Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

That O.J. Simpson Confession Show Was Beyond Disturbing

 O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? reminded me how although the trial became about race, the actual crime was about misogyny, sexism, entitlement and toxic masculinity.

This interviewed that aired on FOX Sunday night was taped in 2006. I had only been living in Los Angeles a few years when it was announced this interview would air. I wasn't public about my familial ties to this case. A few people knew my father was prosecutor Chris Darden, but I was still hiding.  I was either finishing up graduate school or starting my job at NPR when this was scheduled for television. At the time, I thought airing this was distasteful. And Lord knows, I didn't want this interview to air and rekindle Angelinos' memories of the trial while I was living in LA.

The show's debut was planned around the time Simpson was to release the book,  If I Did It, his personal hypothetical account of the murders. But then the Goldmans ended up releasing the book. The Guardian breaks it down in this 2007 article.

 Last year, ReganBooks, part of HarperCollins and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire, commissioned Simpson to write a ghosted book called If I Did It, describing how "hypothetically" he would have carried out the murders. It was to be marketed as a confession. Interviews with Simpson were to be run on Fox television affiliates to coincide with publication. Outrage followed, led by the Goldman and Brown families. Murdoch abandoned ship under the pressure and let the publisher, Judith Regan, walk the plank; 399,999 copies were pulped, with supposedly one being held in the News Corp safe. 

Then earlier this year, the Goldman family, understandably still hurting and seeking to recover the money Simpson owed them, were given ownership of the copyright of the book by a bankruptcy court judge. Now they have published it with the subtitle "Confession of the Killer" and the word "If" effectively removed from the title by clever artwork on the cover. There are prologues by the Goldman family and Fenjves and an afterword by Dominick Dunne, who specialises in celebrity murders.
The book made it to the New York Times bestsellers list, despite boycott calls from the Brown family, who opposed publication from the start. Most of the proceeds are to go to victims' charities and foundations.

So Judith Regan, who interviewed Simpson, was fired by Harper Collins. I remember the Goldmans  on the Oprah show asking people to buy the book. They wanted people to know, what they thought, was the truth.

Okay now my thoughts on OJ's interview.

First of all, it was difficult and heartbreaking to watch. I had to say a little prayer after because it disturbed my spirit.

Yes, I think it was a confession. What sane person accused of murder hypothetically explains what happened the night of the murder on national television??!!

"He may describe it as a hypothetical, but of course it becomes 'I," said my dad who was on the show's panel last night. "'I did this.' 'I felt this.' 'I saw this.' This is no hypothetical. This is reality."

OJ mentioned this guy named "Charlie." Who is Charlie?  I've never heard him. Charlie told him to go to Nicole Brown's house. OJ takes the knife from Charlie when he's in the house, arguing with Nicole and Ron Goldman. Dad thinks Charlie is OJ. I do too. I think OJ needs "Charlie" to protect his own mind and keep him in denial about the murders.

Then there was mention of the the glove in the interview.

Judith Regan: You write about removing a glove before taking the knife from Charlie.
OJ Simpson: You know I had no conscious memory of doing that but obviously I must have because they found the glove there. 

"Twenty-five years of nonsense and now he's here to explain to all of the naysayers, that's my glove. I left it ," said my father. "Nobody planted it."

OJ said after he took the knife from "Charlie" he doesn't remember what happened. He looked around and there was blood everywhere.

"I don't think any two people can be murdered they way they were, without everybody being covered in blood," OJ recalled.

Chilling. That disturbed me. He was in such a blind and angry rage, he doesn't remember. Why didn't he ask Charlie what happened? His laughter throughout the interview was disturbing, especially during a period where he's discussing the blood at the crime scene. I saw it as more of a nervous and narcissistic laughter, but it was still hard to watch.

I also noticed how during his recollection of the murder he doesn't say Ron Goldman's name. He calls him a guy, but doesn't say his name. I wonder if giving him a name is too personal. Or is it easier to call him "the guy" because he went into a jealous rage thinking Ron was sleeping with Nicole.

The other thing that disturbed me was that he said he curses at Nicole Brown's grave. Nicole Brown's friend Eve Shakti Chen said she recalls the Browns telling her that someone notified them about Simpson yelling and swearing at Nicole's grave. It was so bad, they suggested calling the police. Even in death, he still tries wants to control her.

It's a sad, sad, story. Nicole Brown was a victim of Intimate Partner Violence. More than half of female victims of murder in this country, die in connection to violence by their partners-- who are majority men. And Ron Goldman's life was stolen from him.

It's sad because you have girls and women like Cyntoia Brown, Bresha Meadows, Marissa Alexander who are serving/have served time for protecting themselves against abusive men. Yet, OJ beat and stalked Nicole, killed 2 people and is free. While I know this case hit a strong cord in regards to racism, I can't help but also call out misogyny, sexism, elitism and our obsession with celebrity. Nicole called the police on OJ multiple times. Listen to the 911 tapes during the interview. Our society doesn't do enough to protect abused women. Unfortunately, that lack of protection cost Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman their lives.


  1. Can't wait to read your new article on " Blacks Against Blacks in the Street and Court Room"


Post a Comment