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2 Minutes for Terrell Owens and Stanley « Tookie » Williams

Love it or hate it, the media controls perception with limited self-control or regulation. The media felt that O.J was guilty and persuaded the unofficial court of public opinion to the same conclusion. The same went for Michael Jackson. I am not here to say that there is racism to the same level as either the Abe Lincoln or Luther King Jr era’s, but it sugar coating the facts that the very fabric of America’s current pop culture has grown from the seeds of racial intolerance. Take 2 minutes to think about the 2 biggest stories in the last several months involving African Americans.

There was no secret that Mr. Owens was a verbal ticking time bomb, and the media would rush to his house just to watch him to sit ups outdoors waiting for something stupid to come out of his mouth. Now, no one put a gun to his head or pulled a string behind his back to force him to talk (although his last press conference with his agent was about as close as you can get), so the fault of speaking without thinking, or worse still, speaking nonsense even after having thought, is 100% his. The Eagles knew what type of person they were getting when they signed him to a contract. Terrell had literally attacked the manhood of Jeff Garcia and was consistently openly critical about the organisations and team mates he played with. Let’s be clear about this however, as we are in no way condoning the statements made by Terrell. We are simply stating that it is not a news story if a cow goes “moo”. Especially when you are interviewing a superstar athlete during a season when a championship calibre team is not playing up to expectations, you can’t expect him to be talking about candy and roses. The media calls Jeremy Shockey a playboy and someone who can enjoy the New York limelight when he starts speaking out, or will call Peyton Manning a leader when he verbally berates his team mates during the game. Joe Namath makes a sexual pass at a female reporter while intoxicated on Monday Night Football, and the story is barely picked up and then sent to the back pages within days. Terrell Owens is not a likeable guy, if you are unlikely and black, the media will be on you until you are destroyed.

Switching gears, you have the recently executed formal gang-leader, but Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Stanley “Tookie” Williams. Tookie Williams was convicted in 1981 for the murder of 4 individuals in two separate incidents. The interesting thing about 1981 is that it was not long the various Black Awareness movements and the newly revealed police planting of evidence that is coming to light were running rampant. We doubt there is much debate on whether you can rise in a gang without having committed murder, and Tookie has never said he never committed murder, only not those specific murders he was sentenced to die for. The question though, as CNN continues to play interviews with the mother of one of the victims, and gives more air time to people that are for the death penalty, is not whether Tookie should not die in prison, but how and when that should happen. Tookie was doing much in gang relations as he helped mediate codes of conduct for gangs to follow, and was very active for the impoverished youth by teaching them how NOT to end of joining gangs. There is no doubt that Tookie Williams was not going to be released, but it is important to note that there was not one shred of evidence to show that Tookie was actively involved with any criminal activity. What a waste. How many more lives could he have saved by keeping kids out of gangs, who will eventually take the life of another in order to gain status. By changing the hearts of one individual, Tookie was saving at least 2 lives.

Submitted by:

Gary Whittaker

Gary Whittaker is the editor of the T.E.N weblog, your blog with balls! Check out more articles at www.tenwebzine.com.





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