Dear Court of Public Opinion,
I knew your judgmental ways were again bound to show their inappropriate colors. During the ongoing trial of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorious, also known as the Blade Runner, there have been many comparisons made between the case of Pistorious and the murder of his girl Reeva Steenkamp. Some parallel this with OJ Simpson’s trial and the shooting death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. A few of the aspects are valid. Both O.J. and Oscar were beloved for their athletic achievements. And both face trials for murder.
However, the true ignorance that is inherent in American society is on full display whenever we ask for societal commentary from celebrities. The combined IQ of the population suffers dramatically.
Like Donald Trump. He weighed in on the Oscar Pistorious trial this week via Twitter saying, "Oscar Pistorius, 'the blade runner,' is as guilty as O.J. I wonder if the result will be the same?"
Seriously, who wins whenever Donald Trump opens his mouth and speaks on anything other than overpriced real estate? And outside of OJ, there are plenty of criminal cases involving celebrities that have been accused and then gotten away with what some saw as high-crimes in America. Boxing promoter Don King was accused of killing two people and only served time for one of the incidents. Actor Robert Blake was convicted of killing his wife in 2002 but was later acquitted. Rapper Snoop Dogg was charged with murdering a Blood gang member, but successfully fought that charge. And the list goes on.
But every time someone wishes to make an analogous point about “getting away with murder,” the name of O.J. Simpson will inevitably be brought up. He went to trial and was acquitted of all charges in a court of law by a jury of his peers. So, what gives? Why won’t you just let O.J. live?
Things are rarely as simplistic as the possible answer I feel would come as a black man in America, “Because he killed two white people.”
To balance the contrary point, there are some who could bring up the way African-Americans jump all over George Zimmerman, the man acquitted in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. If it were up to some, Zimmerman’s name would be raked across the coals and retried in the progressive court of public opinion every damn day. But I believe even he will eventually be allowed to fall from the public eye. While O.J. will remain the butt of many murder related jokes. But why?
I could pull the race card here. When hearing such drivel as that excreted by Trump, some black folks may grumble, ‘You know THEY ain’t letting no black person get away with murder.” Who THEY are is rather clear and suffice it to say that to me, THEY are the media-invoked powers that be in America.
One way or another, the offending individual will pay. For example, in O.J.’s case, the “get back” was manifested by way of the double jeopardy visited upon his finances by the expense of the murder trial and the subsequent culpability placed upon him by a civil court that ravaged his bank account. It was his failing financial status, as well as his poor decision making that caused Simpson to go ham in reclaiming sports memorabilia that he believed was stolen by a so-called “friend.”
Nothing wrong with expecting someone to cough up what is rightfully and justly his. But OJ’s dumb ass brought along several armed men. He was eventually convicted and found guilty of armed robbery. As he sits in a Nevada correctional facility for this robbery crimes, there are still those who feel he got away with bloody murder.
The court of public opinion is in many cases more damning than an actually conviction, especially when one is a celebrity or someone who is attempting to make a living in the public eye. But he’s not the first celebrity to ever get away with a heinous crime. Although he’s one of the most hated.
So, public opinion, why hath thou forsaken poor O.J.?I almost couldn’t finish that past sentence without taking a brief chuckle break. I know, it sounds absolutely absurd that I would defend a man like Simpson, an individual who has never shown any semblance of compassion or charity toward anyone of my ilk (non-celebrity, non-professional athlete black man). But the ease and unfairness that persists in the constant smearing of his name across the mud at any given moment is glaringly obvious. I never thought I would say this, but people need to just leave O.J. alone. He’s currently serving 33 years in prison for his armed robbery charge. If you think he murdered his ex-wife and got away with it then can you at least be satisfied in the belief that karma has revisited him for his transgressions?
Public opinion, you are indeed a fickle beast with fangs of steel and a poisonous breath that lasts evermore. I, for one, believe your existence is a hypocritical tumor on the face of fairness and due process. However, the raggedy and uneven manner in which criminal justice is administered between the haves and the have nots in this country means you will live long and thrive when controversy and the shortcomings of our most and least favorite celebrities are paraded before the masses.