WITH a spiritual act of courage and in his magnificent humility, Brandt Jean conferred upon himself and his deceased brother, Botham Jean immortality in the circumstance of humanity. All of this is circumscribed by these words:
“If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you. I love you as a person… I know that if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you. I don’t know if this is possible but, can I give her a hug please? Please?”
The question was posed to the Judge and she responded in the affirmative. And from his seat in the witness box Brandt Jean walked towards the killer/murderer of his twenty 26-year-old brother Botham Jean. It was a short walk and she stumblingly met him half way.
It must have been the hardest walk in his life and at the same time, because of who and what he was, it was the easiest. It reminded me of this young man who walked 200 yards to his cross of death two thousand plus years ago; and for Him it was the easiest and most joyful experience in his rather short life. He was 33 years old. The two events that traversed the silent legions of miles and years shared a numinous commonality, in that Love and Forgiveness were the sublime and celestial provenance of it all.
He the Black man in his humble magnificence walked towards the White woman, the killer of his brother. She who wanted only to destroy the dreams, the aspirations, the hopes and the domestic life of this Lucian family was embraced. He hugged her and she sobbingly hugged him.
It is an event the world will never forget. And from this day forward, in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples where the virtues of Love and Forgiveness are being taught, discussed and pontificated upon, Brandt Jean shall be the reference point to the faithful and even the heathen.
And to those who want to disparage the words and actions of this young man, it is their conscious and unconscious hypocrisy that is being given utterance on whatever the level. And further their perverse expression is a grotesque manifestation of their dubious concern for the Jean family.
As regards Amber Guyger, I am of the opinion that she was racist like so many of her associates. But Guyger did not leave her place of work to head to her home and to kill a Black man. But a Black man died; he died, was shot, was murdered because of a concatenation of negative attitudinal events and bad luck that can only be surmised. If Botham was white very likely he would not have been shot; but Guyger’s mindset of a traditional and historical cast predisposed her to pull the trigger of her gun. And which she did.
The woman who was convicted for the murder of Botham Jean was indeed guilty of murder. And her punishment as I see it should have been thirty years of incarceration. But that was not to be. Interestingly if she had gotten thirty years, Brandt’s hug and his declaration of love would have lost some of its import… its significance. Ten years enhanced augmented and sublimated to the spiritual this disposition of Love and Forgiveness.
From my study of human nature on certain levels I have come to the conclusion that Amber Guyger up to the time she made that walk to Brandt Jean was the Amber Guyger her family and friends knew. But the Amber Guyger who walked the 48-feet towards Brandt Jean… that held him, that embraced him that hugged him was a different Amber Guyger. Along that stretch of floor something happened. She went through a catharsis that occasioned a characterological metamorphosis on a very profound level. She was reborn. And many who witnessed this phenomenon were themselves changed in varying degrees.
Forgiveness changes both the forgiver and the forgiven. Love changes both the lover and the loved.
Love and Forgiveness. They are both one and the same though paradoxically the former is the genesis of the latter.
The Brothers: In death and in life they have both justified each other’s existence and the world is a better place because of them.
As I end this piece I leave with you this thought with its aetiological implications and which of course is a product of my philosophical ruminations.
The absolute and quintessential manifestation of love is to forgive the unrepentant.