Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

O.J. Simpson Verdict Is No Grounds for Celebration

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

O.J. Simpson Verdict Is No Grounds for Celebration

Article excerpt

WE MISTAKENLY thought that once we passed a verdict in the trial of O.J. Simpson, after a year of being transfixed and tyrannized whether we wanted to or not, that our lives would return to normal.

No more headlines in newspapers, or "Nightline" shows on TV. No more sensational, tabloid-type stories. No more galling reminders about our misguided desire to idolize sports heroes.

Yet, the verdict came and time stood still. Instantly, instead of relief, we went either numb or were overjoyed.

I was simply exhausted because of the confounding crime itself - the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the loss to their families, especially the Simpsons' children - and then the crime unpunished Tuesday.

The case captivated us in the beginning because Simpson was a sports star. Soon enough, it moved beyond that.

And the trial's legacy could claim us still.

I watched the verdict from my couch at home, sat there for an hour after it was announced and then went to work.


At the office, I took note of the huddles and the conversations. African-Americans talked to African-Americans, whites talked to other whites. I listened. The sentiments expressed, with some exceptions, were black and white: Simpson was innocent or Simpson was guilty.

It wasn't unlike the results of those overbearing opinion polls. Whites overwhelmingly disagreed with the verdict, and blacks overwhelmingly supported it.

Whites, generally, didn't understand why the predominantly black jury didn't see it their way. Blacks, maybe surprised by the verdict, were pleased the jurors saw it theirs.

The subsequent images, through the newspaper and television, were predictable. As the verdict was announced, whites generally sat in stunned silence.

Blacks jumped and rejoiced. Neither image probably betrayed the true emotional range on the subject. The pictures certainly told us something about ourselves.

It was no revelation to most blacks that they see the world differently than most whites. That blacks, generally, have a greater distrust for this country's justice system.

That's because the world is a different place when you're the majority. …

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