I just finished watching the Casey Anthony verdict come down. I’m sure every moment in every trial is as tense as these few
minutes were for the folks involved. But for whatever reason, the media decide what moments are going to be tense for everyone else in America as well.
The tension reminded me of how it felt in my 11th grade trig class when the OJ verdict was being delivered. A bunch of kids begged our teacher to turn on the TV in the room and let us watch. I, as the only black kid in the class, would rather have taken the pop quiz on my desk and given myself a dozen papercuts on my eyeballs than watch that trail wrap up. But as an Oreo, I had to say nothing. To speak up would have been to acknowledge my discomfort with my race. Clearly, no one else, including the teacher who lets us watch, thought it might have been awkward for me…it’s possible they thought this because they didn’t realize I was black. So I had to play along.
Today’s verdict was much easier to take. Here’s why.
1. I was alone. When dealing with difficult current events, it’s much better to do it in the privacy of your own home/office/bathroom/car/box seat at the opera. With no one else around to agree or disagree with you, you can’t wonder aloud how the intersection of race and or class would have affected another hypothetical trial. You can’t bring up to the person next to you that hundreds of kids go missing/killed every day and what makes any one child more deserving of media attention than the next. You get to stuff your feelings back into your gut. That knot in your stomach is very filling and thus, you satisfy your need for restraint and you don’t feel the urge to snack.
2. All players were white. In the OJ trial if you supported the prosecution because you hated murder**, you were labelled a racist or if you were of color, a sell out. With Casey, you could dislike murder and not be called a traitor to humanity. That was nice.
Bonus: That since there are no of-colors in this case, we don’t have to worry about any rioting or looting this afternoon. Though a toddler riot would be totes adorbs!
3. If Casey does a reality show or writes a book after this, we won’t all be terrified. OJ continued to horrify us all by creating a reality show called “Juiced” where he inspired other people to try and commit murder by playing pranks on them and showing up in places where he wasn’t expected or invited. Then he wrote a book called “If I Did It” that was awful. I didn’t read this book, but the fact that he wrote it and got someone to print it was pretty awful.
If Casey showed up at a party or decides to write a book (I’m fairly certain William Morris Endeavor and CAA have both already optioned the rights to this story) she’ll look way better on the talk show circuit.
Did you follow the trial? What did you think of the trial or the verdict? Were you in my 12th grade class (I’m looking at you, LR!). Do you remember me sobbing quietly in the back of the room? Let us know in the comments!
**I’m pretty sure I’m required to say that OJ Simpson was officially acquitted of murder in 1997 and therefore is considered not guilty of the crimes mentioned in this post.