Writing Doesn’t Halt Violence
Stanley “Tookie” Williams
I usually try to not pay attention to mainstream news, because, well, it’s so slanted. And don’t for a minute think I’m going to say yippie skippie’ because the media is so liberal (which it is), because I don’t think it’s a good message by our media to so slant this country’s perception of the war that it potentially demoralizes our soldier at this quote-unquote war (I mean, just because the president calls it a war and the newspapers call it a war, it doesn’t change that only Congress can declare a war... and it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got our people in harm’s way right at this very moment in Iraq...). Besides, the demoralizing slants on our work in Iraq is probably also the only thing Al Quaeda hears from our news, so they’ll think they have a leg up in their desire to further destroy us.
And this war is NOT even a genuine attempt to destroy the people who originally attacked us (did Iraq, or Saddam Hussein, take credit for flying our planes into the World Trade Center towers? No.) Even at the beginning of President Bush’s crusade to start a war against Iraq, because of what evidence they thought they had about them having weapons of mass destruction, I thought,
Why is he picking this as his enemy? We support getting the enemy from the 9/11 attacks, and in this case, Iraq wasn’t it, Al Quaeda was (Al Quaeda is only now fighting us in Iraq, since we’ve started trying to liberate Iraq, destroying their breeding grounds).
Okay, This president has supported taking us to war, when it was technically the actual enemy of the ones who originally attached us 9/11. He (and all other Republicans) seem to support life so much otherwise, from the likes of Terri Schiavo to the likes of an embryo that has yet to develop to a life-sustaining form (or even a form sustainable by doctors). This same president find a two-day old fertilized egg more valuable as a life form than a prisoner that is given the death penalty.
Maverick, from Signs of the Times, even wrote in The Thin Line Between Life and Death:
“I just feel that based on the principles that we claim to subscribe to, it is hypocritical to push for death of others as compensation for the death of someone else...
What is really ironic to me is how during many elections, the debate often turns to the fight over abortion rights and the pro-life/pro-choice argument. I remembered President Bush’s speeches on “promoting a culture of life” so well, that I found Promoting A Culture of Life on the web.
But how can you say that you promote a culture of life when as the governor of Texas, you have signed more death warrants than any other elected official alive today? And therein lies the hypocrisy. As much as we often like to say how much we value life, all we do nowadays is judge whose life is valuable and whose life is not. George Bush can execute numbers of people very nonchalantly, but he can fight to the death for embryos that are frozen by scientists (more than likely to never be used) so that they will not be destroyed for stem-cell research. And this is the man that represents America...”
In this culture of Life, we’ve learned to “disregard” some lives. And as I said before, I try not to pay attention to the slanted news, but I did hear something about an ex-gang leader being executed in California, and that every left-wing group protested it.
I better cut in right now and let you know I’m against the death penalty. I could talk about the fact that sometimes innocent people are killed, but more importantly, it’s not supposed to be our decision, or our right to kill people. There are commandments and laws stating we shouldn’t kill (right-wingers even find killing an unborn child abhorrent), so how can we allow killing people who have committed a crime? We may want vengeance wrought on people who have done heinous crimes, but if you want to be mean and vengeful, bring torture back into the game, but vengeance isn’t justice, and there is no justice in killing someone because of something they did.
Back to the story... Stanley “Tookie” Williams is a man who joined the Crips, then founded the Los Angeles west side Crips in 1971. He said it was initially started as a means to keep the streets safe, reducing violence and police brutality, but eventually came to be known to be the one of the most violent and horrific gangs in existence today. The gang is now in 42 states and on at least one other continent: South Africa.
Williams was sentenced to death in 1981 for gunning down a convenience store clerk at a 7-Eleven and killing a family of three at the Los Angeles motel they owned. Though he has always claiming his innocence, trial witnesses even said he bragged about the killing.
There have also been reports of his violence while in prison since 1981, and he spent spent 6.5 years in solitary confinement in the late 1980s for multiple assaults on guards and fellow inmates.
But Williams has become an anti-gang activist during his many years on death row at San Quentin State Prison, and he started writing children’s books about the evils of gang life. As the former leader of such a dominant gang, his voice was heard and understood by some children, and he has done good for helping children stay clear of gang life today. There’s even a web site for his nine books at