The People Vs. OJ Simpson

The People Vs. OJ Simpson

The 9 things I learned watching the OJ Simpson Trial and American Crime Story.
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1. Money Can Buy Everything

The first couple of episodes, you see OJ getting the absolute best lawyer, Bobby Shapiro. He is basically the attorney for all celebrities. Having the best lawyer made him able to negotiate OJ turning himself in, which led to the infamous car chase in the Bronco. He was able to buy the “Dream Team” which made him win. Only money can buy you that. An average person would have lost.

2. The Dream Team Wasn't A Dream

When Shapiro hired Johnnie Cochran, he really didn’t want to. Shapiro was probably one of the most egotistic human beings out there. Then he added another egotistic man, Johnnie Cochran. Shapiro hired a lot of other lawyers that, to me, are not that bad because they never made me yell at my TV. Anyway, seeing Johnnie and Bobby Shapiro interact was like watching college boys compete with each other to see who is stronger. It was what some people call, "a pissing contest." At some points during the trial, they forgot why they were even there because they were so wrapped up in trying to outshine the other. Johnnie Cochran, during one of their press conferences, told Shapiro to not talk to the press, and he did. Then Johnnie went out and had his own. Both of them couldn’t take a step back to let the other be the leader. When OJ asked for Johnnie to be the head of their team, I thought Bobby was going to have a heart attack.

3. Johnnie Cochran Is a Jerk

Watching the show then watching the trial, I can say that I think Johnnie Cochran is an awful person. He is a great lawyer, and I’m sure if I were ever in legal trouble, if I had the money and if he was alive, I’d hire him. However, I do not like him. I think that his tactics were a little extreme and at times, were a little dangerous. When he wanted the jury to hear Mark Fuhrman’s tapes (he’s also an awful person), he went to talk to the press and got people so riled up that it almost started a riot. Also, I think he is downright disrespectful. When Marcia Clark couldn’t find a babysitter for her children, you’d think he’d be a little understanding to postpone the trial, but yet, he mocked her. It was low blow, but in court, it's definitely unprofessional. Also, I think people forget that he was involved in domestic abuse as well. I mean, do we forget that? Anyway, he's a good lawyer but a bad person.

4. Marcia Clark Slayed

Watching Marcia Clark do her thing was like watching Beyoncé (not exactly, but I was mesmerized). She handled everything the best way anyone could have. People in court slandered her for her hair, for her clothes and for being a mother. She not only handled this case, but she herself was going through a divorce. Her divorce was definitely a smart thing, considering the man she was divorcing sold to the tabloids a nude photo of her. Even though every news station and tabloid magazine was talking about her, she held her head high and slayed in court. She had a little slip up with Chris Darden, her co-prosecutor, hiring him because he was black. Though sometimes not listening to him, she overall did well. She had hardcore evidence, not a story like Cochran.

5. Racism Set OJ Free

Even though prosecution had all the evidence they could have had, OJ was found not guilty. Why? It was due to Mark Fuhrman and the law enforcement that handled the crime scene. It was them that let OJ free. They handled the crime scene so poorly, and Fuhrman became so incredible that the evidence didn’t even matter. Cochran basically made it true that Fuhrman was racist. The tapes of Fuhrman talking, he was definitely racist. Anything he did, especially handling a crime scene like this, made him incredible. How is anyone supposed to believe that what he says or does is non-biased? Exactly, no one can believe it. When a racist person like that walks up to the stand and pleads the fifth to everything, basically saying he’s a racist, all the evidence and facts are out the window. Fuhrman and the LAPD’s racism let OJ walk. Their careless mistakes and actions were to their demise.

6. People Forgot About The People Who Were Killed

To me, I think that this case really got away from itself. It wasn’t really about guilty vs. not guilty; it was about black vs. white. People were going with their emotions. Blacks were so angry with the LAPD for their acquittal from the Rodney King case; they just wanted them to pay. Blacks wanted to win something; I don’t think that they even paid attention to the evidence that was presented, and they just wanted to win. The importance to win was so great that people forgot that people’s lives were lost.

