Sunday, December 04, 2005

Save "Tookie"

I don’t think that I will make anyone I know happy by taking up for “Tookie Williams”.

No matter what you think about him, you cannot think that he is a great guy.

He co-founded the Crips street gang. And there is a good chance that he murdered four people.

Still, I think he should live.

Edna St. Vincent Millay got it right when she said “I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for death.”

As an opponent of the death penalty I think that no one should face murder by the state.

As someone who has looked at the work Tookie has put forward concerning educating young people about street gangs, I think that he is especially deserving of clemency.

He deserves clemency in the way that Mumia Abu-Jamal deserves nothing.

For one thing, Tookie has at least written some form of an apology

“Twenty-five years ago when I created the Crips youth gang with Raymond Lee Washington in South Central Los Angeles, I never imagined Crips membership would one day spread throughout California, would spread to much of the rest of the nation and to cities in South Africa, where Crips copycat gangs have formed. I also didn't expect the Crips to end up ruining the lives of so many young people, especially young black men who have hurt other young black men.
So today I apologize to you all -- the children of America and South Africa -- who must cope every day with dangerous street gangs. I no longer participate in the so-called gangster lifestyle, and I deeply regret that I ever did.”

Should we ever expect this kind of apology from Mumia?

Should we ever expect Mumia to take responsibility for anything that he has done?

We all know the answer to that.

I don’t want Tookie to live because I think he is a good person or because he is a better person that Mumia. I want Tookie to live, simply because he is a person.

Death has enough advocates. I cannot be one of them,

Look at Tookie and than at Mumia and you will see a world of difference.

One of the only ways that we prove that we are better than they is to choose life when they choose death.

Think on that the next time you scream for justice mixed with the electric chair or lethal injection.


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