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the prosecutor in the case, Robert Martin, made it a point to see that there were no

black jurors on Mr. Williams’ case.  Secondly, he had the venue of the trial moved

from Los Angeles to the predominately white city of Torrance, Ca.

 
 


 Responses to the

 State Murder of Stan Tookie Williams

By Marvin X and Joe Veale

While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." -- Eugene V. Debs

Prejudice on Death Row

By Michael Kroll

http://www.alternet.org/story/29608/

 

If Tookie Williams had killed four black people, would he still be alive today?

For many -- especially the African-American young men who comprise the majority of the children locked away in this juvenile hall -- Mr. Williams was a kind of folk hero. Most had read one or more of the books he wrote on death row urging youths to abandon their gang affiliations and to recognize the humanity that each of us possesses. Almost all had heard the thoughtful interviews he did on various radio shows. A few had even spoken with him on the phone when a staff person had arranged a call from death row. . . .

 Since the modern era of executions was inaugurated in California with the gassing of Robert Harris in 1992, the state has put to death 12 men. Mr. Williams' execution marks only the second time an African-American was the victim of the death chamber. (In addition, eight of the 12 were white; one was Asian; and one was Native American.)

My listeners were surprised to learn that the majority of those we Californians have put to death have been white. But they were astonished when I added this statistic: Among the 27 victims of these 12 condemned prisoners, not a single one was African-American! (Five were Asian; three were Latinos; and 19 were white.)

The shameful truth is that had Mr. Williams' four victims been black, the overwhelming likelihood is that he would still be alive today, one of the many anonymous convicted murderers who occupy our state prisons.

The fact that not a single person has been executed in this state for killing an African-American is consistent with studies across the country that show the death penalty is reserved primarily for those who kill white people. The California study, "The Impact of Legally Inappropriate Factors on Death Sentencing for California Homicides, 1990-'99," found that 80 percent of executions in California were for killers of whites, though non-Hispanic whites make up just 47 percent of all Californians, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Those who kill whites are more than four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill Latinos, and over three times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill African-Americans. . . . .

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Yet, Another Missed Opportunity

By Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

he December 13th execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams by the state of California was a gruesome example of retribution, political expediency, and institutionalized murder. But in spite of that fact, Brother Williams went out like a Trojan--even to the point of trying to assist the technician to find a vein in which to inject the lethal potion that, moments later, would certainly bring his life to an end. 

That scene alone demonstrated that this brother was an exceptional individual. He clearly had more strength of character than any other player in this sad and sorted affair, and therefore, was certainly worth saving.

Of course, there are those who are going to say that he didn’t have so much character that it prevented him from killing four innocent victims in cold blood.  But in response to that, remember, it is not at all clear whether or not Mr. Williams committed the crimes in which he was ultimately executed, since he declared his innocence to the very end.  What is clear, however, is that this brother had something far less than a fair trial.

As Dr. Firpo Carr pointed out in his piece,” Terminate Tookie?  Terrible Travesty!” in the December 8th edition of the Los Angeles Sentinel, the irregularities in Tookie’s trial provided more than enough grounds to, at the very least, spare this brother’s life.

First of all, the prosecutor in the case, Robert Martin, made it a point to see that there were no black jurors on Mr. Williams’ case.  Secondly, he had the venue of the trial moved from Los Angeles to the predominately white city of Torrance, Ca.  Also, this same prosecutor, Robert Martin, was censored by the California Supreme Court for “invidious discrimination” during the prosecution of Tookie’s case. 

In addition, there was absolutely no physical evidence pointing to Tookie committing any of the crimes in which he was charged, and every witness that testified against him had a vested interest in testifying for the state (such as charges being reduced or dropped for crimes they’d committed).  And beyond that, one witness was even allowed to read the police report in his jail cell so he’d know how to testify.  So again, to my mind’s eye, all of these irregularities in the prosecution of this brother constitutes more than a compelling reason to, at the very least, not put this brother to death.

