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O.J. VERDICT REVOLVES AROUND RACE

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If you believe like I do, you believe O.J. would have been convicted with nothing more than the change of the race of the accused and the victims.

Suppose that blacks had initially settled the new world and that their agrarian society made white African slavery economically advantageous. Suppose that all white people in our history were black (and the dominant race) and that all black people in our history were white and were either slaves or the descendants of slaves.Suppose further that most whites living today believed that they and their ancestors had been maliciously oppressed and denied full citizenship and genuine acceptance in this free society - even though slavery had been abolished for more than 130 years - and even though civil rights legislation had long since been enacted to guarantee racial equality. Now suppose one further fact - you, a white person, had been selected to serve on the Simpson jury. Remember, O.J. in our scenario is white also.

Be honest with yourself - would you have acquitted Mr. Simpson? What can be said, then? Only this: Perhaps bigotry has indeed come home to roost. Perhaps it has taken this miscarriage of justice to awaken us to what the blacks of our society have endured for centuries. Rather than condemn this jury for acquitting O.J. Simpson, perhaps the lesson to be learned is closer to home. Perhaps each of us must resolve to eliminate racial bigotry, bias, prejudice and hatred from within ourselves.

Although we may disagree with the verdict in the Simpson case, although our sense of justice is offended, or even if we are incensed by his acquittal, still we must learn the transcendent message of this verdict to this society. Blacks and whites must see that the black and white elements of our society have both been victims of bigotry. Racial harmony will not come to our society, and we may experience more miscarriages of justice until each of us casts off all remnants of racial bigotry.

H. Deloyd Bailey

Provo