Thinking about Tookie

Many thoughts. Very few words. I have been thinking about Stan “Tookie” Williams alot lately. Actually I am a little depressed about the whole deal. I found this quote from one of my favorite theologians, D. Stephen Long in his book The Goodness of God. I thought it somehow applicable to this situation.

Christianity was born out of the imprisonment and execution of an innocent person. Given our history, we cannot seek the solution to crime in a punitive prison industry. Although Christians and other innocent persons have often been labeled as criminals, this does not imply that all criminals are unjustly persecuted. Some people do evil things that require the kind of correction imprisonment could potentially bring. Imprisonment should not be a time of punitive retribution but an opportunity for people to face the reality of the evil they have committed in hope that they might yet repent and turn toward the good. p. 299

Did Stan turn toward the good? I hope so. Whatever good that he did do I hope that it finds it way towards the hood in the midst of nihilism and violence. I hope the good that Stan may have done be not swallowed up by the revenge of the State. Much more to think about.

6 thoughts on “Thinking about Tookie

  1. I’m in a funk as well. Last night, I was reading A. Brandt’s article, “Racism and Research” for the umpteenth time. The news was on in the background informing me on what I already knew was about to go down. I read on as Brandt contextualizes the Tuskegee syphils study by giving the scientific background to the times. He writes:

    “Darwinism had provided the new rationale for American racism. Essentially, primitive peoples, it was argued, could not be assimilated into a complex, white civilization. Scientists speculated that in the struggle for survival the Negro in America was doomed. Particulary, prone to disease, vice, and crime, black Americans could not be helped by education or philanhthropy.”

    This morning I read excerpts from Tookie in the NY Times. A few of them stood out to me.

    On His Transformation:
    “People forget that redemption is tailor-made for the wretched.”

    I ask myself, “What does redemption look like? Is it cowering and defeated? Who gets to define it? Was tookie fakin’ the funk?”

    On the Prospect of Execution:
    “I feel good. I really do. I feel good physically and mentally and spiritually. Had I not undergone this redemptive transformation, I guarantee I’d really be a mess.”

    “My faith sustains me. I don’t crack under pressure.”

    On Death Row:
    “I’ve never seen a millionaire here.”

    I’ve uttered too much, but please bear with me. Usually, I’m Mad Max, but today I am undeniably sad. For those of you who will grieve and mourn, for you know not what, please allow the Holy Spirit the space in your heart and give yourselves the permission to do so. Maybe, I’ll go cop a blue rag in honor of Took dog.

  2. Postmodern Negro,
    I’ve linked your website at mine JESUS THE RADICAL PASTOR. I like your stuff. Why do I (a white guy) need to read James Cone’s book God of the Oppressed? I’m looking for books that will help me read history from the bottom up rather than from the “conquerers'” viewpoint.

  3. I found this most recent post too late. I felt as if I was in a funk all alone last week Monday and Tuesday… Although I should have been here a week ago, I’m thankful for thoughful and loving Jesus followers…

  4. America ain’t about redemption. Unfortunately, neither are many “Christians.”

    I’m getting cynical and depressed. Must be Christmas time again.

    Howie Luvzus–>

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