Well, the muscle bound Austrian oaf had a chance to do something intelligent, graceful, and merciful. But no, Ahnold Schwarzenegger figured Mr. Williams showed no remoas. Apparently there were questions in 1979 about an all white jury and questionable witnesses. If, perhaps, Mr. Williams was innocent, which only he and the three decedents would know, then no remorse was necessary.
There is no doubt that Mr. Williams was a violent young man. His list of criminal activities before and during the first years he spent in prison are those of a sociopath. I know that most Americans dont much care to discuss the whys and wherefores of such people, just kill em. No one cares about what brings a person to the point where such anger becomes stronger than a persons ability to control it. But poverty, racism, no hope for the future are certainly among the most likely reasons. Many sociologists and psychologists now readily agree that gangs are a way for young people to have a sense of belonging. Something most poor kids miss out on. Black, white, Hispanic and Asian.
Its times like this that the presence of a sophisticated, unbiased, HUMAN BEING ORIENTED, Federal Government would be of much use. But, in truth, theres never been one, certainly not in recent times. Leave all this social business to the states, they say, that is mostly the republicans. They dont mind the cushy jobs with far more pay than they deserve, just dont want to do the work. So the effort, at least for the last century has been to relieve the Federal Government of such things as social control, schooling, decent living conditions, enough to eat, safety and such.
But, its not just the Republicans, though most of trouble this countrys been in usually finds republicans in positions of power.
But what about the average American. Especially people of color. People who absolutely do not share any of the things that supposedly make this country great. Eisenhower had to send the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock Arkansas so some African American kids could get into the all white school. Remember Governor Wallace of Alabama standing on the steps of the University of Alabama to keep African American students out? Can you imagine trusting your life, safety, and well being to a mutt like that, or your familys? Not Hardly. What about the countless lynchings in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Anyone remember the song sung by Billie Holliday called, Strange Fruit?
A country that doesnt care to provide a decent home for all of its citizens, or a good education. A country where African American citizens live in abject poverty as a much greater percentage of their race than do whites. Ghettos with no jobs, ramshackle living quarters, filthy, poorly run schools, if any at all.
Well, this is the type of environment Stanley Williams III grew up in. At a young age, he may or may not have committed these heinous crimes. But then, the bought and paid for WHITES ONLY justice system couldnt have cared less. So, for this crime he allegedly committed, he spent almost half of his life in prison waiting to be killed by the very country that by its behavior towards African Americans, spat in his face.
I suspect any non ideologue would probably consider this cruel and unusual punishment. But despite this, Mr. Williams reached into himself, to his last breath, and pulled out the calm, articulate, warm hearted person that was always caged away by anger and hatred towards the life he found himself the beneficiary of. He wrote a series of books aimed at discouraging gang membership for kids. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He spent the last decade of his life remaking himself and warning others, especially youngsters what would happen if they made the decisions in life he did.
I dont at all mean to disparage or diminish the horrible murders that these families withstood, and will really never forget. I am saying, however, that if we ever hope to make it to the next century, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has to apply to everybody, no matter their color, creed, cultural background, political affiliation and etc. After all, isnt a redeemed human being worth keeping?
History has shown unequivocally that extinction can occur in many ways.
Living in this kind of society is one of them.
Ted Bohne N96173@msn.com is a Vietnam Vet, 51 years old, disabled, formerly a paramedic and adjunct faculty at Texas Tech University School of Medicine and tenured faculty at Odessa College, Odessa Texas