Sunday, December 11, 2005

Executing Tookie would be a political assassination

Stanley "Tookie" Williams should not be murdered by the State of California.

Here's why:

1. He is an African American who never received a fair trial in front of his peers.
2. Hollywood celebrities have come out against the execution even big names like Mike Farrell who normally don't get involved with politics.
3. It was never proven that Tookie knew the Crips were going to be a criminal gang when he started them. He certainly can't be held responsible for the crimes they committed after he left the club.
4. He is a victim of racism and cannot be held responsible for his actions.
5. The NAACP has asked us not to.
6. It would be the equivalent to a lynching.
7. Think of all of the young men who will never have a chance to have their lives improved by Tookie.
8. All of the press coverage and discussion about it will traumatize kids. Don't they have enough to deal with?

Do I think we should just let him go? Of course not, I'm a realist. Since Tookie admitted that he committed crimes many years ago I would insist on a strict probation that would put him right back in jail if he committed any more crimes (especially if he murdered somebody).

Part of the probation should also be that he agrees to keep publishing those excellent children's books that have done so much to fight crime. How many kids do we see running around killing people since he started his publishing career.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blue Flypaper Explains True Blue's Absence

I lead a triple life. Part of me works at the free trade coffee haus, part of me blogs here, and part of me volunteers for a variety of causes. This time of year is always busy on the charity front and I spent a good part of November working at a "without homes" shelter. I had planned to blog from there but conditions were much, much worse than I had expected.

First off, there were only a few computers for either the staff or the without-homes to use. Even more to the point, no Macs! Since Macs are easier for computer novices to use, you would think that someone would have had the decency to acquire some iMacs for street people. Second we were on dial-up and there was no broadband! How are those without homes supposed to be able to get back on their feet at 56kps? How many of you have tried to use on dial-up? How many of you have tried to run their own business on dial-up? So how do we expect those without homes to do so? Ditto on cell phones, faxes, IM, Chat, MySpace, etc. Employers expect these things yet we keep them away from those that need them the most.

All was not negative however. The people we helped at the shelter are a noble, beautiful people who are looking forward to the end of the Bush administration so that they can get back on their feet and become productive citizens again. We owe so very much to these people that I can't blame them if they never want to go back to work. Fortunately in 2008 it will all be okay. It will be beautiful.