On the death of Tookie Williams

In light of the execution of Stan Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips, convict for quadruple homicide, peace activist, multiple Nobel Prize nominee, and a man claimed by some to be innocent of the crimes for which he was put to death, you might want to check out Save Tookie.com.

Black Informant.com eloquently expresses frustration over abundant sympathy for Tookie Williams with nonexistent commentary on the people he's accused of killing.

Br. Xyborg argues forcefully in favour of Williams' execution in light of the massive death toll caused by the Crips. You can view Br. Xyborg's video discussion of why those "in the Black community who glorify crime" during a life of murder should be executed.

I admire Br. Xyborg, but I disagree with him here. I oppose the death penalty even for Klan terrorists. The State cannot claim the moral high ground when it is a killer (and the State--and armed State which uses war as a weapon, is most certainly a murderer). I shared Br. Xyborg's outrage at those inside our communities who glorify street crime including prostitution, drug dealing, assault and murder--I share that outrage, including that it is aimed at the hypocritical Snoop Dog who championed Williams' life after creating countless songs glorifying fratricide(although surely the Euro-American record companies getting far richer from that image-mongering is an indication of the greater evil).

Of course, the history of the death penalty in the US is that its use is disproportionately against coloured people and the poor--especially when one is both. On that basis alone I call for its cessation. The death penalty is wrong whether it is in dictatorial regimes such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, or in supposedly free societies such as the United States.

Amy Goodman has an interview from a few days ago with Tookie Williams is here. Coverage from today's Democracy Now! including Jesse Jackson is here. Angela Davis speaks here.

And finally, The Boston Globe writes: "From rappers, only silence: Hip-hop world ignored ex-Crip founder's cause."

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