The Spectacle Blog

Gettin’ Their Memorial On

By on 12.21.05 | 9:18AM

Funerals ought to be taken seriously, so I suppose that when translated to the "gangsta" version, it would of course have the requisite "bling," i.e. completely unnecessary accessories. Here's what AP writer Peter Prengaman noticed:

"If you're black like me you are guilty until proven innocent, and furthermore I don't believe Stan did it," [Snoop Dogg] said, drawing wild applause in the parking lot, where as many as 1,000 people watched the funeral on large screen televisions.
Of course, Jesse Jackson was present, but given the presence of "large screen televisions," I imagine the hearse might have been equally tricked out. Actually, a wonderful little typo appears, which I hope doesn't get corrected, referring to Snoop as "Raper Snoop Dogg." Some people just have it so rough.

But this funeral is of note not because Tookie was so terrible; What little is known does reflect to some extent his conversion. But that conversion falls suspect once we look at the circus surrounding the services -- or maybe I should say, carnival:

The mourners included dozens of members of the Crips street gang that Williams co-founded, and they flashed gang signs before entering the church to make brief speeches. ...

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan compared Williams' trial and execution to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Both, Farrakhan told mourners, were innocent men executed for political reasons. ...

Inside the church, Williams' books were for sale, with many people buying and reading them through the service. Outside, some people sold T-shirts that directed profanities at the governor and claimed Williams has a place in heaven.

... [His last words] were: "I am no longer a man of war. I die a man of peace."

The NAACP, which later in the article pledges to re-double its efforts against the unjust application of the death penalty (whatever that means), was on hand for the funeral and how appropriate. Blatantly disregarding the higher ground in favor of something more glitzy, you really needn't think hard about why they are a staple constituency for the Democrats.
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