Claim:   Black leaders are planning a big event to honor Stan Tookie Williams.

Status:   Multiple — see below.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2001]

The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Bruce Gordon (the new president of NAACP) are planning a big event to honor a very special hero of the black community. This event is expected to draw 15,000 people and will probably be held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Who is this Black American hero they are planning to honor?

Is it Colin Powell, the first black 4-star general, first black chairman of the joint chiefs, first black man to be Secretary of State, and first black man who could be President if only he wanted to be? No. It’s not him.

Is it Clarence Thomas, the first black man to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States? Nope.

Is it Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Stanford professor and the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State. Nope, not her.

Is it Guy Bluford, the first black NASA astronaut who flew for 8 days in space? Nope. Not him.

Is it Ron McNair, the second black NASA astronaut (who died in the space shuttle Challenger disaster)?? Nope. Not good enough.

Is it Dr. Walter Williams, distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and another truly inspiring black American? Nope.

Is it Dr. Thomas Sowell, distinguished professor from Stanford University? No.

Is it Richard Pryor, a real national treasure, who passed away just this week? Nope, not him either…

I could go on and on. There are thousands and thousands of truly amazing black Americans who deserve an honor like this….

So who is it that The Reverend Jackson and the NAACP plan to honor??? Which black icon is going to draw 15,000 people to honor him????

It’s none other than Stan “Tookie” Williams, the thieving murdering thug who founded the Crips gang — The coward who killed a little old lady with a shotgun blast to her face. This guy was so rotten and vile that they had to put him to sleep to get rid of him once and for all. That’s
who. That’s who is being honored. That’s the role model for our young people….

I guess they went down the list until they found somebody, who didn’t threaten to sue them, if they were mentioned in the same paragraph as Jesse Jackson or Bruce Gordon.

Origins:   This entry looks to be another item that had some factual basis to it, but it was worded in way that may have misled some readers (and is now somewhat outdated).

The implication many recipients of this message took from it (possibly because the final paragraph was added by someone other than the original author) was that black leaders were planning a general event to honor a black hero, and when they put their heads together to decide whom they should select as their guest of honor, out of all possible choices they opted for Stan Tookie Williams, the Crips street gang co-founder who was sentenced to death in 1981 for his part in the 1979 robbery murders of four people in

Los Angeles.

However, the event presumably described above has already taken place, and it was not a general “honor a black hero” celebration. The event was a memorial/funeral service for Stan Williams, who was executed at San Quentin on 13 December 2005. The services were held at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles a week after his death and drew an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 attendees, many of whom believed that he was “innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted, and that he had atoned for his violent past through anti-gang writings and other efforts in prison.” Many prominent black leaders and entertainers attended the services, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and NAACP president Bruce Gordon.

The list of black American heroes provided by the author contains some errors, such as identifying Clarence Thomas as “the first black man to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.” That accomplishment belongs to Thurgood Marshall, who was appointed an Associate Supreme Court Justice by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.

Last updated:   11 January 2006


  Sources Sources:

    Prengaman, Peter.   “Throng Mourns Executed Former Gang Leader at LA Funeral.”   21 December 2005.

    Smith, Gordon.   “Celebs, Gangsters Turn Out to Honor ‘Tookie’ Williams.”   21 December 2005.