Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Told You We Weren't All Gonna Agree On This

This is an exchange between me and a gentleman who was forwarded my Tookie Williams piece. I asked him if I could post his comments and he graciously gave me the permission to do so. In that spirit, I think it is important to note that I am posting this debate because we need to examine the perceptions we have for and against each other. That is one of the first steps towards finding a common ground and uniting. Having said that, I will let you talk amongst yourselves (AND IN THE COMMENT BOOTH) after you peep the following. Please note: My comments are in BLACK!

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE BLACK COMMUNITY AT ALL CONSIDERING YOUR THOUGHTS IN YOUR ARTICLE . you have the mentality of a caucasion, so white supremacy has completed it's whitewashing of you through it's media & school systems !!!
COMMUNICATION IS POWER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I’m confused. Are you saying that because I don’t support people who do wrong, I’m white washed? I am far from being whitewashed and influenced by the media. That sounds like an easy cop-out for those that choose to stand by while more and more Black people die or are swallowed up by the system and then make excuses for those who cause it. I’m not buying into that at all. We are responsible for ourselves, regardless of the white man and the media.

I know your confused and don't understand, because you're whitewashed !
what if i say your doing wrong by voting in ameriKKKas local,state, and federal elections in a system thats clearly anti-Black and giving financial support through your tax dollars to destroy other sovereign countries women & children for monetary gain? YOU'LL SAY THAT'S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TOO ...
COMMUNICATION IS POWER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Clearly you haven't read my book or you would know that whitewashed is one of the last things that I would ever be. So tell me, do you not vote? Do you not work and pay taxes? There are many, many things that I would like to change,but I still don't see where you are making a point on the issue at hand. Are you saying that we should allow criminals to wreak havoc on our grandparents, aunts and children because the system is racist?

how are young Blacks hurting grandparents, aunts and so on?
brothas are on the streets to survive, because there aren't a substantial number of jobs through white businesses to employ them, especially to take care of a whole family. you may not have heard but unemployment is very high in this country for Black folks !!! POVERTY & HOPELESSNESS IS THE NUMBER ONE REASON FOR CRIME, NOT BECAUSE YOUNG BLACKS ARE IGNORANT AND DO WHAT THEY HEAR OFF OF RAP LYRICS AS THE MEDIA & PASSIVE ANTI-BLACK ORGANIZATIONS (N.A.A.C.P, URBAN LEAGUE, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCAS ) PORTRAYS.

AFTER THE KATRINA FIASCO-hell no i don't vote !


COMMUNICATION IS POWER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I don’t know where you live, but unless you’re living in a lily-white neighborhood I am sure you have seen crime before. Whatever the case, I don’t know if it is safe for kids to play in your neighborhood, but in most black neighborhoods in Los Angeles, it isn’t. The elderly cannot take walks without worrying about being shot dead on the streets. Shall I continue?

If you don’t vote, it can only get worse. Now how do you propose things are going to get better if you don’t participate in the process?

You are correct when you say that unemployment is high in America – especially for Blacks. But does that mean you give up and resort to illegal activities to get over? That sounds like laziness to me. I mean you might have a better chance at making that argument if there were no Black people with jobs in your entire town. Yet, surely somebody Black has a j-o-b where you reside. You might even have a better chance at making that argument if you could prove that there are no schools or libraries in America. Schools are free for all Americans, (albeit they are substandard in most Black areas) but education is in books and you can get books everywhere. Bottom line, it is up to each and every one of us to be the best we can be. Slaves couldn’t go to school. They were banned from reading and writing. They were kept ignorant so that they could not excel and survive in a humanistic manner. Nevertheless, they tried harder then than we as a people try now. That is unfathomable. There is no excuse now! We are no longer slaves, except in our residual mindsets.

You talk about Blacks being poor. Are you really serious? I’m not saying there are not poor Black folks in America. But take yourself over to Bangladesh or Afghanistan or Soweto and you will see what poor is. They don’t have food stamps or State subsidies in Calcutta. Get off that excuse please, not when there is straight out famine in the Sudan. Stop it. just stop!

Contrary to what you might believe, ignorance begets ignorance. Blacks have no control of the media, thus those in control of the media ensure that young Black children see the most ignorant fools on television as much as possible. 50 Cent is a damn disgrace, but he graces every magazine cover possible. Why? It is a saturation of stupidity. Same principle as slavery only with a new format, and still managing to keep Negroes ignorant – all while the NAACP, Urban League, the Nation and others stand by and watch. Nonetheless, when the next gang member who shot up a few Black kids at a carnival gets ready to meet his maker courtesy of any State in America, Jesse Jackson will be there to beg for his mercy. God have mercy on us all!


