Guilt had nothing to do with it. Culpability is too direct. To many it was about a lot of things inter alia, all shaded, tainted and cast in a host of perspectives. Historical, social. To the evidentiary purist, he was guilty. As sin. It was obvious. He just happened to elect not to videotape the event or admit to it, but it was clear he did it. It was circumstantial evidence, textbook. And forget that motive and opportunity TV CSI biz. He did it. All by himself. But through the miracle of happenstance and his good luck he almost got away with it. In fact in the video herein I describe a scenario wherein he would certainly have walked.
Yet to a host of Americans this was in part a case of divine comeuppance. Here a rich, connected Black man could hire the best legal team and basically shove it up the juridical arse of a careless, uncaring and racist American criminal justice (the greatest oxymoron since military intelligence) system. And who could blame anyone for that thinking? Least of all a group of Americans who (to quote St. Richard of Pryor), looked for justice and found “just us.” After all, when John Gotti was acquitted of crimes through bought and paid for bribed juries, people cheered , not out of the recognition of his non-guilt but that he was someone folks liked and identified with. So fine, trials are a Rorschach Test. And so was O.J.’s.
And if you had any doubt as to the depth of the racial divide, all you had do was watch the reactions to the verdict. Black groups gathered for the verdict cheered; White groups hung their heads and stared in disbelief. The obvious was obvious.
But yet Simpson was still guilty. And the case was replete in reasonable doubt. But the real issue, the gloating subtext, was race. Not as a motivator for the crime but in the disparate dissonance in how the case was received and interpreted.