Dallas jurors in the Botham Jean case say they decided on a 10-year sentence for ex-cop Amber Guyger because she showed genuine remorse and that her victim, “would want to forgive her.”
After delivering a victim impact statement to Guyger on Wednesday, Brandt Jean, Botham’s younger brother, asked Judge Tammy Kemp if he could hug Guyger.
Kemp granted his request, and he and Guyger embraced. After the sentencing, the judge also hugged Guyger and gave her a bible.
Bishop Talbert Swan was one of several Black Twitter users who highlighted the disturbing level of mammying and coonery put on display for global spectators of the trial, writing: “When a Black bailiff combs Amber Guyger’s hair, Black judge hugs her, and the victim’s Black brother declares forgiveness, it satisfies the demand that Blacks suffer phlegmatically so our pain neither offends wypipo’s sensibilities nor sparks their guilt or fragility. Disgusting.”
Filmmaker Tariq Nasheed said it best with: “I have never seen a judge hugging a convicted cold blooded murderer. Black people in this courtroom was hugging, petting and comforting this racist killer Amber Guyger nonstop. Thats the justification that mostly white-identified jury needed to give her a slap on the wrist.”
Botham Jean’s father, Bertrum, approved of Brandt’s hug in the courtroom, saying he feels no hatred for Guyger and noted that he would like to be her friend.
“That’s what Christ would want us to do,” Bertrum Jean told CNN’s “New Day” Thursday. “If you will not forgive, neither will your father forgive you. I don’t want to see her rot in hell. I don’t want to see her in rot in prison. I hope this will help her to change and recognize the damage, the hurt that our family’s going through. So I wish her well and I will pray for her family and pray for her as well.”
Nasheed pointed out the reason why Botham’s family is spreading “plantation forgiveness talk” is because his legacy will live on through a charitable organization, dallasobserver.com reports. The foundation was set up in order to continue supporting the charitable causes the St. Lucia native was passionate about.
Immediately following the verdict, Christians across social media were quick to remind critics that forgiveness is the template of faith. But for some, forgiving ain’t an easy thing to do.
“Why do black folks always have to forgive?” CNN analyst Bakari Sellers tweeted Wednesday after video of the Jean-Guyger hug went viral. “We can have a conversation about black folk and our unconscionable forgiveness in the face of hate and violence. I don’t get it.”
Botham Jean – Amber Guyger
The late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing once said “Forgiving whites for acts of racism is a mental illness on the part of Black people.”
Do you agree?
As we previously reported… when it comes to the same ‘ol tired ass song about forgiveness and compassion, many “woke” Black folks ain’t having it, including NFL star Shannon Sharpe, who wrote after the Guyger verdict: “What are the chances Botham Jean would have received 10 yrs for murdering Amber Guyger after entering her apt illegally? What are the chances some of her family would hug him as his family hugged her? Blk ppl are always expected to be compassionate but rarely receive compassion.”
Former Congressional Press Secretary Rochelle Ritchie said, “Black people have to STOP with the forgiveness speech when we are targeted with violence by those who do not look like us. Y’all have to wake up and educate yourselves on battered race syndrome. Your “forgiveness” is really trauma and we for generations have been taught…”
Many agree that public forgiveness by a Black person of a white person who has done them wrong, is essentially, “a vehicle to ease white people’s own feelings of guilt,” CNN writes.
“The focus of concern is the white person who committed violence and their redemption,” wrote artist and activist Bree Newsome on Twitter. “The Black person who forgives them is viewed through the white gaze lens as a model minority solely for their willingness to forgive. The Black person exists as a vehicle for white redemption.”
But the same is not expected of white folks in the wake of violent acts.
“After 9/11, there was no talk about forgiving al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. America declared war, sought blood and revenge, and rushed protective measures into place to prevent future attacks,” wrote freelance journalist Stacey Patton in a 2015 piece for the Washington Post.
“I have yet to see a white family go up to a black defendant, even if that defendant has apologized,” said Rev. Derby of the Charleston NAACP. “My question to white Christians is, how can you praise black people for [forgiving] when you don’t do the same kind of thing yourself?”
Meanwhile, science says forgiveness is like chicken soup for the soul, as harboring anger and hostility is linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, a 2009 study revealed.
“Anger is a form of stress, and so when we hold on to anger it is as though we are turning on the body’s stress response, or fight or flight response, chronically,” Neda Gould, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told CNN in June. “When we engage in the act of forgiveness, we can begin to turn off the stress response and the physiological changes that accompany it.”