O.J. Simpson is now the most famous human being upon the planet. The details of the case can be of no interest to anyone intellectual enough to enjoy a game of “Co Fish,” but the debates, private as well as public, it has spawned will haunt us for some time. From fairly early on most whites admitted to believing him guilty, while a majority of blacks profess to think him innocent. In fact, what black Americans mean when they say that O.J. is an innocent victim of a white conspiracy is something much simpler and more reasonable than is supposed. What they mean is that Mr. Simpson is guilty of a justifiable or excusable homicide. They are not basing their defense on the old grounds of the crime passionelle, since, after all, the Simpsons were divorced, and if it were argued that Mr. Simpson took a Christian view of marriage, one would have to explain his own divorce, to say nothing of his own incessant womanizing.

No, it is not as outraged husband that Simpson is to be defended but as a black who killed a white. Khallid Muhammad, among the many black leaders supporting Simpson, had already received a standing ovation at Howard University for demanding a Colin Ferguson Day to commemorate the psychopath who shot up a train car full of white people, and his opinion seems to be widely shared within the community.

Two years ago in Chronicles I wrote an essay on the return of status to American law. Once upon a time, a man’s status determined the kind of justice he received in court, but after several hundred years of reform, the civilized theory of equality before the law had triumphed, at least in theory. Today, it is increasingly difficult to sustain that fiction. Affirmative action requirements, hate crimes statutes, sensitivity training, and the double jeopardy inflicted upon the officers in the Rodney King case make it clear that there is one law for minorities—however defined—and another for those of us with the misfortune to be born straight white males of European descent. The entire Simpson case is an amusing reductio ad absurdum of this principle, since the public debate boils down to a shouting match between feminists clamoring for more laws protecting wives from abusive husbands and so-called black leaders working hard to persuade their followers that they are victims of discrimination. All we need now is for the ADL—a bigot lobby claiming to defend the interests of the most successful ethnic group in the history of the world, American Jews—to enter the picture on behalf of Mr. Goldman. I’d love this country, if 1 didn’t have to live here.

Mr. Simpson’s status is defined both by his celebrity and by his race. As a hero to good old American football fans whose minds are too uncomplicated to appreciate baseball or soccer, Simpson is entitled to special treatment, and as a rich celebrity he is entitled to be defended by the high-price lawyers that only rich liberals can afford to hire when they are trapped by the oppressive legal system they have created. But even if Mr. Simpson had spent all his money on cocaine, his status as victim would ensure him first-class treatment, and in Los Angeles it is going to be very hard to find a mixed race jury that will vote unanimously for a verdict of guilty.

But suppose by some miracle Mr. Simpson is found guilty. He will most certainly not face the death penalty. Black leaders all over the country are already insisting that the death penalty is selectively used against blacks. The fact that blacks are approximately nine times as likely to commit murder as whites might explain why so many blacks are on death row, but even supposing there were bias in the application of the death penalty, what sane person could possibly care? I happen to believe that in fact whites are more likely to be executed than blacks, but so long as some murderers are put to death, I cannot complain, and if I were black, I should feel even more strongly on this point, since the victims of most black murderers are black. If a black is more likely to get executed for killing whites than for killing blacks, this does not mean that if he were returned to the streets he would not be more likely to kill members of his own race.

The entire debate over the death penalty reveals the stupidity and dishonesty of America’s media establishment. The worst victims of such disinformation are the many otherwise decent black men and women who arc being fed this steady diet of lies and hate. It is poisoning their character today, and before too long the inevitable white backlash will not distinguish the gangesters and punks who are besieging our cities like packs of wild dogs from the ordinary people who have been reduced to servile laziness by the welfare state and infected with a sense of victimization that prevents them from doing anything to help themselves.