15 years ago yesterday, I was sitting in my dorm room at the University of Alabama watching the NBA Finals when the game was interrupted by a special news report: OJ Simpson fleeing the police.
Like everyone else I was SHOCKED. We had all heard days before that OJ Simpson’s wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found dead in a bloody crime scene and that Simpson was a prime suspect.
I sat there fascinated by this scene I was watching thinking to myself, this man is going to committed suicide on TV and we are all going to witness it. It was fascinating yet scary because you didn’t know what was going to happen next.
Who knew that the summer of 94 would be the summer of OJ, that our televisions would be over run with specials on OJ Simpson, his ex wife and her new boyfriend. Did he murder her? If so why? How did he do it without getting caught or making noise?
That summer we also got introduced to Chris Darden, Marcia Clark and of course Johnny Cochran oh and let’s not forget Kato Kaelin too. Blacks and whites took sides.
Blacks supported OJ, whites support Nicole Brown and her family. A lot of black folks asked and reasoned how was he able to kill two people without making any noise? White folks said well he had motive because he abused her while they were married.
15 years later, we still don’t know what happened that night. What we do know is that summer made us all questioned how race and celebrity affected this case. Did OJ get off because he was black or was it because he was rich?
15 years later OJ wrote about IF he had done it which made a lot of African-Americans rethink their support of this man. What did the African-American community gain by supporting this him? Nothing. He never gave back to the community and now a lot of blacks wonder if he really did get away with murder?
15 years later he still continued to date blonds who looked like his dead ex wife and continued to play golf. Guess he had to take a break for all that searching he did for the real killer. 15 years later justice did finally come for the Goldman and Brown family when Simpson was sent to prison basically for the rest of his life for arm robbery.
The only real positive that came from this whole situation that summer was that blacks and whites were force to sit down and discuss something we were all afraid to discuss and that’s race relations in this country. This case made us reexamine our thoughts about how we see one another and hopefully brought a greater understanding among the races and for that, we all should be thanking OJ.