'The Trial of the Century' THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON

The historical event that I chose to focus on for this assignment was the O.J. Simpson murder trial. There are so many different aspects of this event that could be studied through our intercultural communications lens. I want to focus on why there were so many conflicting views and opinions of this case, and how our cultural identity plays a big part in influencing our perspectives.

Perception of guilt or innocence is influenced by one’s culture.

Different reactions to the Verdict (Google Images)

The cultural divides that influenced us in this case were distinguished by gender, age, race

There was a ‘hidden history’ behind how certain communities felt about the LAPD. “For people whose histories are hiidden from the mainstream, speaking out is an important step in the construction or personal and cultural identities.” (Martin and Nakayama p. 94)

The acquital of all four officers in the Rodney King beating led to the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
1992 Los Angeles Riots

“The sensational coverage of the O.J. Simpson case drove a stake into the heart of civilized journalism, melding gossipy and unreliable stories with the heretofore higher standards of the establishment press.” (Miller – crimefeed.com)

We were all glued to the Courtroom Drama for nine months

“Hewitt, the creator of CBS’s premier news show, 60 Minutes, realized that the obsession for ratings trumped the dignity of news gathering and presentation during the trial. He protested during the trial that the cameras in the courtroom had turned the entire judicial proceeding into “an entertainment special.” (Miller – crimefeed.com)

LA Law (1986-1994} was a popular courtroom drama tv show that set the stage for O.J.’s real-life courtroom drama (Google images)
O.J. and his all-star team of celebrity defense lawyers

Regardless of the real truth that two innocent people were murdered in cold blood, and it was almost certainly O.J. that did it, a person’s own cultural identity heavily influenced how they felt about the trial. The cultural baggage that clouded their perspectives blinded people, and allowed them to add more meaning to the trial than just guilt or innocence.

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