‘Be Very Careful’: Journalist Snaps At NewsNation Host Over Race Allegations While Discussing OJ Trial


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Journalist Tavis Smiley snapped at NewsNation guest host Geraldo Rivera on Thursday evening over race allegations while discussing OJ Simpson’s trial.

Smiley appeared on “Cuomo” to discuss his thoughts on the recent passing of Simpson, reflecting on his infamous 1995 trial in Los Angeles where he was found not guilty of murdering former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. (RELATED:Left-Wing Pundit Says OJ Acquittal Was ‘Correct And Necessary’ Even Though He ‘Killed Two People In Cold Blood’)

After playing an old clip of Rivera questioning a dismissed juror who claimed she did not believe the prosecutor presented enough evidence to support that Simpson was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the guest host asked Smiley if there was “any amount of evidence” sufficient to change the juror’s mind.

“Tavis, do you think that any evidence would have been sufficient for that lady – the woman who was on the jury. [That] there was not beyond the reasonable, it was beyond almost all doubt – beyond reasonable doubt in my view. Would any amount of evidence have sufficed to make up that lady’s mind in the other direction?” Rivera asked.

Smiley, however, quickly snapped back at the guest host alleging that he was “awfully close” to suggesting “Black people don’t have the capacity” to properly sit on trials.

“I think three things. You gotta be very careful Geraldo, you’re on a slippery slope. Because I know you as a humanist- I know and I hope you don’t intend to suggest this, but you’re getting awfully close to suggesting that black people don’t have the capacity to sit on juries, to listen to evidence, and make informed decisions,” Smiley stated.

“That’s not true. Tavis, I don’t mean that. I don’t mean that at all. But, unlike most people, I’m not afraid to confront the issue. This was a real issue-,” Rivera responded.

Smiley then cut off Rivera calling out the issue he saw within the host’s question, to which Rivera stated that he “agreed.”

“My point is simply this: that black people sit on juries every day in this country listening to the evidence, they make informed decisions, and they convict – number one. Number two, racism is still the most intractable issue in this country. Number three black people did not invent tribalism. Number four, while America has grown older, and we’ve grown wiser, we haven’t grown up. We are still so immature when it comes to having real, transparent conversations about race in this country. So you can’t expect that race automatically disappears in a criminal justice system that’s rotten from the bottom all the way up,” Smiley stated.

“I agree with everything you just said,” Rivera stated.

Simpson passed away Thursday at 76 years old due to prostate cancer, with his family making a public statement about the death on X (formerly known as Twitter). The star athlete was most notably known for his controversial trial as the suspect in the death of his former wife and friend, which became known in the media as the “trial of the century.”

While Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in 1995, he was later found responsible for her death in a civil lawsuit. Simpson never served jail time in connection to his late wife, however, he was found guilty in 2008 on 12 counts of armed robbery and kidnapping two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in Las Vegas, serving nine years in prison for the act.