7. If Glove Doesn't Fit, You Must Aquit

This saying is total BS. Why? OJ had arthritis, and his lawyers told him to stop taking his medication because they knew prosecution was thinking about using the glove. When he stopped taking his medication, inflammation of the hands was a consequence. Defense lawyers knew that his hands would not be the normal size, leading to the glove not fitting. OJ's lawyers knew this piece of information however, prosecution did not. It didn't fit because it was made to not fit.

8. Rob Kardashian Is A True Friend

Whenever I think of a good friend now, I think of Robert Kardashian. He was with OJ from the start to finish. He believed so much in his friend that he stuck it out until the end. I’m not exactly sure when Rob stopped believing in OJ, but you can definitely see it in the trial. In the beginning, he’s right there with Cochran and Shapiro on the defense, and then he’s in the backseat. In one scene of the show, he’s picking up all of the lovely Kardashian children, and he gets a moment alone with Kris (his ex wife, and also best friend of Nicole Brown) and explains how sorry he is for making her and the family go through this. Kris asks him why he can’t just quit, and even though he believed his friend did it, he said, “If I quit, it will send him to jail." Some may think, “Well if he thought he was guilty, why didn’t he quit? He should go to jail." However, even if you disagree with something your best friend did, or ex best friend, you never want to see something bad happen to them or be the reason something bad happened to them. When watching the trial and they announce the verdict, you can see the horror on Kardashian’s face. He is shocked and a little scared that he’s free. In the show and after the trial, OJ throws a party at his house, makes a speech how he is going to find out who killed Nicole and that’s the last straw. Kardashian gave OJ his Bible when he went to jail, which was given back to him at the end of the trial. Kardashian drops his Bible on the table and says, “I’m done." He walks out, and OJ catches a glimpse of him; there’s an intense stare, and then Rob is gone. To me, a friend sticks with you through the bad times, which he did just that. Once the bad time was over, Rob was done. He was a good friend.

9. Karma, Karma, Karma

Karma was based all throughout the case. LAPD was awful in their law enforcement practices, and it caught up to them. Their bad decisions let OJ go. OJ should have been guilty but wasn’t found guilty. His bad decisions caught up to him. He was found guilty of kidnapping and robbery when he tried to steal memorabilia from Las Vegas and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. What goes around comes back around.

Cover Image Credit: twitter.com

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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Donald Trump's Sanctions Toward The Iranian Government Are Giving Us Painful Flashbacks To North Korea

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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The recent news is that Iran president Hassan Rouhani is willing to talk with Donald Trump and the American government about newly established sanction towards Iran. Three months ago, Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Agreement and threatened to impose sanctions on Iran nuclear in 180 days. Recently, Trump tweeted what could be seen as a threat to the Iranian government.

Donald Trump wanted to force the Iranian government to change their economic policy. There are a lot of domestic problems in Iran. The Iranian government is busy expanding their power in the Middle East. The government used to support the Syrian government. The Saudi Arabian government and the West, which supported the Syrian Rebels, attempted to stop Iran from interfering with Syria. The Iranian government worried that the Syrian governmental crisis would affect their political stability. The overuse of the financial budget has influenced economics, causing Iranian people to appeal the government to revolutionize.

Compare the North Korean Nuclear Crisis and the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and we can see Donald Trump's similar strategies. Firstly, Donald Trump has put in a lot of pressure of either country to force them to give up the nuclear plan and improve economics instead. In the North Korean Crisis, last year, Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man" and Kim Jong Un condemned him "crazy."

After temporary language confrontation, Kim Jong Un gave and was willing to negotiate with Trump beginning in early 2018. As for Iran, Rouhani also laughed at Trump's policy and criticized Donald Trump's sanction to Iran which was not supported by the European Union. But the latest is that Iran officials are still willing to talk to the U.S. In the trade war with China, Donald Trump also exerted the pressure on China in order to negotiate.

Many people dislike Donald Trump. It is undoubted that Donald Trump's sanction has effectively forced the country to open their economy to a larger degree of freedom. In the Kim-Trump Summit, the U.S. government reportedly played a video that assumed the future of North Korea.

In Iran currently, the inflation is so high that the public wants the economics to be promoted and anti-America sentiment is expected to end. As Donald Trump mentioned, the aim of the sanction is not to overturn the Iranian government, but to let them rethink how to focus on economics rather than on political stability.

Whether the sanction is effective is uncertain. But just like the North Korean nuclear problem, there will also be an answer soon.

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