me and I want to know how this story ends, because I think it says a lot more about American culture than it does about the individual OJ. How American culture operates is something worth paying attention to in my opinion.

PS. OJ is now 70.