The Illusion Of “Black Crime”

Ever wondered why we don’t talk about white crime?

Steve QJ
5 min readAug 31, 2022
Photo by RODNAE Productions

It’s hard to imagine a more polarising cultural moment than the OJ Simpson murder trial.

A beloved black celebrity stands accused of murdering his blonde-haired, blue-eyed wife and her “friend.” A hotshot black lawyer steps up to defend him. A racist detective stands as a key witness in front of a majority black jury. And the whole thing unfolds less than 3 years after the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King half to death.

OJ’s trial sat so perfectly at the intersection of questions about race, justice, class and fame, that by the time the verdict was announced, most of the public seemed to forget that two people had been murdered.

Instead, it became a proxy war between black and white America.

A Los Angeles county poll (which closely reflected sentiments nationwide) found that, despite the evidence, 77% of African American residents agreed with OJ’s not-guilty verdict. Only 28% of white residents felt the same way.

Writing for the New Yorker, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. quotes Wynton Marsalis, who compared the divide to sports fans arguing about their favourite teams:

You want your side to win, whatever the side is going to be. And the thing…



Steve QJ

Race. Politics. Culture. Sometimes other things. Almost always polite. Find more at