A Song for Tookie Williams

Just thought of penning down some afterthoughts. My tribute to Tookie….

They finally killed Tookie.
After all, he needed to die.
To perpetuate the system
To uphold the mayhem
To continue the mental slavery
Since it’s our collective mockery.

Of course, Tookie had to be killed
He posed to empower the reviled
How long more would they let him write
How much more they could let him fight
Sinners don’t preach, its privilege of the saint
Tookie’s pen had to justify every word he meant

We live in days of certainty, of high conformance
Of how to demarcate thin lines of adherence
Fast answers to many a riddles of our times
Between social constructs, judgments worth a few dimes
Of course Tookie was absolutely the criminal
Agitating children against gangs can be fatally banal

Tookie did not watch Fox TV to be enlightened
Or learnt of Law and Order from episodes televised
He spoke of ways he was turned towards the evil strait
During the times they would not let the blacks integrate
The system then produced petty thieves and killed their colors
Oh now, the system is itself the criminal, creating unjust wars

Some harmless lies over cocktail parties lead thousands astray
Vulnerable youths today then go kill few Iraqis and join the fray
National gangs are now validated everywhere across countries
Members sans convictions, nor any notions of their sanctities
Military industrial complexes abound with transnational spreads
They make the resistance gangs look like unwoven threads

Tookie said, my children, don’t join the gangs of the privileged
Times have changed for worse, and yet we are now educated
Let’s differentiate, take a stand, and make the most of our talent
Gone are the days when I had to survive, over them you don’t have to lament
I will sing the redemption song, and prove we now got better systems
Which educates street urchins, that rehabilitates the prejudiced dictums

I never made any money off the gangs to escape the charges
Never even made a revolution of sorts to replace the mental agonies
I played into the rich white man’s hands to continue the aberrations
And he could pass all bills to keep me under subjugations
Lack of identity, any education, no sense of my heritage
All I had was a dirty pond to beat the torrents of sabotage

Every move I made to get over, I had the moves monitored
Any time I did a narrating, I never felt quite absolved
Everyone wanted a sensational story, and I was almost stale
Just when I reflected at roots, and I thought I had to go tell
How the system bred me, sustained me, and had me uprooted
Just then they came at me, projected me as the most hated.

Tookie needs to die so that we can continue defocusing
We can have an easier life with the thought of some goons dying
Of course God will continue blessing America no matter what
Through the periods of slavery, colonies or civil rights cast
God has his favored children who get heard with more sympathies
Even as they commit thousands murders at their sadistic victories

But Tookie needed to die so that the system could teach
That nay, howsoever low you are, you ain’t above the preach
Poor, black, homeless, uneducated, misled, without a job
Be destined not to aim like Malcolm, not a lawyer, not a cop
Stick to your guns, your drugs and the poor church congregation
End up in our system, so that we can continue to impose segregation


Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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