OJ Made in America Pt 1: A History Lesson

I must admit that I was about 4 years old when OJ was arrested, so I have a limited knowledge of OJ Simpson and the case that rocked the country. I have no opinion on the verdict (yet) and this post will only focus on the first part of the OJ: Made in America series.

So it is this writer’s opinion that part one of OJ: Made in America, is more than just a documentary, it’s a history lesson of race relations in Los Angeles and the intersection of sports and societal issues.

In Part One they make an excellent point about how LA is looked at like this fantasy city that has no problems, when in reality their race relations were no better than those in the south or the south side of Chicago.

The most fascinating part of the documentary had to be the Watt Riots section because the effects that those Riots probably played a part in OJ’s criminal defense. Think about it, if there hadn’t been such high racial tensions between cops and the Black population of LA would they have picked a jury comprised of African Americans? We will never know, but it’s likely that the outcome would’ve been much different.

And there is also the subconscious thought process that OJ knew that accepting his skin color would hinder his success. When Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown stood up for issues facing African Americans OJ was quoted as saying, “I’m not black I’m OJ.” He divorced himself from his skin color because he wanted to be famous. He wanted to be a movie star when he wasn’t playing football which during the epitome of his stardom wouldn’t be possible if he followed in Brown or Ali’s footsteps and stood up for the rights of African Americans.

With Part 2 playing tonight, it will be interesting to see if they can top Part One.

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