08 December 2005

Washington Post's Resident House Slave: 'Kill Tookie!'

The state of California plans to execute Stan 'Tookie' Williams in less than a week. They announced their intention to do so following his conviction 24 years ago in a farcical, racist show trial. During the trial Robert Martin, Tookie's prosecutor, used innuendo and evidence confected by racist police to make the charges stick. Two decades later, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear the case, averting its eyes from the case's flagrant racism.

When the state's racism and hypocrisy exposes itself so nakedly and the anger and rage of Black people intensifies to 'dangerous' levels, the media - a white, ruling-class institution - stand on the front lines in the fight to preserve the ruling order and supress incipient rebellion.

To confuse, confound, and misdirect blame and resentment, white-supremacist newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and the Washington Post hire black men like Clarence Page, Bob Herbert, and Eugene Robinson to write ineffectual, milquetoast, suppine pieces on race relations.

Their bosses would fire them if they thought or wrote like Malcolm, Mumia, Martin - in other words, if they told the truth.

We cannot expect them to do so. That's not their job.

Their job is to serve their master. In a recent column, Eugene Robinson put this servile quiescence to the white ruling class order - and its murderous syringe - on full display. In his 2 December column Robinson, with a head-spinning demonstration of logical gymnastics, claimed to oppose the death penalty in principle while accepting California's decision to murder author and Nobel Prize Nominee Tookie Williams.

Robinson says that he cannot bring himself to support clemency for Tookie Williams. "It can't be right to save Williams just because he's a famous desperado (or former desperado) with famous friends, and then blithely go back to snuffing out the lives of other criminals who lack his talent for public relations."

Instead of concerning himself with the facts of the case, Robinson assumes Tookie's guilt and scornfully vilifies the campaign to save his life. "Sorry, but I can't join the glitterati in showing the love," he nonchalantly quips.

Robinson continues, "Williams has been on death row since 1981; that he has consistently maintained his innocence of all four killings hardly makes him unique. There's no dramatic new DNA evidence or anything like that to cast doubt on his guilt."

Notice his rhetorical trick: Robinson doesn't describe how the trial was a charade from the start. He could care less that the prosecutor moved the trial from Los Angeles to lily-white Torrance and purged the Black jurors from the jury. He concerns himself not a whit with the total absence of physical evidence or to the blind trust granted without question by the court to a racist police force. Nor does he seem to mind that Martin compared Stan to a 'Bengal tiger in the zoo' and argued before his hand-picked, racially pure jury that Stan's 'environment' - South Central Los Angeles - was equivalent to the natural 'habitat of a Bengal Tiger'.

None of this merits a word from Robinson - it's not even on his radar. He ignores the racism built into this case, and the system as a whole, because that's what his masters pay him to do.

Robinson diverts the discussion away from the racist injustice system and focuses his attention on inane, asinine diversions like whether Williams's case is more about the 'power of celebrity' or the 'power of redemption'.

Robinson is clearly annoyed that Tookie has put up a fight. But he's angry that some high-profile people refuse to blindly accept the same judicial fairy-tale he's swallowed. He reserves particular scorn for rapper Snoop Dogg, who has lent his powerful voice to Tookie's cause.

Robinson attempts to delegitimate Williams's appeal for justice by lamenting and ridiculing the 'nihilistic violence' of Snoop's music. Rejecting out-of-hand Snoop's rationale for defending Tookie, he chose instead to launch a diversionary personal attack against him.

While Robinson's aghast at Snoop's lyrics, he somehow manages, in his most recent column about Saddam Hussein's staged show trial, to overlook the torture, murder, and corruption committed by the United States - the real 'nihilistic violence' - that has taken more than 100,000 Iraqi lives.

For a man so appalled by violent words, Robinson should be apoplectic about the real 'nihilistic violence' perpetuated by the savages now occupying Iraq, torturing innocent people in global concentration camps, and assassinating unarmed, mentally ill airline passengers.

But he isn't. Robinson accepts the atrocities in Iraq and brutal murders carried out by secret police in the United States, however unsettling, because they're ordered by the United States' white ruling elite. They always get a pass from Robinson because they sign his paycheck.

On Oct. 24, Superior Court Judge William Pounders smiled as he signed Tookie's death warrant. "This case has taken over 24 years to get to this point, that is a long delay in itself and I would hate to add to that."

Since that verdict, people of conscience from all over the world have rallied to condemn this racist calamity. But not Eugene Robinson. Like a good Sambo, he dutifully serves his master, consenting to the state murder and condemning anyone who doesn't.

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