[Marxism] Our Weekly.com Article on the 1st Anniversary of the Murder of Tookie Williams
John A Imani
johnaimani2 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Dec 15 12:09:21 MST 2006
Was it something he said?
by Ron Daniels
December 13 will mark the one-year anniversary of the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams by that nebulous body known as the State. And on the night of his execution I stood virtually alone before the news media in front of Schwarzenegger's Brentwood home with a sign that read: "Was it something I said?" My solitary stand was intended not only as a tribute to the socially-conscious comedy of Richard Pryor who passed away three days prior, but also as an expression of my outrage after reviewing Schwarzenegger's reactionary rationales for denying Williams' request for clemency.
For in his written response to Williams' appeal, California's celebrity governor didn't just reject Williams' request, he aggressively attacked the people who were responsible for his growing political awareness. As evidence that Williams had not been rehabilitated, the governor noted that Williams dedicated his book, Life in Prison, to "Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the countless other men, women and youths who have endure the hellish oppression of living behind bars."
He went on to pointedly emphasized that "most have violent pasts," specifically noting that Williams' respect for George Jackson was "a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as a legitimate means to address societal problems." The message was clear: Those who militantly oppose oppression cannot expect mercy from the State.
How dare this son-of-a-Nazi attempt to discredit and denounce those who have led the struggle to overcome white supremacy and repression. Obviously, Schwarzenegger knew very little about the historical struggles of African and Native Americans and their efforts to achieve equality in these United States - and here he was - a naturalized citizen who made his mark on the Silver Screen terminating people and promoting violence - pontificating - and callously calling the shots on a black man's life, a privilege that a far more qualified Tom Bradley was never granted.
Of course, the Governor's ghostwriters failed to note that Williams' violent behavior occurred long before he became politically aware, at a time when he was too busy gang-banging to bang on the system. Or the fact that George Jackson, who was sentenced to one year to life at the age of 18 for armed robbery, was repeatedly humiliated by prison guards and robbed of his dignity over a period of 12 years, and actually molded by the system into the revolutionary that he ultimately became.
What the Governor and his conservative cohorts in the correctional community really feared was Williams' evolving political awareness and his potential to become another George Jackson, who had written eloquently about life in California's corrupt and repressive prisons and, despite official opposition, continued to do so until he was gunned down by prison guards. Like George Jackson, Tookie William had to be terminated. Bottom line.
Full text at http://ourweekly.com/link.asp?smenu=160&sdetail=4078&wpage=1
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