My mother was a kind lady. She impressed everyone around her with good deeds.

Her children knew her to be kind but stern. She took a straight and narrow path when it came to raising us.

Apologies weren’t exactly the order of her day. She gave few and never appeared interested in those her offspring tried offering up in regard to their wrongdoings.

Her philosophy of raising children seemed to me to have been that they’re always on the march for finding their parent wrong.

And so for O.J. Simpson being the model prisoner and, now, apologizing for his armed robbery and kidnapping criminal activity and gaining his parole, my mother wouldn’t be impressed.

Simpson, also, pretty much falls into another of her philosophical categories always delivered when we whined about a punishment we thought we didn’t deserve.

You Got Away With One

She wasn’t at all touched by our innocence of the misdeed at hand as she always responded with the same hardline attack.

“Hmm, well, just think of this punishment as the one you should have gotten for the misdeed you got away with.”

My mother didn’t fool around. Of course, we also whined that she wasn’t fair. Her continuous golden words for this one quite aptly primed her offspring for the world we would enter into once we left the protective arms of her loving care.

“Life’s not fair,” she would say, always with an air of authority and without a hint of being intimidated by the whining of her children.

O.J. Simpson, The Juice, was found worthy of release at his parole hearing last week in Carson City, Nev., in spite of what the news commentators and other television talking heads kept calling “the elephant in the room.”

That elephant being, of course, the Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal trial where Simpson had been charged and acquitted for two counts of murder for the June 12, 1994 deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

“Yeah, he did it,” back then, a young adult Black male said to me with a jubilant grin on his face that he had great difficulty trying to conceal.

“White folks get away with murder, embezzlement and everything else, so why shouldn’t a Black man get to walk?” he asked.

A rhetorical question, I figured back then, and therefore didn’t try prolonging our difference-of- opinion- conversation regarding O.J.’s walking.

The young Black man had a point —a point, I might add, that many Black folk agreed with.

Who Said Life Was Fair?

But my very wise momma’s wit speaks to me.

Although her “Life’s Not Fair” philosophy doesn’t make headlines other than in my head, it speaks loudly, for me, in the case of O.J.

That path of which my mother chose to raise her children by — you got away with that but I’m gettin’ you on this — was certainly thought, by many people, to be the underlying reasoning behind O.J.’s prison sentence for entering a hotel room with several companions and taking hundreds of pieces of sports memorabilia from two men.

O.J., who was convicted back in 2008 on 12 counts, including burglary with the use of a deadly weapon, kidnapping and assault, was sentenced to a minimum of nine years and a maximum of 33.

Having served the minimum, O.J. has now been granted parole and is said to have been a model prisoner. He’s apologized for his criminal behavior that put him behind bars.

In a lengthy presentation to his parole board he claimed he didn’t realize he was committing a crime when he took the memorabilia that he said was rightfully his.

“It was mine,” he whined.


My mother’s not listening. She’s moved on to higher ground, having passed away 20 years ago. However, she left a legacy.

That silent elephant in the Nevada hearing room may not have raised his or her trunk with the familiar trumpeting sound the species is known to make when excited, lost, angry, playful or surprised, but following my mother’s philosophy, I’m sounding my own trumpet saying O.J. got off in the Los Angeles courtroom for what public opinion felt he was guilty of, and the sentence he received, some years later, for taking back his stuff in Las Vegas may have been, as many have claimed, outrageous.

But life ain’t fair. You get away with one but pay up for another.



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