So Long, O.J.

Image for article titled So Long, O.J.

With the conviction and likely long-term incarceration of O.J. Simpson, the United States penal system is putting together one heck of a football squad. The team behind bars could rival the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West on any given Sunday. Imagine Michael Vick at quarterback, Rae Carruth at wide receiver, Lawrence Phillips and Maurice Clarett lined up in the "I formation," and ole Orenthal calling the shots from the sideline.


"Coach O.J." That is probably the role best suited to him now that he's been found guilty on all 12 counts in the kidnapping and armed robbery indictment filed against him in Las Vegas. O.J. should expect the book, and not because I believe that he is guilty. Sure, someone who sounds a lot like O.J. can be heard yelling, "Don't let anyone leave" while everyone kept calling the assailant "O.J." The Juice should expect the book because well, it is coming and at this point I believe it may be for the best.

O.J. has been suffering from delusions of whiteness for some time and the cold hard truth – that he is not white – will be laid in front of him on Dec. 5, when the judge in the case imposes her sentence, potentially life. Although his goofy face was somber when the guilty verdict was handed down, O.J. should have known that since his acquittal for the murder of his wife and her companion, Ron Goldman, 13 years ago, he had become the Black Big Foot. There were sightings, photos and video footage of O.J. being O.J.

There he was walking along the golf course. There he was driving. And because O.J. was delusional, he actually thought that the cameras and the people loved him and maybe that is the saddest part of all. O.J. thought he was still on the inside of the joke.

Maybe this is a bit far-fetched, but I think once you get acquitted for a crime the last thing you should do is write a hypothetical book stating how you would have done it, if you did it. But this is what happens when black men actually believe they have achieved whiteness. Not whiteness in a racial sense, but whiteness in the legal privilege sense and the belief that money absolves most sin.

Had he acknowledged his blackness, he would have known full well that he was a wanted man. Not only did he walk away from the murder of two white people, he took every opportunity to thumb his nose at the world. He never paid the Goldmans a dime, although he was ordered to, and he seemed to have a permanent tee time basking in his aloofness.

Is this the payback? Of course it is. How many kidnappings in the history of kidnappings have the victims tape-recorded? How many people in the jury can say that they actually have no opinion of O.J.? People either vaguely hate O.J. or really hate O.J. Unless the jury was made up of bushmen with no television or Buddhist monks who have learned to find the good in all, they want to see O.J. fry. Wait a Buddhist monk just called and said that he vaguely hates O.J.


Seriously, this whole "robbery" is about as accidental as Marion Barry's kidnapping and retrieval of his crack pipe.

O.J.'s life after football has fallen into the realm of wasted and borders on worthless. O.J. has become the tree in the woods that falls and no one hears because no cares. He won't get the rally of black support that he got in '95 when black America collectively felt that one of our heroes was being railroaded by the system.


This time I am not mad at the judicial system for being right-leaning and unbalanced in its application of the law. I am mad at O.J. for actually thinking he was above it. I hope The Juice still has something left in the tank, because prison life isn't easy. In fact, he is already being isolated from other prisoners for his own safety. Let's just hope for his sake that he can still hop over a row of chairs like he did in that Hertz commercial because it is 4th and life for O.J. and he is down, way down.

Stephen A. Crockett Jr. is a regular contributor to The Root.