Simpson as victim? It boggles the imagination

July 10, 1994|By ROGER SIMON

I keep reading that O. J. Simpson is being unfairly treated because he is black.

He is being persecuted, I am told, not only because of his race but also because his two alleged victims were white.

"Why don't white men of similar fame get similar attention?" a black female professor asked Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.

You mean like William Kennedy Smith?

Yeah, I guess the media really swept that case under the rug.

"Anyone who thinks the public's fascination with this story is based solely on O. J.'s celebrity status should think again," Andrea Jones of Pacific News Service said. "It's the presence of the pale princess that adds glamour to the drama."

But who was the "pale princess" (and why does Andrea Jones feel the need to denigrate the brutally murdered mother of two in this manner?) in the Mike Tyson case?

There wasn't one.

Mike Tyson raped a black woman and the media made a huge story out of it, even though nobody in the case was "pale."

"Many African-Americans ask themselves if the Simpson case is another instance of the system conspiring to concoct an unhappy ending to a black success story," Shante Morgan of the San Diego Union-Tribune told USA Today.

Except look what happened when O. J. Simpson brutally beat Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989.

The "system" did not then "conspire" to "concoct" an unhappy ending to this "black success story."

The opposite occurred.

The "system" decided to ignore it.

The system decided that even though O. J. had beat up this "pale princess," it would continue to treat him like a celebrity and a star, and shower wealth and adulation upon him.

In late 1992, more than three years after the beating occurred, Sports Illustrated did a nice little Q.&A. interview with Simpson.

It was headlined: "It's O. K. to be O. J./O. J. Simpson talks about Hollywood, being a celebrity and, of course, football."

The interviewer asked 14 questions, beginning with "Tell me about the state of your body. Any aches and pains? And how are your knees?" and going on to "Was there ever a time when you were uncomfortable being a celebrity?"

Simpson replied to the first question that he has "major aches and pains in my knees" and to the second "The only time it [being a celebrity] becomes uncomfortable is when you have some crisis in your family. The press brings the public into it."

The interviewer did not ask: "Does Nicole have any major aches and pains from the time you almost choked her to death?"

The interviewer did not ask: "Is the family crisis you are talking about the time you pleaded no contest to spousal battery?"

The interviewer did not ask Simpson a single question that might have caused him any discomfort whatsoever.

He is, after all, a superstar. He carried a football down a field.

And all Nicole ever did was get him in trouble by being his beating victim.

Not even when Simpson said, "I'm currently going through a divorce," did the interviewer ask him about it.

And just in case you are thinking the Sports Illustrated interviewer was a typical insensitive male jock, you are wrong.

She was a typical insensitive female jock.

But she did merely as an individual what the media did as a whole: Gave O. J. a pass.

The simple truth is that it is going to be very, very hard to convict Simpson of murder no matter what the evidence shows.

Forget about the preliminary hearing. That was before a judge. A trial will take place before a jury.

And it will be very difficult to find 12 people who want to send O. J. Simpson to prison for a long time.

Black, white, red, yellow, the jurors in this case are going to be looking for reasons to set him free or convict him of the least possible offense.

(And forget the death penalty. If the state is foolish enough to allow jurors to believe the death penalty is a possibility, the jury will never convict him.)

Racism is not railroading this man.

His celebrity status is, once again, shielding him.

Persecuted?

It's going to be tough getting this guy successfully prosecuted.

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