(ThyBlackMan.com) The display of forgiveness, hugs, and what could be seen as soothing the defendant Amber Guyer during her sentencing for the murder of Botham Jean has sparked the heated debate regarding black people and the subject of forgiveness. Some black people chose not to judge Jean’s brother for his words of forgiveness, and what could be seen as absolution, towards Guyer because one can’t judge his emotional state or what he needs at this moment. However, many of us could not excuse the judge that hugged her, or the bailiff that consoled her. For those that thought these actions were okay for spiritual purposes, we must ask where was this treatment for other people convicted of murder? Have you ever seen a black man convicted of murder, especially if the victim is white, hugged by the judge or soothed by the bailiff? Please take a moment to honestly think about that scenario to ensure you will be honest in your assessment. There are black men and women in jail serving longer sentences for non-violent offences. No one hugged them, nor showed concern for them as they were given their life ending sentence.
It can be said that forgiveness if not just a spiritual mandate, but it’s a way to keep one from harboring hatred. Hatred literally destroys whoever decides to hold on to its poisonous energy. It has been proven that harboring hatred can negatively affect one’s health physically and mentally, so in this sense forgiveness is necessary to be able to fully move forward without losing one’s quality of health. With that being acknowledged, open forgiveness might have also been a subconscious way that black people fought the animalistic image, while keeping their sense of self. It is the idea that you don’t want to become the evil that you fight, and you are a human being …not an animal. Even if this is the case, which is understandable and commendable, it is important not to allow those concerns to absolve those that seek to destroy. Furthermore, it has been proven over decades that some will not see our humanity no matter the measure of forgiveness given.
Yes, the Bible instructs Christians to love their enemies, walk in forgiveness, and leave vengeance in the hands of God. However, he never instructed Christians to put themselves in the savior seat, nor to be amongst those that have wronged them. It can be argued that far too often we get in the way of Gods vengeance, or justice, with this false sense of forgiveness. The judge, Tammy Kemp, is human and it’s nice that she’s compassionate, but she didn’t allow the defendant to feel the weight of the court. No one instructed her to lighten that blow. As a people we have to get out of the way when justice is on the table. Not all, but too many of us want to try to save an individual when that’s God’s business. Furthermore, we send the wrong message to others that continue to seek to do us harm. The message is simple… we are a group that will not fully hold you accountability.
Our people must understand that it is not our place to absolve white people of their hatred we can forgive them, and anyone else, without giving absolution which kills accountability and responsibility. Fighting back fervently, especially using the system in place, against those that seek to disenfranchise and destroy us doesn’t make us animals, nor less of a Christian. Judge Kemp had a responsibility to the family of the victim, and the City of Dallas, to do her job without allowing her personal position to enter the proceedings. If she felt strongly about Amber Guyer receiving a bible…get her one well after these proceedings are settled while she is serving her sentence. Do so after the weight of the court has stood. What the judge did should have come from a space of a private citizen, or here’s as idea…let Amber Guyer come to Jesus on her own.
Far too often our people hope and pray God will give us justice, and we even complain that he’s forsaken us, yet when he’s orchestrated said justice we jump in the way. I’m reminded of the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. When those plagues were coming down because Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people go…they had to stand aside. Furthermore, when Jesus was on the cross, he forgave the criminal that was crucified with him but said criminal was not saved from his sentence. For those questioning God, ask yourselves do we stand aside. The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict, then our people got in the way with a display that very well could have influenced a lighter sentence.
This was not about having a lack of forgiveness…it was about allowing the law via the courts to do its job. That family deserved more than a 10yr sentence. We must learn how to forgive without getting in the way, and let God deal with justice if we are going to continue to seek God about such. It’s time we stand down and allow the weight of justice, responsibility, and accountability for discrediting human life stand. No one makes such allowances for us. Forgiveness has been misused when it comes to allowing justice to stand.
Staff Writer; Christian Starr