But even if Tookie did commit the crimes in which he was convicted, the fact is, that happened a lifetime ago. In the twenty-five years since those crimes were committed Mr. Williams’ life had undergone a dramatic change, and certainly the years that he lived with death as his constant companion (not to mention the last agonizing hours that he spent not knowing whether or not he was going to live or die) should have paid some dividend on that debt. That brother must have died a million times over the years.  And beyond that, it wasn’t as though he was going to be freed—he would have still had to face his natural life behind bars.

The most tragic thing surrounding this sad affair, however, is our failure to at least try to drag something positive out this negative situation.  Our society was so bent on retribution that once again we’ve missed yet another opportunity to make an investment in our young people—and thus, an investment in our society. . . .

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Tookie Williams and the American Culture of Violence

By Marvin X

Tookie Williams grew up in a culture of violence that is as American as cherry pie. The history of American slavery is a history of violence, the most brutal and inhumane acts in world history. Africans were kidnapped, chained aboard ships like sardine, raped at the master's whim, beaten and lynched for recalcitrance, murdered for running away, hands chopped off when caught reading.

No other human on the face of the earth was treated so cruelly. America is the master of violence, the king of violence. In the conquering of the Americas, it is estimated 100 million native Americans and 100 million Africans suffered genocide. Not one act of genocide was covered by the Geneva convention, perhaps some acts were compensated for the master losing his chattel (personal) property. Slave catchers could murder runaway slaves as long as they compensated the master.

Sadly, the act of lynching cannot be considered racist because Europeans practiced this ritual among themselves as  a regular celebration, including eating the body parts. See Frazer, the Golden Bough.

How strange indeed that Condi Rice, a descendant of slavery and the torture thereof, recently traveled throughout Europe defending and denying American torture of so-called terrorists held in "black" prisons.

We know Condi is a liar and her job is a liar's job. She intimidated Europeans when she told them to stop complaining about over flights and "black" prisons if they wanted continued American support in the war against terrorism.

Since the end of the Cold War, America's defense budget has averaged 300 billion annually for weapons, conventional and WMD. There are more guns in American homes than anywhere on the planet. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington DC. Hollywood films preach violence and sex, and it's message is spread throughout the world as part of America's cultural imperialism, including a plethora of films with women dressed and behaving as whores, sluts, and bitchesas defined by men of course. And most of these women are the victims of violence, although today the women are often victimizers as well.

Alas, violence against women is an epidemic in America and,  according to the World Health Organization's latest report, throughout the world.

It is no exaggeration to say at least 25% of the men in America are in jail, prison, or on probation or parole, or in court-mandated anger management sessions as a result of domestic violence.

The most violent time in America is from Xmas to Super Bowl Sunday. The poor must commit acts of violence to obtain the trappings of materialism. And the ignorant men deny their wives attention on Super Bowl Sunday in their diversion to sport and play rather than face the reality of being warriors of liberation in the hood.

With young black men, homicide is the number one cause of death, many homicides being suicide because the men chose homicide rather the take the courage to kill themselvesthey make someone else kill them, usually the police when the brother fails the "tone test" or in a situation of gambling or a sexual impropriety with their friends.

The hood is thus an armed camp. Even square youth are "packing" to level the playing field, often with parental consent.

In short, Tookie was a victim as well as a victimizer. Los Angeles has long been a hostile environment where youth gangs and police gangs roam with impunity.

The video documentary The Fire This Time, revealed how freight trains full of guns mysteriously stopped in the middle of South Central so they could be "burglarized" by the boyzs in the hood.

For a time during the 60s, the gangs made the transformation from madness to revolution when many members joined the Black Panthers and other radical groups.

But the FBI's COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) instigated acts of violence to destablize the community and derail the second American revolution.

And then came CRACK and the trading of guns for drugs by the US Government, using the Contras of Nicaragua. The Contra drug dealers flooded Los Angeles and other port and border cities with cocaine to finance Reagan's war against the Sandinistas and against black America.

It light of America's history of violence, she would have done  well to have mercy on her children such as Tookie and the other two million inmates  in the Gulags of America who need a general amnesty as part of any reparations.  Tookie may or may not have been a victimizer, but for sure he was a victim. May God have mercy on his soul.  

