Thursday, March 08, 2007

Our youth in crisis: Where is Tookie Williams when we need him!

Recently two four-year-old girls were playing in the front yard of a tract house on a quiet street in Hayward, California.

A car full of gang-bangers slowly rolled down the street. What happened next? One can only speculate.

"Turn around, let's go back."

"Why? They're just two stupid little girls playing dolls."

"Target practice."

Punks in our streets, punks in our neighborhoods, misguided, misconnected, misdirected punks. Punks who know they have no future and no longer care.

Who can reach these kids? Who can get to them, talk to them, teach them, convince them, give them hope? Change the direction of their lives before it is too late?

Tookie Williams.

And where is Tookie Williams now? When we really need him? California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger killed him last year. Offed him, fried him, executed him, took him out. It was pathetic -- a legal, official, government-sanctioned drive-by shooting, using a hypodermic needle instead of a gun.

Who could have talked to these kids on their level? The gangs of Hayward? The NorteƱos, the Border Brothers, the Scraps, 510? "Stay in school. Get a job. Tough it out. You are our future. America needs you."

Tookie Williams could have done that. He was a powerful man, a strong roll model for young men who are crying out for roll models, a man who had been to Hell -- and come back.

And what happened to Tookie Williams? Where is he now when we really need Him? Don't ask.

The official tally came out this week. It's now official. 148 people were murdered in Oakland last year. We need strong, clear roll-model leaders to help and guide our kids back from the jaws of death, back from the mouth of Hell. Tookie Williams could have SAVED LIVES.

"Who shot those little girls," I asked a kid I know who is into the gang-banger scene.

"I think it was the Border Brothers."

"But why!"

"It was just something to do."