My Take: The People Vs OJ Simpson


Honestly after watching The People Vs OJ Simpson Johnnie Cochran was a brilliant lawyer  that was able to leverage the anger stemming from the acquittal in the Rodney King beating to his advantage (special shout out to Courtney B Vance). Regardless of how you felt about the case, Cochran used the media, the aftermath of the LA Riots, and race to his advantage. However, I do have to say Chris Darden’s words to Johnnie after the verdict were spot on (whether the conversation actually happened I don’t know). He mentioned how the OJ Simpson trial would not do anything significant for the civil rights for black people. We are still unjustly arrested, unfairly tried by our “peer,” sentenced to longer sentences for the same crimes, and we are more likely to be killed by law enforcement.
It’s also interesting to see the racial battle lines drawn so quickly even after watching the finale with people showing their racism in their comments on social media. I have seen people speaking ill of the jury yet I wouldn’t be surprised if the same people praised the jury in the Zimmerman trial and the Grand Jury in the Wilson case for doing the right thing. I do think the jury was exhausted after being basically imprisoned for months for the trial. I do no fault the woman that tried to run away in the hotel a few episodes back. Also we have to remember that “reason” is subjective. Black people are always called to be hyper-rational when serving on juries because of the racist notion that we are overly emotional especially when a black person is the accused yet white people are allowed to express more emotional judgements (ie. Any of the non-indictments that we have seen within the past two years). No human is pure reason or pure emotion all of our judgements are based on both. This is why implicit bias is so dangerous for black people not only because police officers might shoot us but also judges might give us harsher sentences than our white counterparts.
Lastly, we have to remember how Fuhrman came to be the confirmation of what black people believed about the LAPD. He is a racist and the fact he works at Fox News now does not surprise me. You cannot divorce the racism of the LAPD from the trial and how it introduced enough doubt into the case. I would argue that the prosecution did not lose because of the gloves but because of Fuhrman confirming what many knew about the justice system. Overall the cast was exceptional and for someone who was too young to remember the case it did a great job of showing the humanity of all those involved.



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