It was on this date in 1995 that the verdict in the O. J. Simpson murder trial came down: not guilty! To refer to this proceeding as the trial of the century ought to offend anyone with a modicum of historical sense and a concern for the English language. It is on a par with Tom Brokaw's silly reference to the World War II generation of Americans as the "greatest generation." Here is an example of what I am opposing:
We always hear phrases like "Fight of the Century" and "Trial of the Century" ... well, this really was the Trial of the Century. A Pro Football Hall of Fame running back might or might not have killed his wife and one of her male friends. All evidence pointed to him. No other suspects. No alibi. A disturbing history of domestic abuse. A motive. Blood splattered everywhere, including back at the suspect's house.
Nonsense! Irresponsible journalism of Brokavian proportions. If the Simpson double homicide trial was the Trial of the Century, then what were the following?
- Sacco-Vanzetti (1921)
- Leopold-Loeb (1924)
- Scopes "Monkey" Trial (1925)
- Nuremberg Trials (1945-49)
- Alger Hiss (1949-50)
- Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (1951)
- Adolf Eichmann (1961)
- Clinton Impeachment (1999)
Most of the above were far more significant than the Simpson trial. Who was Simpson? A guy who was uncommonly good at chasing a piece of pigskin around a field who one night gave vent to his murderous rage in a brutal double homicide. The only thing significant about that trial was that it exposed the tribalism among so many blacks, their incapacity to abstract from their racial identity and evaluate evidence rationally and objectively. This tribalism was again on clear display recently in the Trayvon Martin case. Except for a few black conservatives, black commentators on the trial displayed a depressing level of delusional thinking. Yes, you are delusional if you think there is a meaningful comparison between the Emmett Till case (1955) and the Martin-Zimmerman proceeding. Either that or you are contemptibly mendacious.
Whatever became of Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the Simpson trial? Her story here.