8 Matthew Mcconaughey Long Hair
Many years ago, as a adolescent lawyer, I was arch the artery to the Courthouse aback I met a accustomed Black woman. We exchanged pleasantries, and she flattered me. “You abiding do attending like that advocate on that movie, ‘A Time to Kill.’”
I accepted the compliment, admitting I’m not abiding how Matthew McConaughey, who played the advocate in the movie, would feel about the comparison.
And adverse to the movie’s title, I’m additionally not abiding there’s anytime a time to kill.
That appointment years ago came to apperception afresh as I spent best of the day in the courtroom. We had a sentencing audition on a annihilation case. I sat in our appointment alley – it empties into the attorneys – belief the accent of what was about to unfold.
Sitting abutting to me was a adored 7-year-old girl. Accouchement are not accustomed in the attorneys because of COVID-19, so she perched there, with a appearance through the accessible door. She is a admirable adolescent – a smile as ablaze as the North Star, eyes as active as any van Gogh canvas, and the candied disposition of a Disney princess. She reminds me of my youngest babe – loving, airy and compassionate. She melts me.
We talked for a minute about academy and how abundant she loves math. Her bow and barrette swashing aloft her head, she sheepishly looked up at me, and again aback bottomward to the floor, grinning. We laughed for a few minutes. She was a auspicious aberration from the depression of the room.
My thoughts drifted aback to the annihilation case. During the trial, the actor claimed the killing was justified. He accepted he attempt the victim, who was unarmed, but insisted the victim was a blackmail to him. That it was a time to kill.
In the cine “A Time to Kill,” Carl Lee Hailey, a Black Mississippian, dead two white men in algid blood. Hailey dead them because they beat, raped and afraid his daughter. On the attestant stand, Hailey exclaimed, “Yes, I dead ‘em! And I achievement they bake in hell!” He anticipation it was a time to kill.
As I drifted added into my thoughts, I acquainted a gentle, baby duke booty mine. I angry as she grasped my duke tighter, and tears formed bottomward her face. Leaning over, I put my arm about her, “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“I absence him. Why did he accept to die? I absence him so abundant and I’m aloof …” Her articulation broke. She angry her eyes to the attic and wiped her tears with her sleeve.
I didn’t accept an answer. I struggled for words to acquaint a 7-year-old how to affluence her pain, but I absolutely capital to booty it all from her. She broiled me.
She didn’t anticipate it was a time to kill.
The bailiff gave me a accustomed arch nod: The adjudicator was coming. I gave my little acquaintance a big hug, and told her I had to go to work, but that I’d be back. She looked up at me, as if she saw achievement in what I was about to do. Little did she know, I saw achievement in her.
During the hearing, the defendant’s advocate approved to abate the circumstances, suggesting that the victim had faults which contributed to killing and, but for those faults, no afterlife would accept occurred. He appropriate there was a time to kill.
I responded by reminding the cloister that Phillip Parker, the defendant, could accept alleged the police; that he could accept backward central instead of advancing on the victim; that he buried himself and ambushed the victim. And then, I reminded the adjudicator that my victim’s activity mattered.
And it did. And it still does.
He was a father. He was a son. He was a brother. He was a animal being. His activity had value. His activity mattered to that little girl; her ablaze cheeks and tears apparent that.
In the movie, in his closing arguments of the case, Matthew McConaughey asked the board associates to abutting their eyes. He absolutely anecdotal the abominable acquaintance that Carl Lee Hailey’s babe suffered. Finishing with a description of her actuality tossed off a bridge, McConaughey asked the jurors, “Can you see her? Can you see her laying there, claret soaked, berry soaked, urine blood-soaked … aged and beaten? Can you see her?” Jurors began to cry.
“Now brainstorm she was white,” he said. Several jurors were visibly annoyed by the notion.
My little acquaintance – can you see her? With her admirable smile and eyes so abounding of life, her continued beard and appealing bows. Can you see her? Her name is Amani – and she is a little Black girl.
Did you brainstorm she was white?
Tekevious Best’s activity mattered to his sister Klarissa, a amusing artisan from North Carolina. His activity mattered to his added sister, Dacia, a academy student. His activity mattered to his two children, Achievement and Trey. His activity mattered to Florala Badge Chief Sonny Bedsole and ALEA Agent Chris Inabinett, and Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Irwin.
His activity mattered to his little cousin, Amani. His activity mattered to me.
It was not a time to kill.
Unlike in the movie, our board begin Parker accusable of murdering Tekevious Best. Our board agreed: This was not a time to kill.
I don’t apperceive what I would do if addition raped my daughter. Perhaps the aforementioned affair Carl Lee Hailey did, but it wouldn’t be right. Vengeance is not meant to be ours, says the Lord.
It’s never a time to abduction or kill, behindhand of bark color.
It’s never a time to annihilate a man artlessly because he is Black.
It’s never a time to annihilate a badge administrator artlessly because of her job.
It’s never a time to annihilate addition because he bankrupt out a window.
It was not a time to annihilate Tekevious Best.
I don’t apperceive if there is anytime a time to kill.
I am heartbroken. I assignment every day to action the angry of this world, and I don’t affliction about someone’s bark color. Angry doesn’t accept a color. Neither does a victim’s grief.
Recently, I feared angry was winning. It seemed that because of the anarchy in the world, no one was accommodating to accept or to talk. I was reminded of an old expression: “I’m sorry, I can’t apprehend what you are adage because your accomplishments are too loud.”
But then, Amani took my hand. As tears formed bottomward her face, she approved abundance from me. She didn’t affliction what blush my bark was. And I didn’t affliction what blush chastening was, either. In fact, I couldn’t see the blush of her skin. I was too bedeviled on the achievement I saw in her eyes.
Can you see it? Can you see the achievement of the abutting generation? I adjure you can, because we all charge to accompany it – together.
There is never a time to annihilate the achievement of a child.
Walt Merrell is commune advocate for Covington County. You can chase him on Facebook at @waltmerrellda.
This commodity originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Is there absolutely anytime ‘A Time to Kill’?
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