You don’t EVEN want to get me started on that!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What Took "Tookie" Under? Part II

As I suspected, some subscribers were so incensed by part I of the Death Penalty article that they flicked me off. They unsubscribed - wanting no more of my oratory now that it doesn’t match their particular point of view on the issue. Okay so it was only two people that kicked rocks. But 17 minus 2 means there are only 15 of you left. Well, what can I do? I definitely have no intention of censoring my thoughts for the sake of audience retention. Maybe I misinformed myself when I started this column 5 years ago. Back then, I pondered that perhaps the reason why we are segregated as a people is because we don’t communicate. We follow the first fellow with a big mouth instead of formulating our own individual hypotheses and then coming to the round table so that each voice may be heard. I for one am of the belief that we don’t always have to agree in order to have an understanding. Here’s part II…

A gang member who shot two teens while they were attending a carnival in Jefferson Park on November 13 has been arrested. Jason Walton, 21, was apprehended near the 5000 block of Pico Boulevard around 5 p.m. Wednesday night. William Cox and Edward Williams were shot as they stood outside a street carnival at 2nd Avenue and Rodeo Road Walton allegedly shot the two boys after mistaking them for gang rivals. Neither victim had any gang affiliation. -Associated Press (AP)

Shouldn’t The Punishment Fit The Crime?

When it comes to the death penalty, over and over again we’ve all heard the statement, “but that won’t bring the dead person back.” Well that my dear individuals is a true statement. Putting a murderer to death will not bring the person or persons they’ve killed back to the living. Nonetheless, if people use that “won’t bring’ em back” rational to support their position on whether we should put murderers to death, we might as well just let people kill at will and let the chips fall where they may.

So let’s think this through for a second. What would be a “good” punishment for a cold-blooded killer? Perhaps we could dig a hole and throw the miscreant down the shaft without food and water? Or, should we give him 3 squares a day and a pack of Pall Malls? The American justice system is truly flawed, that is certain. A man sells crack and gets a mandatory 15-year sentence while another man sells cocaine or heroin and gets probation. That shit happens. We all know why and we all know it is unfair. But abolishing the harshest of penalties used for the harshest of crimes surely isn’t the fix we’re in need of.

Let’s take Jeffrey Dahmer for example: it is ridiculous to believe that this evildoer was sentenced to life in prison after it was proven that he ate people. HELLO! This fool ate people, then stacked their bones in his freezer and he got life? He could have written children’s books and rallied against other people eaters after he got caught, but that could never change the fact that he noshed on humans and then put their leftovers in his freezer next to the frozen broccoli. What kind of redemption could ever make up for those inhumane acts? Fortunately, Dahmer got the death penalty from his fellow inmates who knew exactly what capital punishment was all about.

A Racist System Exists

Do people get convicted of crimes they didn’t commit? Yes, they do. Do people get framed? Surely! But each case must be reviewed upon its own merits. Are we really supposed to believe that every drive-by shooter was framed by the police? Don’t even try it. I’ve known some drive-by shooters in my day and they managed to go about their business plenty fine without any help from five-o. Some folks will say that putting killers to death isn’t going to stop others from committing murder. Would anything?

Here’s a suggestion, let’s cut to the chase. We can definitely push for reforms to current laws that are unfair and racially biased. We can be sure that we are active and vote when it comes time to select new judges and lawmakers who appoint new and old judges. But when all is said and done, and the evidence at the trial and the re-trial and the appeal and second and third appeal says “you’re guilty,” let’s have a tribal counsel. Yep, just like on Survivor. The difference in this tribal counsel however will be that the tribe is your tribe. Mexicans get a Mexican tribe, Black folks get a Black tribe, (no Negroes and no niggas though) Asians get Asian tribe members and White folks get White folks. I’m not meaning this as a joke, I’m serious. Negroes and Black folks need to stop making excuses for the criminals in our midst. We should not be afraid of the police; we should join the force and change the game. There are not enough Black police officers, but there sure are an abundance of Black thugs roaming the streets. We cannot change anything from the sidelines or the alleyways or with those ridiculous candlelight vigils. Why not be vigil in our neighborhoods? If you know who shot the man at the liquor store, stand up and say something. When you are treated badly in a store, boycott! When you are disenfranchised, start your own franchise, but don’t make excuses for proven criminals and then blame it on a racist society – that is unacceptable.

Looking For Camera Time?

