Dead or Alive: Wanetta Gibson

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This
week’s Dead or Alive is probably going to be a tough one. With all the news
about my brother 
Brian
Banks
 it’s kind of
hard not to indulge in what others are saying. Everyone is moved by his story,
his strength and his ability to rid himself of bitterness towards his accuser.  After the news hit about Brian’s
exoneration
I could not help but to think about my brother’s accuser. What
is she thinking now? How is she emotionally? Weird huh? My co-worker asked me a
simple yet difficult question to answer; if there could be anything you would say
to her, what would it be? So today’s Dead or Alive is for Wanetta Gibson.  
 
During
the 10 years of emotional, repressed hell, I have had time to recover and
somewhat heal from the madness Ms. Gibson put my family through.  However, I think the first thing I would ask
her, of course, is why? I want to know what exactly went through her mind that
summer day. What made her decide to tell a lie to all of the authorities? What made
her continue the lie that far?
Given
the chance to speak to this young lady I would feel obligated to tell her
exactly what her lies meant for my family. I would tell her that she
interrupted our “move on up”.  My family
was in the midst of celebrating. The police officers yanked my brother out of
our brand new home.  My mother had just purchased
her own piece of property and with that one lie, it was gone. I inform Ms.
Gibson that my mom had to sell her house to fund Brian’s legal affairs. Not
only did she have to sell her house, she had to sell her  new car as well. We were doing so good.
If
I had the opportunity, I would recount the first day we (Mom, Brandon and I)
visited Brian in prison, an experience I will never forget. We had to rent a
car. We drove 4 hours up, all the way to San Luis Obispo. We stood in line for
over an hour. Then our clothes were inspected up and down (strict dress codes).
Once we finally got in we waited for a few more minutes. When Brian came out it
was one of the most bittersweet moments we had ever probably experienced. Good
to see him but sad to see him under these circumstances. The smell of the
visiting facility reeked of over buttered popcorn, cheap buffalo wing sauce and
sweaty bodies.
I
wonder if Ms. Gibson knows that my youngest brother was taunted internally and
externally at school on several occasions. Did she know or care that he dropped
out of school because he couldn’t face the fact that his brother was incarcerated
for a heinous crime we knew he was not capable of committing?
These
things would not be brought up to make Wanetta feel bad or feel some sort of
remorse.  They would be brought to her
attention to show her that life and death really are in the power of the tongue.
Her tongue brought death to our family. With words she brought over a dark
cloud for years.
Finally
I would thank her. For what? For coming forward to tell the truth. I would
thank her because even though she lied, there was something in her that made
her finally step up and declare what we knew all along; Brian did not do the things
she said he did. I would tell her that my mother raised Bible believing, God
fearing children. She taught us not to fight fire with fire. She instilled in us
the power of forgiveness; that without we cannot move on.
Afforded
the chance to meet Wanetta Gibson, I would tell her that she is forgiven, she
is not judged by me but she will
reap what she has sowed.  I would urge her to find Christ and to allow Him to right all of her wrongs.
Dead
or Alive, Wanetta Gibson, I want to meet you.

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  1. Anonymous

    Hi – I don't know you or your brother and in fact I've never heard of your blog or your brother's story. But, after watching Jay Leno tonight I learned how God really makes plans. I found your brother's Twitter page and then found you through his tweets. Thank you for continuing to stand by his side, thank you for understanding that while life has it's challenges it has it's rewards, and thank you for being the bigger person. You're right, while you can hate on Wanetta and I'm sure many people are right now, she does deserve to be thanked. She could've taken the truth with her to her grave and continued to allow your brother and your family to live under that dark cloud. I'm so honored to have heard about your story and thank you for putting down your thoughts. I've never had a family member arrested or have ever been inside a prison so I can only imagine how that must have felt visiting your brother and trying to be happy to not show him any fear or disappointment. I also can only imagine what that must have been like leaving him that day. I truly wish your family well and I know that God is making more plans for your family and this time the sun will be shinning. I'll say a prayer for your family tonight and I'll keep watching and hoping things pan out for your family the way you want them to.If I can make one request, it would be to tell your brother to continue telling his story and to continue to speak to young men about responsibility and strength. thank you for telling your story!

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