Black America figured that O.J. Simpson would be in prison forever. To hear white people tell it, O.J. is responsible for: ex-wife Nicole Simpson’s and Ron Goldman’s deaths; the current Black Lives Matter movement; Colin Kaepernick’s protest and hair; Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s maritial issues; and Drake’s supposed baby with a former video vixen. (Side note: How does a video vixen retire? Does she turn in her performance thong and wedges? Just wondering.)
Somehow, unbeknownst to any black person with a high school diploma or an equivalency degree, O.J. became the symbolic embodiment of black people, as far as white people were concerned. Maybe it was because he wanted so badly to be appreciated by them; maybe it was because during his trial on charges of killing Nicole Simpson and Goldman, black America embraced O.J. in a way that even took O.J. aback. Truthfully, what black America was embracing was an opportunity to challenge a racist, oppressive judicial system that continuously feeds on black and brown bodies, and O.J. just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
But on this Thursday, on this day of Our Lord and Savior Stephen Curry, let me let white folks in on a little secret: Black folks don’t fuck with O.J. Truthfully, we never really did. In fact, we didn’t care if O.J. served 200 years inside the sunken place, inside a boot that was placed squarely up his own ass. We don’t ride for O.J. no more. That’s so 2000. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t shocked that he’s being released.
No one saw O.J. being back on the streets while Trump’s America is all “Let’s build a wall” and red “#MAGA” hats are the new white sheets. In the backs of our minds, we all just figured that O.J. would stay in prison, contract some incurable disease and slowly die off the way that Hill Street Blues and Coolio have before him. In fact, we were taking bets on whether Orenthal J. Simpson was going to walk out a free man after serving almost nine years in prison for, get this, taking his own shit back!
I know that the law calls this stealing, but what has always been troubling to me is how someone can steal O.J.’s stuff, which the men who were robbed admitted to doing; then O.J. not only finds out that the stuff is stolen but goes to get it back, and the state awards him all the items, which he reportedly “stole,” but O.J. still gets 33 years in prison. That’s ultimate white justice. Black folks knew that this was payback for the acquittal on the murder charges. And soon, O.J. will be free, which means he will go back to being O.J., and, sadly, he’s black America’s George Zimmerman, but more charming.
In fact, during his parole hearing, which was televised, O.J. reached into his Naked Gun acting trick bag to pull out a few moves that would make young Denzel, before the big-teeth memes, jealous. O.J. was affable and funny and remorseful and convincing. He was dinner-party O.J. at his finest because O.J. can’t stop O.J.-ing, which means I give him three days after his release before he’s caught on a TMZ video saying some freakishly dumb shit. I give him a few weeks before he’s on the golf course, and a few years before O.J. is back in jail because the one telling sign that O.J. hasn’t changed one bit came when he was drilled on whether or not he attended Alcoholics Anonymous classes as instructed during his last parole hearing in 2013.
O.J. waxed on about being a Christian and how he hadn’t gone to AA but had found other classes that he thought were better, like conflict resolution. Point is: O.J. is still doing whatever the fuck O.J. wants to do, and we’ve seen how it turns out when he’s left to his own devices.