The Crusader Newspaper Group


Everyone by now knows about the Botham Jean murder. Mr. Jean was at home in Dallas, Texas, minding his own business eating ice cream on his sofa when Amber Guyger, a former Dallas policewoman and neighbor, barged into his apartment and shot him dead. Her excuse was that she thought she was in her own apartment and that she thought Botham Jean was an intruder. Never mind the apartment was furnished in stark contrast to her own; never mind that there was a brightly colored mat at the door that did not exist at her door. There is more fish in this tale than in all the oceans of the world!

Amber Guyger went to trial recently, and a very diverse jury found her guilty of murder. The jury was comprised of mostly African Americans and Asians, with only two white jurors. They recommended a sentence of 10 years for Guyger, which has outraged most people. What has also outraged Blacks, in particular, is the fact that Botham Jean’s brother, Brandt Jean, hugged and forgave Guyger; that one of the bailiffs was smoothing Guyger’s hair, and that the Black judge, Tammy Kemp, actually came down from the bench to hug her and gave her a Bible! This, by all accounts, was unprecedented, and the judge is being accused of unprofessional behavior. More importantly, Botham’s brother is being called a coon, among other names, for his actions, and Blacks are decrying toxic Christianity as the culprit.

It is understandable that Black people who have rarely been on the privileged end of the justice spectrum would be outraged by the light sentence and consider it disrespectful. But what is also very interesting is the demonstration of love that prevailed for all the world to see, especially in these times of white supremacist oppression. What is certain is that something special happened in that courtroom that observers who were not there were not privy to. Guyger wielded some type of powerful emotional magic that had even the jurors mesmerized. What we all must remember is that forgiveness is not just a Christian principle; it is a spiritual one. Spiritual leaders the world over know that forgiveness benefits the victims more than the perpetrators. And who knows how many cold, fascist white hearts might be moved to reconsider the hatred that they have demonstrated after witnessing the love generated in that courtroom.

The Botham Jean saga is not over. At press time, it has been reported that Botham Jean’s neighbor, Joshua Brown, who was a witness for the prosecution, was mysteriously shot dead only days after the trial. No motive or suspect has yet been identified. The timing of this is highly suspicious and hardly “coincidental,” according to some observers. This plot is bound to thicken. Stay tuned.

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