The movie "Falling Down" is required viewing for any thinking member of a minority group. While I don't claim to be a film critic like Siskel or Ebert, I am a person who tends to look beyond the obvious. In this case, I didn't have to look too far. "Falling Down" basically consists of Michael Douglas playing a hard working white male, who has a little car trouble on the way home. This car trouble sends him on a walk that turns into a trek through "the wrong part of town" rivaling the fabled return home from the Trojan War of Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey.
Sitting in the theatre among the random cheers and laughing, I cringed inside. On the screen, I saw something more than a quaint looking man who was fed up with the rancor of the society disintegrating around him. As he made his trek homeward from the "wrong side of town" fighting back against every criminal, freak, extremist, and weirdo he encountered, I saw a far clearer message in the film.
Newsweek Magazine responded to the film with an article in the March 29, 1994 issue called White Male Paranoia- "are they the newest victims-or just bad sports." The introduction summed it up:
"....Beleaguered by feminism, multiculturalism, affirmative action and P.C. zealotry, white males are starting to fray at the seams. They still have the best jobs and the most power. So now they want underdog status, too, and the moral clout that comes with victimhood?"
Although that article and the film were both witty and downright funny in parts, the message they underscore is deadly serious. There's a new and dangerous politics afoot. It is a fear by the white male that his dominion is being threatened. As history tells us, things can get very bad under those conditions.
Question: What does this have to do with Orenthal James Simpson?
Answer: It is the backdrop for his murder trial.
The miscarriage of justice known as the Simpson Murder Case is fueled by the overt intolerance of the present social and political theatre in which we operate. Set the facts of the case aside for a moment. Disregard the 911 calls, the blood drops, the testimony of Detective Furman, Judge Ito's selectively passive-aggressive style and concentrate on the big picture -- the entire world (and probably some space aliens with satellite cable TV) are all focusing on this trial. Add the fact that the Los Angeles County District Attorney is attacking Simpson with more fervor than a Nazi war criminal at the Nuremberg trials. Is this the only murder trial in L.A. County? The media thinks so. If Christ were to return today, even He'd be hard pressed to get an interview with the trial struck media.
What did O.J. really do? O.J. has committed the sin of stepping out of his place. He's a rich ex-jock. Well dressed, fairly articulate, handsome. That's perfectly acceptable to the majority. But, then he "stole" a blond bombshell from the tree of white fruit, married her, had the audacity to create children with her and, to top it all off, had the nerve to beat on her. That did it. At that point, he became an icon of what many white males perceive to be wrong with our society. Perhaps in another time, it would have been a normal high-publicity trial. But, with the women, black males, and other members of the multicultural rainbow all advancing on their own social, political and economic fronts, this was a novel chance to show "them" (being African-American men and other minorities) that "they" (White Anglo Saxon Protestant males) still had control. The O.J. trial is really a microcosm of the prevailing social order, right down to the well publicized footstomping mini-race riots between the jurors.
Of course, everythang ain't a black thang. I'm never one to simplify the issue that way. But, folks, I'm afraid this one is. O.J. is accused of murder. But, the minorities of this society are accused of too much progress at the expense of white males. It's just so ironic that minorities and women are the controlling elements of the trial on both sides of the argument and the bench itself.
Rodney King humbly whimpered "can't we all just get along?" It appears to be a relative question; get along by the rules of whom? Within the Simpson trial are some of the answers. Meanwhile, we wait for the verdict . . . and pray that "mad bombers" don't blow-up the entire country. Watch closely, "Falling Down" wasn't just a movie.