(c) 2006 by Marvin X

"Tookie Williams and the American Culture of Violence" by Marvin X is from his upcoming collection of essays, Up From Ignorance, Black Bird Press, 2006.

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On the Execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams

By Joe Veale

Stanley "Tookie" Williams, co-founder of the Crips street gang in Los Angeles, was executed in San Quentin Prison on December 13 just after midnight.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger coldly and callously refused to grant him clemency, saying that "the facts do not justify overturning the court decision." Even though Tookie Williams had changed and became a very outspoken advocate against gang violence and for peace. They showed him no mercy. But it is deeper than this. 

In a highly political statement, Schwarzenegger also said that Tookie Williams' 1998 book Life In Prison was "dedicated to people like Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu Jamal" and particularly "Black militant George Jackson" which, according to Schwarzenegger, "is a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as legitimate means to address societal problems."

George Jackson and the other prominent Black figures mentioned in Schwarzenegger's statement are heroes to a lot of Black people and people of all races and nationalities because of their revolutionary stance. This is proof that this is a politically motivated execution.

It does not matter to Schwarzenegger and the powers-that-be that Stanley Williams had changed. That he had consistently spoken out against gang violence. Or that the evidence which led to his conviction of four murders in 1981 was circumstantial and that the testimony against him came from people facing felony charges of fraud, rape, murder, and mutilation. Or that he had consistently and repeatedly said that he is innocent.

Since his final appeal was denied, the powers-that-be have put Stanley Williams' execution on a fast track. They moved it up ahead of people who had their final appeals rejected before him. 

This represents a leap in the vicious, racist, and genocidal program they have for the masses of people in the inner cities. Many of the youth of the inner city have no jobs and no prospects of ever being employed. The system has no productive use for them. The working of this capitalist system puts people in desperate situations where crime becomes the only option for many of them to live. Then, Black and other oppressed youth are attacked and maligned and "demonized." William Bennett, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan, has said: "If you want to get rid of crime you could abort all Black babies and the crime rate would go down." That's genocide.

The execution of Tookie Williams comes on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, where tens of thousands of Black people were left to die. The Bush regime is making it LOUD AND CLEAR that GENOCIDE is their agenda. Look at what they did. People in New Orleans did not have to die. But the powers-that-be left thousands of people to suffer and die needlessly, while at the same time "demonizing them" and sending in the National Guard to suppress them. 

Didn't Bush himself issue an order to "shoot to kill" anyone who was caught "looting," no questions asked? The system's well-oiled propaganda machine spewed out lies about Black people raping babies and robbing and murdering each other. The very clear message was the masses of Black people in New Orleans were "demons" and deserved to die. 

Hundreds and even thousands of people who tried to get into New Orleans to rescue, feed, and give medical aid to people were stopped by the army and police and prevented them from helping people. A congressman from Louisiana said they had been trying to get rid of the projects in New Orleans for years and god decided to do them a favor by getting rid of them. 

Again the message was that Black people are "bad seeds" who do not deserve to live.

Pat Robertson, one of Bush's Christian Fascist advisors, has called for a "biblical model" for crime and punishment which suggests genocide against the masses of people in the inner cities as well as preparation to use extreme repression and even execution against people who do things which are minor crimes – or in many cases no crime at all.

This represents a leap in the vicious, racist, and genocidal program they have for the masses of people in the inner cities. Many of the youth of the inner city have no jobs and no prospects of ever being employed. The system has no productive use for them. The working of this capitalist systems puts people in desperate situations where crime becomes the only option for many, many of them to live. Then, Black and other oppressed youth are attacked and maligned and "demonized." William Bennett, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan, has said: "If you want to get rid of crime you could abort all Black babies and the crime rate would go down." That's genocide.

The execution of Tookie Williams comes on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, where tens of thousands of Black people were left to die. The Bush regime is making it LOUD AND CLEAR that GENOCIDE is their agenda. Look at what they did. People in New Orleans did not have to die. But the powers that be left thousands of people to suffer and die needlessly, while at the same time "demonizing them" and sending in the National Guard to suppress them. Didn't Bush himself issue an order to "shoot to kill"anyone who was caught "looting," no questions asked? The system's well-oiled propaganda machine spewed out lies about Black people raping babies and robbing and murdering each other. The very clear message was: the masses of Black people in New Orleans were "demons" and deserved to die.

