I’ve been pointing out for years that O.J. Simpson’s 1994 white Bronco run for the Mexican border from his lawyer Robert Kardashian’s house was a turning point in American cultural history, spawning the Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner, and much else that you could be watching on your TV right now.
It was the point when the world figured out once and for all that those countless channels being opened up on cable could be filled with all sorts of cheap-to-produce crud and people would watch.
This is the year that the media finally figured out this bit of its own history and is running various lengthy miniseries and documentaries about O.J. Simpson. But that raises the problem of explaining to young people who O.J. was and why.
All good young people today know that America was virulently racist until, roughly, last week.
But the O.J. story is hard to fit into The Narrative of endless white racism. Here’s a black man who was wildly popular with white Americans in the distant past.