Welcome to The Blog About Nothing. It’s the 21st of July and I am back with another brand spanking new edition of the blog. It’s been brutally hot here in the Northeast but I’m thankful. Why? I’d rather be sweating like a crazy person, instead of shoveling snow. As Game of Thrones would say: Winter is Coming, but I for one, am not ready to even think about cold Northeast United States weather.
So, I won’t. I’ll be honest: I really don’t have a prepared roadmap for this week’s blog. I usually have an idea of what I want to blog about before I post, so that my thoughts can flow through my fingers and on to the post, but this week I have no idea what I want to go on about. None.
This post might be a ramble, but now is a good a time as any to get into the meat of the blog. Let’s do this!
Orenthal James Simpson is a free man. Well, he is a paroled man who will be released on October 1. He is not quite free yet. However, the State of Nevada has granted him parole and he will be released from prison soon.
His release comes with mixed emotions. There are some that are glad that he is being released, for at 70 years old, he has a chance to live out the rest of his life with friends and family. There are also some who are a bit angered that he is out, because although he was imprisoned for stealing his own memorabilia, many still associate him with the murders of Ron Goldman, and his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson.
O.J. was acquitted for that crime, many still think he is guilty, and his being behind bars was seen by some as vindication for his true crime. O.J. being paroled is a slap in the face to that crowd. Which I guess if I’m being honest with myself, I can understand.
I remember where I was when the original O.J. Simpson verdict came down back in 1995. I was 13 years old and just started high school. In a new surrounding and still in the process of finding friends, I used to spend my free time in the school library. My high school had a bit of a college vibe, and our schedules allowed for free periods every day. We had to stay on the school premises, well not really if you were slick enough, but me being who I was I’d chill in the library and read a book on my free time.
Anyway, that fateful day the librarian set up a television and it was tuned to the O.J. Simpson coverage. I remember discussing the case with some of my new found friends and like most debates, it broke down on a racial line. The whites among the group were convinced O.J. was guilty. The blacks in the group were convinced he was innocent. I, as a black man, proclaimed O.J.’s innocence but once again if I am being honest with myself, I felt beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was guilty.
13 year old me sang the public line about Free O.J. but inside I felt he killed those folks. I mean, why run away in the Ford Bronco with Al Cowlings if you’re innocent, right?
So, there I am in the library after the Bronco chase, after the court case, after Johnnie Cochran, Robert Kardashian, Mark Furman etc… and they find O.J. Simpson not guilty. Unbelievable, right? So there goes 13 year old me, running from the library, running through the hall screaming (well I likely was not screaming loudly) not guilty. I felt a weird sense of pride that O.J. was able to win that court case.
I say it was weird because I was so sure that he was guilty. However, it was a proud moment. I remember coming home from school and I couldn’t wait to tell my then 11 year old sister that O.J. was not guilty. She could not have cared less, really (she still doesn’t because she barely bat an eyelash as yesterday’s news). My parents did not care either.
Truth be told I don’t think neither one of them understood my fascination with it all. Then again, I probably was naïve to the fact that they had to walk their own tightropes on the issue. Both of them worked in predominately white and conservative work places so screaming Free O.J. would have probably been a huge misstep for them. I guess if they felt anything, it would have been acceptable to let their young son lose himself in something he didn’t really understand.
So, that was me then. Me now? At 35 I feel bad for O.J. Simpson. The last 20 plus years of his life has been a turmoil of his own making but now he’s being released into a world that will provoke him at every turn. Social media for example will be one huge minefield he will have to navigate. Hopefully those close to him will appeal to him to stay away from that.
Also, going out into the everyday world is going to be something that will be an issue. How will O.J. Simpson be received by the public? Will he be embraced? Vilified? How will that go for him?
The smart thing to do, or at least what I would do if I were him, would be to lay low but something tells me that is not the way O.J. is going to play this thing. Nope. He appears to be someone who still has his vanity and air of celebrity, so I would expect a whole lot of O.J. Simpson come October 1.
That’s it. I’m done. Thanks for reading.
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