Going from having his number on a football jersey to his number beneath a police mug shot, O.J. Simpson’s rise from ghetto to NFL glory and then his precipitous downfall, is like something out of Shakespeare. I just ended an addictive relationship with the series, O.J.: Made in America. The documentary series is a paradigm of justice prevailing. It’s also a cautionary tale to beware of charming sociopaths, people like our fake president, who despite all their fatal flaws, manipulate people into liking them.
I was twelve when the verdict came out, so I was probably more interested in my hair color at the time than seeing the killer get his comeuppance, but I remember being disappointed in the jury’s decision. Hearing Nicole Brown’s 911 calls and seeing her bruised and battered face on TV had scarred me. Around the time of the O.J. Simpson case, I could hear my neighbor beating his wife at night, his thunderous, incoherent rage and her pleading screams creating the most gut-wrenching dissonance my twelve-year-old eardrums had ever endured. I didn’t know anything at the time about the mental and emotional abuse that came with physical abuse and how all that abuse could warp a woman’s judgment, so I could not figure it out and kept asking myself, “Why doesn’t she leave him?”
O.J. Simpson was a classic sociopath who used people for his own benefit. He cared nothing about the Civil Rights Movement. He didn’t want to be involved or show support to the black community struggling to stay alive and fighting for their rights. He was content with being called a football hero, although in reality, he was no hero in any sense of the word. He cared only about himself. When the mostly black jury went on a completely irrelevant tour of his home, his defense team had already redecorated in an attempt to make O.J. seem blacker and more caring about just causes. Down went all the framed photos of himself and his white friends that had covered the walls. They were replaced with photos O.J. had probably never seen before of him and black people. A Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges went up as well, a deceitful attempt to portray a wolf in sheep’s clothing to a very gullible jury.
One of the photos that had been deemed too white and possibly off-putting to the jury was of O.J. and our fake president. It was taken down and replaced with something that made O.J. seem a little more down-to-earth. When I saw the photo, it struck me just how similar these two reprehensible characters are. Both like to decorate with photos and paintings of themselves. Both are capable of manipulating a large population of people into thinking they care about them. But in reality, they don’t care about them. Just like a child abuser will select the most vulnerable victim, these two were able to sap all the support they could from marginalized communities. In O.J.’s case, it was the black community which had been suffering under systematic racism, and in 45’s case it was lower-, working-class white people who were struggling to make ends meet and watching too much FOX News.
Now we’re seeing how little 45 cares about the American people. People are starting to learn that just because someone badmouths Mexicans and Muslims, doesn’t mean he cares about poor white people either. That group of people is just a means for him to rise to power.
I am already referring to our fake president as a number. That’s because I don’t want to contribute, even in a minuscule way, to him profiting off of his own name brand. Hopefully, as more evidence bubbles to the surface, he will become more impeachable, and perhaps even imprisonable. After watching O.J.: Made in America I have witnessed the fact that this level of hubris doesn’t bode well, even for the most wealthy and charming of sociopaths. God willing, 45 will soon be an inmate number as well.