Tuesday, February 9, 2016

John McWhorter ― What O.J. Simpson Taught Me About Being Black

When the OJ verdict came down I wasn't feeling it. Now I know - my lucky upbringing left me naive about the cops.

(The New York Times)

It is easy to forget how beloved a celebrity O. J. Simpson was in his time — Heisman Trophy winner, N.F.L. superstar, Hollywood actor and pitchman supreme. Until he was arrested in the brutal slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald L. Goldman, after a televised police chase that transfixed the nation, he seemed to have transcended his roots in San Francisco housing projects.

Yet if Mr. Simpson’s guilt seemed clear to much of America, African-Americans were disinclined to see it that way. Over months of lurid televised court testimony — now being dramatized in a series that started this week on FX — Mr. Simpson became a symbol, to many blacks, of endemic racism in the justice system. And when a jury with nine black members declared him not guilty on Oct. 3, 1995, black people across the country cheered.

I wasn’t one of them.

Read the full article HERE.