Stanley "Tookie" Williams, A Man of Peace - My Hero

Essay by Tom Razzeto    (c) 2005 Tom Razzeto

Dec 13, 2005 1:25 AM

I just heard that the state of California went through with it; they just executed Noble Peace Prize nominee, Stanley "Tookie" Williams, co-founder of "The Crips", an East LA gang that became huge.

No one can say what the life of Tookie Williams would have become from this day forward if he had been allowed to live but it sure looked to me like he had changed from an angry, hateful and destructive man to a man of tolerance, compassion and truly great wisdom. Tookie Williams became a man of peace.

Tookie Williams became a man who did immensely positive things for our society that others will never be able to do because they have never been to depths of the darkness that Tookie Williams went to. He was able to come back from that dark gang scene and say to our whole society, "Don't go there! Don't go there! I went there and it's no good!" A voice that can say that from personal experience will be listened to by many, many people. So Tookie, I hope that those who can still hear your voice will listen and help bring peace to our neighborhoods, our society and our whole world.

Maybe, as sometimes happens, something greater will come out of what seems to be a great setback. The loss of Tookie Williams does seem to me to be an enormous setback to the cause of peace and understanding. But perhaps the inspiration that he has provided in the past will grow in ways that no one can imagine and he will make an even greater difference than if he were physically here now. Perhaps in the future he will even win that Noble Peace Prize!

In this world where society focuses too much on material possessions and prizes, I note that the Noble Peace Prize is an exceptional prize, a prize that is truly worth winning. But there is an even more important prize that we all can win and share with each other. With Tookie's guidance and that of other teachers, we all can win the prize of personal peace. And, as we work toward towards this prize of personal peace, our work toward world peace will become easier and more effective. So be like Tookie and work towards peace within yourself and between those around you. All of us together can make an immeasureable difference when we each win this prize just like Tookie won this prize.

Tookie, thanks for being who you were in your brief life.

Thanks for your contributions toward peace, they are some of the finest gifts ever given by a man to his society.

It is now up to us to use what you gave us to bring peace to ourselves and those around us.

May you rest in peace, Tookie Williams.

Signed by Tom Razzeto, in Southern California with many tears

PS Oh, Tookie, one more thing. I know I said, "Rest in peace" but what I really meant was, "May you continue to act in peace from the other side! We will tune in and continue to receive the gifts that you will forever send us. Thank you. Thank you, Stanley 'Tookie' Williams!"

For more about Stanley "Tookie" Williams: and

Tookie's Books:

The Tookie Protocol for Peace, a local street peace initiative: