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Tookie Should Burn

I’m getting tired of all this “Save Tookie” crap. In my book, the fact Stan “Tookie” Williams founded the Crips is reason enough to give him a hot shot. Seems fitting since, as it is with their chief rivals, the Bloods, dealing drugs–and all the violence surrounding that criminal activity as the two crews battle each other for supremecy in cities all across the nation–is his twisted children’s bread and butter stock in trade.

I’m not alone in that thinking, either. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, writing in Our Weekly, a L.A.-based black community newspaper, notes that when he came out for granting Tookie clemency, he was berated by many of his readers:

The black critics bitterly reviled me for advocating clemency for him. They were adamant that Williams must pay for his crimes and for the murder and mayhem the Crips gang, that he helped found, has unleashed on poor, black communities. Their hardened attitude toward Williams flew in the face of conventional wisdom that blacks are passionate opponents of the death penalty. They aren’t. (read column here)

The only reason Tookie’s even on the radar today is because nine judges (of 24) sitting on the bench of the stupendously asinine U.S. Ninth Circuit Court tried to set aside his execution, claiming the conviction was the result of racism on the part of his prosecutors. As is an almost regular occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned their decision. On its face, the claim of racism being the deciding factor in California putting anyone to death is nonsense. Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the death penalty as allowable under the Constitution, California–which currently sports the largest contingent of Death Row residents, has executed a total of–count ’em–eleven prisoners, and only one was black. So let’s set aside the racial angle, okay? They’d be burning brothers at a Texas clip in San Quentin if race had anything to do with how California enforces it’s death penalty provision.

Besides playing the race card, his defenders say that the old Tookie isn’t the Tookie that’s scheduled to be put to death in five days. Well that may be true, but so what? How many convicts facing death “find God” when they are sitting in their cells awaiting that final judgement? It doesn’t change the facts that got them there in the first place. Their victims are still dead.

His defenders say Today’s Tookie Williams is a different man. He’s redeemed himself while sitting on Death Row; renounced his past and now tries to do penance for his previous life by preaching to black youths to shun the gangsta life. They point to his multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, and authoring nine “widely acclaimed” childrens book. In his NY Daily News column today, “Stop blurring the lines between maniac & martyr“, Stanley Crouch makes short work of that line of reasoning:

Still, Williams is being held up as an example of redemption because he has supposedly turned his life around. He has written children’s books that speak out against gang violence. But the actor and writer Joseph Phillips discovered that the highest selling children’s book written by Williams has sold only 330 copies. Not exactly a universal audience. The murderer has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times. But almost anyone can nominate you. That does not prove universal acknowledgment of importance.

I’m no zealot when it comes to the death penalty; inherit in its existence is the fact that occasionally an innocent person may mistakenly be put to death. That’s why a lengthy appeals process doesn’t bother me. Any state or the Feds have to make damn sure they fry the right guy. Through the entire fight against Tookie Williams getting executed, starting from his initial conviction, none of his attorneys have been able to convincingly present to a jury or an appeals court that, based on the evidence they presented that has been able to stand up, his conviction should be set aside. Williams himself hasn’t shown a moment’s remorse, instead claiming ‘Yeah, I was a motherfucker, but I didn’t clip those four you nailed me for.’

Bullshit. Tookie is the right guy. Burn his ass.

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