Michael P. Friday
I can do parallel thinking. After all, is not life lived in 7.1 surround sound, even when it’s not a cacophony of movements?! Parallel thinking is an extension of logical thinking, and is consistent thinking (although it might appear contradictory). My doctoral studies adviser used to say, “thinking is hard work; thinking about thinking is even harder work.” Parallel thinking requires double the time, and double the work, and double the honesty. So then, as a parallel thinker:
– I can accept, 100%, Brandt Jean’s compassion for his brother’s murderer (I almost wish I had done it myself), while being angry at the convict’s ridiculously light sentence.
– I can admire Jean’s compassion and grace while wishing he had also berated the jury for their sentence-verdict.
– I can wish that this Jean Family’s grace makes a difference, while also remaining confident that such a light sentence does grave damage to the future justice that innocent people (especially BLACK people) may receive when their lives are destroyed by police murderers.
– I can admire Brandt Jean’s compassion while remaining consumed with blazing anger that it appears it’s always black families who seem to have to forgive (while the wrong-or-evildoers fail to fulsomely and remorsefully confess), whether when their loved ones are murdered by whites, or when they emerge from prison after decades of incarceration, when DNA finally proves that the white police, white DA, white prosecutor, white judge, white jury, all conspired to declare them guilty when they were truly innocent.
– I can admire rare displays of unadulterated forgiveness a-la-Brandt Jean while remaining in dismay and consternation that black people’s overall status in justice in America – whether in the economy or the marketplace; in school districts or in pay-grade; in the courts or at the hands of police officers – remains in the toilet.
– I can appreciate the amazing grace that Christians are able to deliver to the undeserving, while at the same time remaining appalled that too often, this amazing grace remains unbalanced with the dangerous assumption that forgiveness obviates the need for justice.
Yes, I can do parallel thinking. I can also do parallel parking. So I’ll park this article right here, right now.
Michael Friday is an organizational leadership specialist and consultant. He is author of And Lead Us Not Into Dysfunction.
(Photo:Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP;
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