I PROPOSE that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, rather than unequivocally deciding to save Stanley Tookie Williams or send the convicted murderer to his death next week, instead conditionally postpone his execution.
The governor should then immediately convene a summit, including not only clergy, grass-roots leaders and elected representatives such as Maxine Waters and Diane Watson, but also current and former Bloods and Crips. The deal: He will spare Williams' life, but only as long as these leaders can keep young black men from killing each other.
In other words, for every 30 days of peace, Tookie receives a stay of execution. Should there be any gang-related killings in L.A., Tookie's fate will be sealed — not by the governor but by the young men who have been clamoring that Williams be spared and the leaders who say they are determined to save black lives. (And those leaders should be the ones to set the murder-acceptability level — at zero tolerance or massacre levels; let it be up to them.)
This is an opportunity to (1) empower young blacks to play a role in saving one of their own; (2) educate them on the role of nonviolent solutions to societal problems; (3) let African American leaders step up and do what they're always talking about — saving children and healing the brokenness in our community.