This week after the horrific string of homicides in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas, in thinking of the Golden Child archetype I find myself recalling the story of Finding Forrester. In itself this story depicts a ‘better ending’ scenario when the reclusive author William Forrester (Sean Connery) intervenes on behalf of his young protegee, the brilliant, inner city genius Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) when he is accused of plagiary out of crass and ignorant racial bias. Surely a Black basketball player brought across town to bring a pennant to the prep school could not outshine his preppy White schoolmates at the scholastic tradition of writing. Yet, he does.
Were Jamal, represented as 17-18 at the time of the story that appeared in the year 2000, alive today he would be in his mid-thirties. I wonder, what might this talented author have to say to us, this week? Having lived through callous bigotry and appreciating the cultural camaraderie of his inner city family and friends–knowing deeply that Black lives do indeed matter!–, I do not believe he would be silent, today. Having befriended one man whose own race was not a deterrent to his becoming a mentor who also was open enough to learn equally from his younger mentee, Jamal would not be hasty, I believe, to resort to racial hatred himself.
images from pixabay.com
I believe Jamal might exhort his reader to separate egregious error from the human condition itself. He might call upon our common potential for doing Good and attend not to the terror or carnage so much as to our coming together across all divides for all of us to contemplate and mourn this senseless violence.
Enough, he might title his message today. I only hope Jamal Wallace would not retreat to becoming a recluse himself. We need his awareness. We need to be revealed and healed. We need each of us, each of you, to look deeply within and then embrace one another, with hearts and arms open, with careful words that bridge the chasm of indifference.