“O.J.: Made in America” – Part 2 Recap

Updated: June 15, 2016

Part 2 of the riveting new documentary series on O.J. Simpson took on a darker tone as O.J.’s personal life and race relations in the city of Los Angeles seemed to spiral out of control in virtual concert with one another. The contrast is striking in that one situation was going on behind closed doors in the affluent neighborhood of Brentwood while the other was in focus on a national stage in South Central, LA.

Outside of the glare of the adoring public, Simpson proved himself to be controlling, manipulative, and a serial abuser. His status with the LAPD and overall celebrity profile helped him dodge a lot of situations that would’ve placed you or me in jail, while the various 911 recordings featuring Nicole paint a picture of a woman that was terrified.

The images of her badly beaten face are tough to take in, especially given the fact that more than a few people seemed to be aware of the ongoing abuse and yet very little was done to reprimand and/or prevent. By the end of the episode it’s very clear that events are coming to head, as O.J.’s delicate ego just wouldn’t allow him to let go of this particular ‘loss’ in his personal life.

Equally disturbing was the video shown (in greater detail than I can ever remember seeing) of the Rodney King beating. The force used against King is startling, and only served to further strain the already damaged relationship between the African-American community in large pockets of Los Angeles and the LAPD. After the jury acquitted all four officers in the King case, the 1992 riots began and led to massive amounts deaths, damage, and destruction.

While some of the rioters were simply idiots out causing mayhem, it’s hard not to truly feel for the pain and suffering endured by those impacted by decades of racism, people who rightly felt the system of our country was continually betraying them.

Most of these people never found the justice they were looking for in 1992, but in just a few short years circumstances would draw them to an unlikely figure in O.J. Simpson to rally around.