Editor’s note: This editorial, originally published Dec. 14, 2005, is being republished today to mark the third anniversary of the state murder of Stanley Tookie Williams.
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff
Arnold Schwarzenegger is so afraid of the power of the people that he murdered a hero of the people, Stanley Tookie Williams. The governor based his decision to kill Tookie, who inspired millions, on the people Tookie said inspired him: Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, Ramona Africa, John Africa, Leonard Peltier, Dhoruba Al-Mujahid bin Wahad, George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
When another great organizer, Marcus Garvey, leader of the largest Black organization in U.S. history, was imprisoned, he declared, “You may have caged the lion, but his cubs are running loose.” You young people who are left behind to fight and win the freedom and justice Tookie was denied are his “cubs.”
I want you to see the governor’s fear as a measure of your power. Tookie preached against gang violence, but he also preached unity. To break the chains of the mental and physical slavery that bind us, develop the traits that characterize all these heroes: Study, discipline yourself and unify your community.
Schwarzenegger’s refusal to stop the killing of Tookie symbolizes white supremacists’ refusal to stop the killings in our hoods. They don’t care whether we’re killed by the police or each other – they want us dead or at least enslaved behind bars. As cubs of all these great revolutionaries, your job – and the best way to honor all our fallen heroes and loved ones – is to live and to lead your people to freedom.
Contact Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff at (415) 671-0789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.