I am one of the executors of my father’s estate and yesterday, my brother and I had to meet with the lawyer to go over the particulars. As my eyes glazed over during the legal gobbledygook, I was struck again by what a good man my father had been; how he had lived his life with grace and love; how he rose above very humble beginnings to send five kids to university, never go into debt, start a flourishing business with an old friend and leave a legacy that had nothing to do with bank accounts or codicils. I am honoured to have known him and any goodness that lurks inside me is due to him.
And then I look at Brock Turner and wonder does is the darkness in him due to his father, his role model? Here is a Stanford student, an athlete, a young man who’s led a charmed life who takes advantage of an unconscious young woman, penetrating her behind a dumpster on campus. He never apologized, just blamed alcohol and a culture of promiscuity. The judge sentenced him to 6 months, not the 16 years the law allowed.
Still that wasn’t enough for Brock’s dad who says this will scar the poor baby for life. He’s also upset because Brock has to register as a sex offender….which he is. And all because of “20 minutes”. Dad didn’t think it fair that his son be punished for “20 minutes.”
It takes a fraction of a second to fire a gun, a couple of seconds to hit a switch that blows up a target half a world away. It’s not the time it takes for the destruction, it’s the scope of the damage inflicted.
Brock’s young victim wrote a note detailing the damage done. I cry each time I read it. She is brave and broken. Sad and steadfast. Damaged and determined. I believe, I hope, I pray, she doesn’t let those 20 minutes define the rest of her life.
As for Brock Turner, those 20 minutes should define the rest of his life. Yes, I believe in second chances and redemption and even God’s great mercy but this guy doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get what he did was really really wrong. I mean, hey, he’s a swimming star! The sense of entitlement and arrogance is breathtaking from both Brock and his dad.
So, there’s another letter. This one written by another father. One like mine. One that Brock needed. Still needs.
It makes me cry every time I read it.