Out of the media and public obsession with O.J. Simpson, the only thing we know for sure is that there was domestic violence. And that violence, all other allegations aside, cuts across all racial and ethnic lines.
In the case of O.J. Simpson, who was skillfully packaged, merchandised and sold by handlers, it probably was easy to escape dealing with internal concerns because he reaped such high rewards for his all-star image.
No, I'm not relieving Simpson of the responsibility for dealing with his internal problems. But if an athlete or movie star or media star is put on a pedestal by an admiring public, it becomes easier to avoid confronting problems and dealing with him or herself.
Men such as Simpson, who appear to have achieved so much, are particularly at risk to the dangers of self-delusion. According to the information that has emerged so far, Simpson never faced the emotional difficulties behind his wife battering and didn't get the counseling he needed.
After an incident in 1989 that eventually landed him in court, he was described as being arrogant, saying when police arrived at his home: "This is a family affair."
Later sentenced to community service, he said he'd already done more community service than most people in the courtroom.
Since he was not willing to look within, it was not too difficult for his "cruel inner voice" to bring him down. Failing to deal with character issues makes us deaf to this voice.
To see the Simpson case only in terns of an alleged heinous crime by a famous man, only in terms of the fickleness of fame, is to veil the mirror it presents for us to take a deeper look at our society - and ourselves.
President of the National Association of Black Journalists