A Lesson in History – 25 years after the “OJ Murders”

Go Lean Commentary

Do you remember the O.J. Simpson case; where he was accused of killing 2 people including his ex-wife? Do you realize, that was 25 years ago now?

Yep! The deaths took place on June 12, 1994.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – Martin Luther King, quoting Theodore Parker.

There is a lesson in history when we consider the OJ Murders from 1994: things always work itself out towards justice, fairness and freedom … eventually. Sometimes though, the milestones in the journey towards a more just society are reversed or negative; we may make 2 steps forward with 1 step back; or 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

This is just the reality of change in society.

Our lesson in history teaches us that there was a bad orthodoxy in modern society, regarding both race and gender. Many times, minorities – those of the Black-and-Brown races – and women had to endure a lot more abuse than would be any acceptable standard in a just society. Plus when it comes to women, intersectionality (race, age, religion, LGBT, etc.) also applies, so even when one group get more civil rights granted, progress for some other women’s groups  may continue to trail. Yet, still …

… You’ve have come a long way, Baby!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean addresses this history as the actuality of Natural Law. The book states (Page 226):

The Bottom Line on Natural Law and Women’s Rights

17th century natural law philosophers in Britain and America, such as Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, developed the theory of natural rights in reference to ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and the Christian theologist Aquinas. Like the ancient philosophers, 17th century natural law philosophers defended slavery and an inferior status of women in law.

Relying on ancient Greek philosophers, natural law philosophers argued that natural rights where not derived from god, but were “universal, self-evident, and intuitive”, a law that could be found in nature. They believed that natural rights were self-evident to “civilized man” who lives “in the highest form of society”. Natural rights derived from human nature, a concept first established by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium in Concerning Human Nature. Zenon argued that each rational and civilized male Greek citizen had a “divine spark” or “soul” within him that existed independent of the body. Zeno founded the Stoic philosophy and the idea of a human nature was adopted by other Greek philosophers, and later natural law philosophers and western humanists. Aristotle developed the widely adopted idea of rationality, arguing that man was a “rational animal” and as such a natural power of reason.

Concepts of human nature in ancient Greece depended on gender, ethnic, and other qualifications and 17th century natural law philosophers came to regard women along with children, slaves and non-whites, as neither “rational” nor “civilized”. Natural law philosophers claimed the inferior status of women was “common sense” and a matter of “nature”. They believed that women could not be treated as equal due to their “inner nature”. The views of 17th century natural law philosophers were opposed in the 18th and 19th century by Evangelical natural theology philosophers such as William Wilberforce and Charles Spurgeon, who argued for the abolition of slavery and advocated for women to have rights equal to that of men. Modern natural law theorists, and advocates of natural rights, claimed that all people have a human nature, regardless of gender, ethnicity or other qualifications; therefore all people have natural rights [120].

These thoughts on Natural Law and Women’s Rights persist to this day, despite how archaic they may seem.

Before the OJ Murders, there was an obvious nonchalance about domestic violence in America.

“Mind your own business”

“You’re not in mortal danger”

OJ Simpson was not the first domestic abuser nor was he the last; but now, in the 25 years since, the country has been more forthright and responsive. They have listened to the outcries of victims and the needs of abusers. It is no longer acceptable for the rest of society to just “mind their own business”.

What changed?

Later that same year in 1994, Congress debated and passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)- see the summarized details in Appendix B below – and many mitigations were put in place as a result.

The actuality of the infamous OJ Simpson case propelled VAWA; and though “he” still walks the street without any murder conviction – see Appendix A – the country can still credit him, for perpetrating a crisis and forcing more sensible jurisprudence over the time, with the “long arc of the moral universe bending toward justice”.

This theme – mitigating domestic violence – aligns with many previous Go Lean commentaries; see a sample here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16408 Mitigating the Bad Ethos on Home Violence
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13664 High Profile Sexual Harassment Accusers – Finally Believed
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7490 A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence – Domestic
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=695 Abused Latina wives find help by going to ‘Dona Carmen’

To this day, 25 years later – the OJ Simpson Murder Prosecution is still considered the “Trial of the Century”.

