The Story of O.J.

I am going to work this into my African American Studies syllabus. I am just seeing and hearing Jay-Z’ s The Story of O.J. Still processing. I am hearing Black sellouts. Black and white capitalist. Black folk still enslaved by debt. Black folk without real material power and wealth. Black bourgeoisie. Black working class. Poor Black folk. I am hearing you still Black at the end of the day– Black rich sellouts. White supremacy. Black caricature –watermelon and fried chicken. Gentrification. Panthers keeping it real. Some Oceans here. Nina Simone. Colorism. O.J. aint Black — he is O.J. Black supporters of Trump — sellouts. Drugs. Materialism. Religion.

Revisiting My 2007 Duke Post After 30 for 30

30

The District Attorney recently exonerated all members charged with sexual assault in the Duke University lacrosse case. There were clearly no winners here. Moreover, the Duke lacrosse case illustrates both the racial and class resentment that exists in America. Just like the O.J. murder case, Duke lacrosse brought to life both the social and economic problems Americans tend to ignore. Because inequality in education exists, many minorities do not receive the proper education needed to attend a Duke. Think about the number of elite private schools in the country that have a very small number of black students and faculty. Often enough, blacks are victims of educational slavery in that many live in low property tax communities. Thus, minority public schools are faced with the challenge of hiring elite faculty members as well as providing each student with adequate resources for learning. This type of class division creates resentment and hate toward those who are privileged.

For one, as popular as Duke University is with its $ 5 billion (+) endowment, its elite faculty members, and its popular sports team (basketball), many residents living in the Durham area dislike Duke because of its perceived lack of investment in the local community. Locals contend that Duke is nothing more than a temporary haven for rich white kids from New England prep schools. Moreover, black students who attend Duke have had to create their own social environment. Campus festivals and activities are built around fraternities and “white cultural endeavors” that would clearly make blacks feel out of place. Just like the O.J. case, many of America’s black population were supporting the black female who claimed rape as a show of solidarity. Blacks want white America to see how race and class are still used to subjugate not only blacks, but non elites too. Most black Americans knew O.J. was guilty; they supported him as a form of protest against white America. Some black Americans feel as though whites in power have turned their backs on the racially abusive culture long promulgated by elitism. For example, in the minds of black folks, white supremacy is prevalent in all institutions of power, especially police departments. In Cornel West’s Race Matters, he states that

white America has been historically weak willed in ensuring racial justice and has continued to resist fully accepting the humanity of blacks. As long as double standards and differential treatment abound — as long as rap performer Ice-T is harshly condemned while former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates’s anti-black comments are received in polite silence, as long as Dr. Leonard Jeffries’s anti-Semitic statements are met with vitriolic outrage while presidential candidate Pat Buchanan’s anti-Semitism receives a general response — black nationalism will thrive.

Unlike the connection blacks feel toward the black female, they never felt any connection to O.J. He was viewed as a black elitist who turned his back on black folks, much like that of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who continues to attack affirmative action. Blacks exploited the O.J. case to show America how much racism still exists in society. As for the female who claimed rape, it appears that blacks are supporting her because there were clearly signs of racism found among the lacrosse players.

Duke

Many of them admitted to using racial slurs as well as being abusive to the black co-ed. In the end, here are the clear losers in all of this:

Women – feminism took a step backwards here. It is my understanding that rape victims are slow to come forward. Imagine if you are a college female who was date raped — will people believe you after this?
Duke’s lacrosse coach — he should not have been fired. According to an internal investigation, he did everything by the book. I feel for him.
Durham — race relations on Duke’s campus are pretty sticky.
The defendants — some left campus, lost a year of eligibility, and are faced with rebuilding their reputation

Can You Feel A Brand New Day: Family Guy Depicts Black Oppression

In our post-Trayvon Martin world, the reality of racial power structures are real. Martin, in an unfortunate fashion, has come to symbolize the black reality; in particularly, what black male youths are experiencing regarding their juxtaposition to that of power structures. In 1992 racial tension between whites, blacks, and Koreans exploded when an all white jury found four white officers innocent of beating Rodney King. Because blacks no longer trusted cops, rappers such as Ice-T released his infamous song Cop Killer. Two years after the beating of King which promulgated the L.A. riots, O.J. Simpson was found innocent of killing his wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. O.J. ‘s defense team accused the LAPD of framing O.J. Although most black people believed O.J. was guilty, they supported him because his case further illustrated the LAPD’s brutality towards blacks and the American power structure that worked against the black plight.

As noted on the Family Guy clip above, it feels like a brand new day to blacks when those who make up the power structure are symbolically no longer in power. Hence, the police were sent on a special mission out-of-town and the Quahog black citizenry were free to escape their bondage under the auspices of white supremacy by symbolically breaking out of their white skin.

Would You Serve O.J. Simpson?

My AP United States History classes are reviewing the economic conditions under Ronald Reagan during the mid 80s. One of the things that emerged during this period was the rise of gangster rap. This realist genre illustrated the urban frustrations blacks were feeling as they witnessed the shrinking of the welfare state. Rappers such as NWA (Niggas With Attitude) expressed their anger at white America through their violent anti- establishment lyrics.

In 1992 racial tension between whites, blacks, and Koreans exploded when an all white jury found four white officers innocent of beating Rodney King. Because blacks no longer trusted cops, rappers such as Ice-T released his infamous song Cop Killer. Two years after the beating of King promulgated the L.A. riots, O.J. Simpson was found innocent of killing his wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. O.J. ‘s defense team accused the LAPD of framing O.J. Although most black people believed O.J. was guilty, they supported him because his case further illustrated the LAPD’s brutality towards blacks.

This past weekend in Kentucky, O.J. was in town to watch the Kentucky derby. While sitting in a restaurant waiting to order his meal, the owner asked him to leave. The owner would later say that he does not like the way O.J. exploited his innocence by going on tours and writing books. According to the owner, O.J. politely agreed to leave the restaurant. Once O.J. was gone, the crowed gave the owner a standing ovation. The owner stated that it was the classiest thing O.J. has done in a long time. I am not sure if I would refuse to serve a man who was found to be not guilty. What would you do?