Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stanley Tookie Williams: I Want the World to Remember Me for My "Redemptive Transition"

Democracy Now! Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

We hear Stanley Tookie Williams in his own words, speaking in one his last interviews, recorded just hours before his death. He appeared on Pacifica Radio station WBAI's Wake Up Call. In the interview, Williams says he would like to be remembered for his redemptive transition: "Redemption. I can say it no better than that. That's how I would like the world to remember me. That's what I would like my legacy to be remembered as." Stanley Tookie Williams, interviewed on Pacifica Radio station WBAI on Monday by Wake-Up Call producer Kat Aaron.


Wakeup Call's full interview with Stanely Tookie Williams

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Stanley Tookie Williams in his own words, hours before he was executed, recorded at WBAI, Pacifica Radio, on "Wakeup Call," an interview that he did with WBAI's Kat Aaron, as she asked him for his thoughts as he faced what turned out to be the last day of his life.

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: Well, I feel good, and my redemption signs, I got up this morning, I cleansed myself, I prayed, I exercised, and now I'm talking to you -- or prior to talking to you, I was talking to my mother. Of course, she is quite encouraging, spiritual, and so am I. And my lack of fear of this barbaric methodology of death, I rely upon my faith. It has nothing to do with machismo, with manhood, or with some pseudo former gang street code. This is pure faith, and predicated on my redemption. So, therefore, I just stand strong and continue to tell you, your audience and the world that I am innocent and, yes, I have been a wretched person, but I have redeemed myself. And I say to you and all those who can listen and will listen that redemption is tailor-made for the wretched, and that's what I used to be. So, I can answer one more before I go.

KAT AARON: There are millions of people all around the country and, indeed, the world who are standing in support of you and doing everything that they can to ensure that your life is spared. How would you like the world to imagine your legacy, one that we all hope does not begin tomorrow, but begins in many years from today?

STANLEY TOOKIE WILLIAMS: I appreciate you making that statement. But I have been asked the same query not too long ago, and I said just one word, just one word can sum it up [inaudible] in a nutshell, and that is: redemption. I can say it no better than that. That's what I would like the world to remember me. That's how I would like my legacy to be remembered as: a redemptive transition, something that I believe is not exclusive just for the so-called sanctimonious, the elitists. And it doesn't -- is not predicated on color or race or social stratum or one's religious background. It's accessible for everybody. That's the beauty about it. And whether others choose to believe that I have redeemed myself or not, I worry not, because I know and God knows, and you can believe that all of the youths that I continue to help, they know, too. So with that, I am grateful. So I thank you for the opportunity, and I say to you and everyone else, god bless. So take care.

AMY GOODMAN: Stanley Tookie Williams, speaking on WBAI, Pacifica Radio, to Kat Aaron hours before he was executed by the State of California. He died 12:35 a.m. this morning, Pacific time.

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