This OJ Murder drama – arrest, criminal trial acquittal; civil trial culpability – facilitated a lot of dialogue and debate on American Justice. There was always an American penchant to protect “White Women from Black Men”; this was the premise for so many extra-judicial executions (think the 4,733 recognized cases of Lynchings) in the American past. So the 1995 acquittal in the OJ Simpson Criminal case drove a wedge between “Black America versus White America”. For many in the African-American community, they recognized that the double standard of Rich White Justice versus Poor Black Justice may have finally swung favorably for a Black defendant. A previous Go Lean commentary added this observation:

There it is, the United States, where there seems to be a Great Divide in justice, one set of standards for the rich, another set for the poor.

The grass is not greener on that (American) side!

The reasons for emigration are “push-and-pull”. This source book identifies and qualifies a “pull” factor, the issue of justice in America. The book informs the reader that America should not be considered alluring from a justice perspective, especially if the reader/audience is poor and of a minority ethnicity.

This leaves the “push” factors. The Caribbean must address its issues, as to why its population is so inclined to emigrate. This is the purpose of the Go Lean roadmap. It features the assessments, strategies, tactics and implementations to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

In contrast, back in the 1990’s, White America “dug in their heels” on this OJ Murder Case that despite any reasonable doubt in the court case, this Black Man had murdered the two White victims. They therefore yearned of the “Bad Old Days” of meting out immediate justice on presumed Black offenders. The defective landscape in American justice had left “an open sore to fester“.

This open sore has still not healed; think “Make America Great Again”; see Appendix C VIDEO below.

In many previous Go Lean commentaries, the dimensions of continuous racial inequities in the US mainland had been detailed and debated; see this sample here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16944 Accepting Black Women ‘As Is’ – A Case for Women Empowerment
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16532 European Reckoning – Settlers -vs- Immigrants
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=15123 Blacks get longer prison sentences from ‘Republican’ Judges
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14627 Nature or Nurture: Cop-on-Black Shootings embedded in America’s DNA
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9216 ‘Time to Go’ – No Respect for our Hair
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9214 ‘Time to Go’ – Spot-on for Protest

All in all, it remains the conclusion of this commentary:

“No Justice; No Peace”.

“The long arc of the moral universe bends toward justice”.

The OJ Murder drama demonstrated a lesson for us, that justice is not perfect in the US, and we as Caribbean immigrants cannot effect change there.

But we can effect change here in the Caribbean homeland … (one person can make a difference).

Yes, the heavy-lifting of reforming and transforming Caribbean justice institutions is conceivable, believable and achievable. We must ensure the proper response and protections for domestic violence here in our region. We must  protect the victims and prosecute the abusers. We must ensure that the Strong Never Abuse the Weak with impunity.

This is how … and why we must act now. We must step-in, step-up and step forward to ensure our homeland is a better place to live, work and play for everyone: strong and weak, men and women, rich and poor. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. 


Appendix A –  25 years after murders, OJ says ‘Life is fine’

By: Linda Deutsch, Associated Press June 10, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After 25 years living under the shadow of one of the nation’s most notorious murder cases, O.J. Simpson says his life has entered a phase he calls the “no negative zone.”

In a telephone interview, the 71-year-old Simpson told The Associated Press he is healthy and happy living in Las Vegas. And neither he nor his children want to look back by talking about June 12, 1994 , when his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death and Simpson was transformed from Hall of Fame football hero to murder suspect.

“We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives,” he said. “The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again. My family and I have moved on to what we call the ‘no negative zone.’ We focus on the positives.”

But the pain has not faded for Goldman’s family.

“Closure,” said Goldman’s sister Kim, “isn’t a word that resonates with me. I don’t think it’s applicable when it comes to tragedy and trauma and loss of life.”

“I don’t suffocate in my grief,” she said. “But every milestone that my kid hits, every milestone that I hit, you know, those are just reminders of what I’m not able to share with my brother and what he is missing out on.”

Ron Goldman, then 25, was returning a pair of sunglasses that Nicole Brown Simpson’s mother had left at a restaurant where he worked when he and Simpson’s ex-wife were stabbed and slashed dozens of times.

