Category: Janene Justifiables Published on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 18:53 Written by Janene Ryan Hits: 1120
Q: I have a cousin that is up for murder charges. I don’t know if he did it or not because I can’t ask him. He is up on trail and it’s not looking good. The family keeps asking for support and wants him to be set free. The other family who lost the dude that got killed wants my cuz to go to jail or die. I feel we should pray for justice. They looking at me like I am crazy. As if I am wrong for not standing up for or with my cuz. I love em, but am I wrong. ~Thanks; bro man from the fifth floor.
Dear Bro Man From the Fifth Floor,
There is an old proverb that says, “Blood is thicker than water;” I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before. Usually when someone uses that maxim it’s because they’re trying to make the point that family is supposed to support you more than anyone else – no matter what. Most families, cultures, etc, adhere to that position, and I understand why, but should we always follow that motto?
Growing up, my uncle used to say, “Blood should be thicker than water but truth is thicker than anything.” What he meant by that was, yes, we should support our family but our support for them should never overrule the truth of the matter.
Your cousin is up on a serious charge; perhaps the most serious charge a person should ever be accused of – murder. And whether he’s guilty or not – according to a jury – has yet to be determined. However, you mentioned you can’t ask him if he is in fact guilty and I’m curious as to know why that is? Are you guys not close enough for you to ask such a question? Are you cautious that he will be offended that you would even ask? Are you scared of what his answer will be – especially if it is YES? Are you distancing yourself from him in preparation that he will be gone for the rest of yours and his natural life? Or, are you not asking because you already know in your heart of hearts that your cousin is in fact a murderer? I’m asking these questions, not to get under your skin or make you angry, but because I want you to think long and hard about your apprehension towards this family member.
Based on your question alone you sound like a good person; you want truth to be exposed and justice done – at whatever cost. However, your family doesn’t see things completely that way. All they see right now is condemnation and eminent loss; they see separation looming and they’re fearful of that. Your family has the right to not want to lose, as the other family has lost. Nevertheless, the family whose loved one was murdered has an absolute right to be fearful and to seek righteousness as well! They have the right to want justice to be served and have the killer of their loved one pay for the crime. Some may even say they have the right (and want) to have your family feel the pain they are feeling. What your family must realize – and it’s up to you to expose this point – is that what if the roles were reversed and it was your family who had to bury their loved one? How would they feel if a man took a piece of their heart, ripped it from their chest, destroyed how many lives in the process and walked away scot free? What outrage would be justifiable and how loudly would they be screaming OFF WITH HIS HEAD?
Wanting justice doesn’t mean you don’t love your cousin. In fact, I think it means you love not only him but society as a whole because you want what’s fair and right to take place; and to that I support you whole heartedly. On the other hand, and I know this will sound crazy, I agree with your family – to a degree – and that is love and support him because that’s what he needs most – right now and in the future (and perhaps some money on his books). And when I say love and support him I don’t mean that you must be in front of the courthouse with a “FREE MY COUSIN” sign. Nevertheless, write him, accept his calls, tell him you love him no matter what!
You made an excellent point when you said, “I feel we should pray for justice.” Prayer may be the only viable action you can do at this point, because prayer leaves judgment in the hands of a just G-D! HE knows what the truth really is and HE will have the final say anyway. If your family is not down with your plan then you will just have to do it alone. Don't get mad or look at them half crazy (like they're doing you), just do what you know and believe is right.
I think I can speak for all people when I say, no one wants to see a loved one suffer; we don’t want to see our brothers or fathers in jail and we damn sure don’t want to bury them, but this is what it is. And because this is the reality, you must choose what you will stand for – in the face of all odds! I understand this is YOUR family and YOU will have to deal with them once this is all said and done. But, I ask you now, would you rather know you did the right thing by giving justice a voice or would you rather tape justice’s mouth and silence it? I know it will be hard and probably even lonely, but at this point in the game you may only have one option: pray for the best but prepare for the worse.... Be Blessed!