Monday, December 19, 2005

"Paying respects" to a murderer

I didn't really have a chance to blog about this loathsome murderer last week. Tonight, my mind is completely boggled at some people's ignorance of the person they're glorifying.
Hundreds Pay Respects to Tookie Williams

LOS ANGELES - Hundreds of people converged Monday on the South Los Angeles neighborhood where Stanley Tookie Williams co-founded the Crips to say goodbye to a "homeboy" executed last week over the objections of supporters who said he had turned his life around.

Williams, clad in a gray suit, lay in an open coffin at the House of Winston Mortuary as people quietly filed by with their heads bowed.

"Mostly everyone is out here because of his reputation," said Robert Collins, 27, who said he was a former Crips gang member. "Everyone knew Tookie was no angel. Everyone's just paying their respects to him."

A line of 200 stretched out the door shortly after the six-hour viewing began in mid-afternoon. More than an hour later, the line had dissipated but people were still streaming through.

Williams, whose execution was carried out over the protests of supporters who included celebrities and civil rights activists, spent his last years on California's Death Row renouncing gang violence and writing several children's books warning of the dangers of gangs.

See Love, a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, said she had seen firsthand the way Williams' book "Life in Prison" had changed students' lives.

"Tookie's words were able to do what no judge or probation officer was able to do," said Love, 35. "I hope Stanley's spirit continues to live in the name of peace."

Williams, 51, was executed last Tuesday for the murders of four people during a pair of 1979 robberies. Although he had renounced his past as co-founder of the deadly Crips, he maintained to his death that he did not commit the killings.

A crowd lingering outside the mortuary carried signs and handed out flyers proclaiming his innocence.

Lori Tompkins, 48, of Los Angeles, said she came "to say goodbye to our homeboy and also give support to his family."

"We feel he was innocent and wrongly killed," she added.

The viewing was to be followed by a funeral Tuesday in Los Angeles. Organizers said those expected to attend included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg.
They're "paying respects" to someone whose resume read, "Founder of west side Crips, half responsible for starting over three decades of gang violence in Los Angeles." Under "special skills," it reads, "Murdering people in cold blood by shooting them in the back, assaulting prison guards and fellow inmates, and attempting prison escape."

Respect? Try scorn. Normally I refrain from speaking ill of the dead, but that monster's body isn't even worth throwing on a dungheap.

Some say that Williams reformed and redeemed himself. I'm reminded of a story from the twenty-third chapter of the Gospel of Luke:

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The various Christian denominations disagree somewhat on deathbed repentance, but what is clear is that the murderous thief confessed his sin and sought forgiveness. "Tookie" Williams never never once sought forgiveness, other than a lackluster apology for helping found the Crips. He never admitted his guilt in the murders, which is odd since, if he was truly innocent, why were his supporters seeking mere clemency, and not an overturning of his conviction? And if he was innocent, why did he reform?

Apparently he was nominated a few times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He would have had fitting company had he won. After all, it was awarded once to a notorious murderer by the name of Arafat.

My only regret about the death penalty is that murderers die far too easily than their victims. It didn't surprise me, as several major bloggers noted, that Jesse Jackson and other "Tookie" fans couldn't name a single one of the four victims. As I've said before, there's every mercy for the criminal, but none for the victim.


Blogger T. F. Stern said...


Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hey, people still wear Che shirts. There will always be the stupid idiots out there with no sense of perspective and who refuse to call a spade a spade.

Fortunately, these people usually are too stupid to get anywhere in life, our current crop of Senators notwithstanding.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:49:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

That's part of the problem, Mike. There aren't many of the willfully ignorant who achieve any kind of significance in society, but a few do get into positions where they can wield real power over our lives. Even shysters like Jackson and Sharpton can exercise indirect influence by shaking down corporations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 1:40:00 PM  

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