Lashonda Johnson, 27, tearfully recalled the last day she saw her husband, Charles Thomas, who was shot on April 17 at 10:15 p.m. Thomas was talking to friends in the 6400 block of South Victoria Avenue when a suspect in a burgundy Chevrolet Camaro shot Thomas twice. One of the bullets pierced Thomas’ liver. Fourteen days later, Thomas died of renal failure. “I had talked to him that night shortly before 10 p.m. and he said he was on his way home,” said Johnson, a newlywed who had been married to Thomas for six months before his murder. “He was such a good person, always smiling. I still can’t believe he’s gone. Someone knows who killed him and they’re not saying anything. I won’t get any rest until the killer is found.” from AP

Anybody care about Lashonda? Hey, Jesse Jackson! I know none of this is your fault, but just out of curiosity, where were you when someone put a bullet through Lashonda’s husband’s liver? What about the day or even the year before Charles got shot? Where were you? We all heard you preach at Tookie Williams’ funeral, but why haven’t you been so vehement on a daily basis? I saw the Fruit of Islam providing security at Mr. Williams’ funeral. But where was the Fruit of Islam during the 38 shootings and four murders that took place recently in the 77th division of Los Angeles? I know Minister Farrakhan had nothing to do with these crimes, but I’m just trying to figure out why folks are so busy trying to save the life of a guy who’s responsible for making people dead? C’mon Snoop Dogg, your behavior is incongruous with rational behavior. Now maybe you had a kindred spirit relationship with Tookie Williams because you’re both from the same set, (well, same parent company so to speak) but how can you claim that you are teaching kids the right way yet you still glorify being in a gang? Remember this?
If you play me close, you're on a red beam
Oh you got a gun so you wanna pop back?
AK47 now nigga, stop that!
Cement shoes, now I'm on the move
You're family's crying, now you on the news
They can't find you, and now they miss you
Must I remind you I'm only here to twist you
Pistol whip you, dip you then flip you
Then dance to this motherfucking music that we crip to
Snoop Dogg lyrics to Drop It Like It’s Hot – released November 2004

What is Redemption?

Citing Williams’ past history of getting high on PCP and mental instability, Smith said that the former gang leader’s execution was unjust. “It troubles my spirit,” said Smith. “I felt it was unfair. I felt that it was unfair because PCP played a major part in his life at that time. I knew about that way before the murder occurred. He wasn’t himself. He was going through a lot of mental instability. It’s troublesome to see this brother lying there. I brought Tookie to the Crips organization. It didn’t start off being so damaging to our culture. That red and blue stuff is the death to our culture.” Zane Smith speaking outside of Tookie Williams’ funeral
You might say that redemption is a form of deliverance. Maybe, I don’t know. I think each soul has their own individual idea of what redemption means. Was Tookie Williams a redeemed man? That is not for me to say. There may be plenty of people imprisoned for heinous crimes who have asked for forgiveness and tried to change their evil thoughts and actions - yeah, it’s possible. But that is not enough to make up for the harm and pain that criminals have already caused. There are many contributing factors that play into why someone who could have been great goes bad. But making excuses for why they went bad is not an excuse for the bad deeds they've done.
Granted, this is not about the guy who stole rims on 125th street, or even about the woman who shot her husband the after he beat her for the 13th time. No, this is about the guy who raped the 6-year-old girl in Virginia. This is about the men who blew up 4 little girls in Birmingham. This is about how the victims suffer more than those that inflict devastation. This is about parenting as a villiage and teaching everyone's children (including your own) the consequences of their actions before they become deviant. This is about people turning on their Emergency Rational Thinking Systems, and instead of spending today worrying about those who have already committed unprovoked murder, how about spending today worrying about warning the innocent victim who will be shot by a criminal tomorrow.

Monday, December 26, 2005

This is SAD!

In case you can't read this man's shirt, it states:


Somehow I think he was serious when he put this shirt on and went to the funeral of Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

I wish I made this stuff up as a joke but it is real people, it is real!

What Really Took "Tookie" Under?

When I began this article, I began with the knowledge that many of my fellow black folks may take offense to my statements contained herein. As a matter of fact, I expect that some people will call me names and delete my blog’s bookmark from their Internet favorites page. Oh well, that’s happened before and believe me I got over it.

Have you ever felt that you were in this world alone? Not by yourself, because there are always people around you, but alone in the way you think and experience life? No, this is not a commercial for Zoloft. This is a test of the Emergency Rational Thinking System (ERTS). Is yours functioning properly?

For the past month or so, many people, (especially Black people) have been up in arms about the Stanley “Tookie” Williams death row case. Of course we all know that Mr. Williams was executed pursuant to the laws of the State of California on December 13, 2005, but the story does not end there.

Now I seriously thought I could go about my business without commenting on the Tookie case; mainly because I thought that most people’s ERTS was operating at full power. Nevertheless, when I woke up this morning on this first day of Kwanzaa, I had to explore the reasons why on this day of unity, I view Tookie Williams as a criminal, yet so many other Black people view him as a hero.