Hundreds and even thousands of people who tried to get into New Orleans to rescue, feed and give medical aid to people were stopped by the army and police and prevented them from helping people. A congressman from Louisiana said they had been trying to get rid of the projects in New Orleans for years and god decided to do them a favor by getting rid of them.

Again the message was that Black people are "bad seeds" who do not deserve to live.

Pat Robertson, one of Bush's Christian Fascist advisors, has called for a "biblical model" for crime and punishment which suggests genocide against the masses of people in the inner cities as well as preparation to use extreme repression and even execution against people who do things which are minor crimes – or in many cases no crime at all. 

What kind of system is this that does these things? It is one that cries out for proletarian revolution..

Although Stanley "Tookie" Williams was not a revolutionary, he dedicated his book Blue Rage, Black Redemption in this way: "To poor people, prisoners, slaves and the disenfranchised everywhere – through faith and theories put into practice you bend the most oppressive circumstances to your will, to make the impossible possible."

Revolution Is the Solution

When we make revolution and overthrow this system based on profit and exploitation we can change all this. We can build a new socialist society and give everybody jobs. Feed everybody. Give people good medical care. We will be able to cure people hooked on drugs instead of locking them up. Everybody will be fed on the strength of being a human being. Everybody will be given good medical care. More than that they together with the masses of people will be brought into the process of running society. 

Deciding the direction that society should go so that it serves the people. Deciding how many schools and hospitals to build. How much food to produce. How much to put aside for natural disasters and how much to send to people around the world fighting for revolutionary change. Not only will people's material needs be met, but their intellectual and "spiritual" needs will be met as well. 

The powers-that-be do all they can to prevent people from rising to this potential. One of the ways they do this is by trying to force us to accept the hand that the system deals us from its stacked deck. Trying to be "somebody" and get "respect" on the terms that the system sets is no solution either. 

In the world today no one has to go without. No one has to be hungry or live in poverty. No one has to seek "respect" or attempt to "come up" by banging or riding on others.

People have developed enough wealth, knowledge, science, and technology to give everyone on the planet a decent life. To feed and provide housing fit for human beings to everybody. To enrich everyone's life with sports, culture, and art. 

What kind of system is this that does these things? It is one that cries out for proletarian revolution..

Although Stanley "Tookie" Williams was not a revolutionary, he dedicated his book Blue Rage, Black Redemption in this way: "To poor people, prisoners, slaves and the disenfranchised everywhere – through faith and theories put into practice you bend the most oppressive circumstances to your will, to make the impossible possible."

The only reason this does not happen is because all this wealth, knowledge, science, and technology that has been created by humans over thousands of years is controlled by a tiny handful at the top of this imperialist system. And they use it to re-produce and enforce this dog eat dog way of life over and over again. 

It''s gonna take communist-led revolution to lead those on the bottom of society, the employed and the "unemployables." The "disposables." Those with nothing to lose, together with their potential friends from the middle class — to rise up and take the power of running society out of the hands of those who run this system — take all this wealth that people have created, build a new system, and put all society's resources in the service of emancipating humanity. 

A Challenge

To all those this system has cast off. To all those this rotten system tries in every way to drag down. To all those this system treats as less than human. Rise up and be "somebody" for real. Rise up and join the communist emancipators of humanity. Rise up and join the grave diggers of this foul and cruel system. 

For more information about Joe Veale and the Revolutionary Communist Speaking Tour, contact 866-841-9139 x2670.
Carl Dix, National Spokesperson, Revolutionary Communist Party
Steve Yip, nyipz@onebox.com
Voice and Fax: (866) 841-9139 x2670
P.O. Box 941 Knickerbocker Station, New York NY 10002-0900

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For Tookie

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice." Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger

In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.—
Publisher's Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Related files: For Stan Tookie Williams    State Murder of Stan Tookie Williams  Hurricane Katrina: The People Did Not Have to Die  The Watts RebellionFrom a Revolutionary Perspective