O.J. Simpson’s televised “Trial of the Century” lasted nearly a year and became a national obsession, fraught with issues of racism, police misconduct, celebrity and domestic violence.

Represented by a legal “Dream Team” that included Johnnie Cochran Jr. and F. Lee Bailey, he was acquitted by a jury in 1995 in a verdict that seemed to split the country along racial lines, with many white Americans believing he got away with murder and many black people considering him innocent.

He has continued to declare his innocence. The murder case is officially listed as unsolved.

The victims’ families subsequently filed a civil suit against him, and in 1997 he was ordered to pay $33.5 million for the wrongful deaths of his ex-wife and Goldman. Some of his property was seized and auctioned, but most of the judgment has not been paid.

For a man who once lived for the spotlight , Simpson has generally kept a low profile since his release from prison in October 2017 after serving nine years for a robbery and kidnapping conviction in Las Vegas. He insisted his conviction and sentence for trying to steal back his own memorabilia were unfair but said: “I believe in the legal system and I honored it. I served my time.”

After his release from prison in Nevada, many expected him to return to Florida, where he had lived for several years. But friends in Las Vegas persuaded him to stay there.

“The town has been good to me,” Simpson said. “Everybody I meet seems to be apologizing for what happened to me here.”

His time in the city hasn’t been without controversy. A month after his release, an outing to a steakhouse and lounge off the Las Vegas Strip ended in a dispute. Simpson was ordered off the property and barred from returning.

No such problems have occurred since, and Simpson is among the most sought-after figures in town for selfies with those who encounter him at restaurants or athletic events he attends occasionally.

He plays golf almost every day. The knees that helped him run to football glory at the University of Southern California and with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills have been replaced, and he recently had laser surgery on his eyes.

Simpson said he remains close to his children and other relatives. His parole officer has given him permission to take short trips, including to Florida, where his two younger children, Justin and Sydney, have built careers in real estate.

His older daughter, Arnelle, lives with him much of the time but also commutes to Los Angeles.

“I’ve been to Florida two or three times to see the kids and my old buddies in Miami. I even managed to play a game of golf with them,” he said. “But I live in a town I’ve learned to love. Life is fine.”

He also visited relatives in Louisiana, he said, and spoke to a group of black judges and prosecutors in New Orleans.

The glamor of his early life is just a memory.

After his football career, Simpson became a commercial pitchman, actor and football commentator. Once a multimillionaire, he says most of his fortune was spent defending himself from the murder charges.

Simpson declined to discuss his finances other than to say he lives on pensions.

To coincide with Wednesday’s anniversary, Kim Goldman will launch a 10-week podcast, “Confronting: O.J. Simpson,” in which she will interview her brother’s friends, the detective who investigated the killings, attorneys for the defense and prosecution, and two of the 12 jurors who acquitted Simpson. She will continue to make the case that Simpson was guilty.


Linda Deutsch is a retired special correspondent for The Associated Press. She covered all of Simpson’s legal cases during her 48-year career as a Los Angeles-based trial reporter.

Source: Posted and retrieved June 10, 2019 from: https://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-25-years-murders-045033971.html?.tsrc=notification-brknews


Appendix B – Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement ActH.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) and co-written by Democrat Louise Slaughter, the Representative from New York, with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups.[1] The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding.[2] In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court overturned the provision as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.[3][4]

VAWA was reauthorized by bipartisan majorities in Congress in 2000 and again in December 2005. The Act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas, but it was reauthorized in 2013, after a long legislative battle. As a result of the United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019, the Violence Against Women Act expired on December 21, 2018. It was temporarily reinstated via a short-term spending bill on January 25, 2019, but expired again on February 15, 2019. The House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing VAWA in April 2019; the bill, which includes new provisions protecting transgender victims and banning individuals convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing firearms, has yet to be considered by the Senate as of April 11[, 2019].[5]

See the full article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act retrieved June 10, 2019.


Appendix C VIDEO – Is ‘make America great again’ racist? – https://youtu.be/kIQdb-1Lxso

Fox News
Published on Sep 9, 2016

‘The O’Reilly Factor’ examines Bill Clinton’s criticism of the slogan.

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