A Song For Tookie Williams

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


– Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet


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