Friday, July 21, 2017

Cages of circumstance

O.J. Simpson is in the news again, which is another way of saying "Let's torture the Goldman and Brown families some more, just because," and also another way of saying America has an unhealthy addiction to lowlifes.

(And, yes, simply by writing this, the Blob realizes it's playing into that. Mark me down ten points for hypocrisy. Or something).

At any rate, he won parole yesterday, which made white America grind its teeth again, because O.J. long ago became a fetish for those who only get upset with guys skating when it's not their guy skating. Hence all the outrage when a rich, connected black man walked on a double murder 23 years ago, and a shrug of the shoulders for all the times rich, connected white men have walked on crimes just as heinous.

We choose our side and we stay on our side, here in America. Until we realize we're all one side, and an injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us, we'll never be the nation we ought to be.

Sermon over.

As to the rest, his parole yesterday after nine years in the slam came as no surprise to anyone who could look past the fact it was O.J. and realize his original sentence -- 33 years -- was piling on. And, yes, it happened because the judge who handed down the sentence couldn't look past the fact it was O.J., either. So she sentenced him as much for what happened 23 years ago as for the crime he actually committed.

Which was wrong. And which was why O.J. got exactly what he deserved yesterday.

Here's the thing, though: He's also getting exactly what he deserved for what happened 23 years ago.

Yes, he skated on the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown, and he did it because, like so many white folk before him, he had money and he used it to hire all the best attorneys. And they did the job they got paid to do.

But there are prisons, and there are prisons. No, O.J. may never have done brick-and-mortar jail time for Ron and Nicole, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been doing jail time. The courts might have freed him, but society did not. And so he has spent the last 23 years as the most radioactive pariah in America, as confined in many ways as he would be if he were actually behind bars.

What happened that June night will never leave him. It is his cage, and he will live inside it until he dies.

That may be scant comfort for the Goldmans and Browns, who had to turn on the news yesterday and see again the man they believe, and much of America believes, butchered their children. But it is justice of a sort.

Rough and imperfect justice, true. But justice.

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