“It's nine-fifteen on twelve-thirteen and another black king will be taken from the scene," exclaimed Snoop Dogg during the funeral services for Stanley Tookie Williams.

Wait! What? The first thing I need somebody to do is to explain to me how Tookie Williams, co-founder of the deadly Crips street gang was a king. Yes, he was a Black man, but a king does not that make him. Okay hold it, I’m going too fast, let’s back up. First we need to understand the positions; the who believes what and why. Here we go:

~Some folks believe Tookie was innocent.
~Some folks believe the death penalty is wrong no matter what.
~Some folks just wanted camera time.
~Some folks think the system is racist.
~Some folks think the punishment should fit the crime.
~Some folks believe that Tookie was a redeemed man and deserved clemency.

Was Tookie innocent?
I needed to know the evidence for myself before I wrote this piece. I sourced the case on WestLaw and found some very interesting information. I found that while Tookie’s proponents claimed that the witnesses that testified against Tookie were all jailhouse informants and/or accomplices themselves, the truth is that there were people who testified against Tookie who were not facing jail sentences nor were they criminals. There were regular folks that testified that Tookie purchased a shotgun at the Western Surplus store on Manchester and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. At trial, a firearms expert concluded that a shotgun shell found at the Brookhaven motel murder scene came from Tookie’s shotgun. Others testified that Tookie bragged about killing 4 people, including the 3 “buddaheads” on Vermont Avenue. Wow, he bragged about it. That is serious and sick all at the same time. Also, entered into evidence were notes that Tookie wrote from prison. Some notes detailed escape plans that included killing prison guards. Other notes indicated that Tookie wanted to kill Blackie (one of his accomplices in the 7-11 murder) because he felt Blackie was a punk who couldn’t eat after they had blown away their victim. Yeah, come to think of it, this sounds like stuff and innocent man would say.

“That's my role model, man. That's the CEO of the Crips," gleaned “Killowatt the Third” at Tookie’s funeral.

What’s wrong with the Death Penalty?
Candlelight vigils outside the prison gates, riddled with impassioned pleas to spare the life of someone who more than likely ignored the pleas of their victims who asked to be spared and allowed to live. Am I missing something here? Why should my tax dollars be used to allow a murderer or rapist the ability to work out in the prison weight room or watch the Soprano’s and Curb Your Enthusiasm while their victims lay six feet under - cold and dead?

Contrary to popular belief around this piece, I believe that unless you are severely retarded, you know the difference between right and wrong. When a man or a woman takes it upon themselves to blow three people away in cold blood for $100.00 and bragging rights in the streets of Los Angeles, that man or woman deserves to die the same way his or her victims died if not worse. All this lethal injection stuff is for the fricken birds. The victims don’t get to die with dignity so why should the perpetrators?

One reason many countries don’t have the crime that the United States has is because they don’t fuck around with coddling criminals. You steal; you get your hand cut off. You kill for no reason or for reasons unrelated to self-defense, you get killed right back. Here in the U.S., you can drive-by an apartment building, shoot 2 babies and an old lady while you listen to G-Unit, and even if you get caught, you can still get off with a 15 years-to-life sentence. Therefore, if someone wants to know what I think about the death penalty, I agree that it may not be applied fairly, but frankly, I also don’t believe it is applied enough.

Blame The System?
There are droves of people out there that believe we should blame the system for our black bad fortune. We all know that poverty, racism, lack of education, drug abuse and gang violence among other things are all products of a racially biased country called America and her system of treatment towards people of color. We know that! But where I have to draw the line is where people think that the system, while a contributing factor to our distress, can be used as an excuse for people to harm, kill, rob or otherwise destroy. For a criminal to make the lame excuse that “the system made me shoot that nigga” is ridiculous, but some people buy into it.

I went to the poorest high school in my city, but we had AP English, AP Physics and AP Calculus. I didn’t take the Calculus, but we had it. We had young men and women who grew up poor, but they weren’t trying to rob and murder people. Okay, we had some that were…but the majority were law-abiding citizens who went to school and tried to get a good education. Many of these students are successful today despite the obstacles they faced. How did they do that? How did they overcome? They had the will to do right. They knew right from wrong regardless of the system. The kids I knew that were in gangs, the Tookie’s of the schoolyard, they also knew right from wrong. They chose to do wrong and while it might not matter if they stole socks from the swap meet, when they escalated to non-defensible murder it was over. They had reached the point of no return and I for one had no sympathy for them.

The system kicks me in the face in some fashion on a daily basis, but I choose to fight the system back instead of knocking a bitch out, snatching her $100.00 chain and then blasting her in the back with a shotgun.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s conclusion…