The Blueprint

More on Stanley Williams.

I am categorically opposed to the death penalty. Period. Everyone has their various reasons for supporting or opposing it; mine is simple: injustice is not corrected with injustice. You can retaliate against wrong with wrong, but you can not correct it in that manner.

This of course doesn’t make sense in our hedonistic, instant-gratification-obsessed society. The quick-fix/temporary satisfaction solution to punishing a murderer is to kill them. That way, you get another “killer off the street.” This makes us feel safe for about 2 seconds, then the cycle repeats itself the next time danger or the thought of danger presents itself (sounds kind of like “the ‘war’ on terror,” where we shampoo terrorists: get scared, kill, repeat. But I digress…). That’s about as logical as cheating on someone because they cheated on you. That makes you more of a scumbag than the initiator of the infidelities. The problem that people don’t realize that until much later. Well this is one that can be realized now because I am saying it and you are reading it.

With all of that out of the way, we will now list reasons why Stan Will should be a prison privatization infomercial and not a dead man.

– He was convicted.
(Not sure if he was guilty or not, but for the sake of argument let’s say he is)

– He was locked away from society, where he theoretically could do no harm.

– He had a change of heart, realizing that certain things he did were wrong (starting a gang. Inciting others to do hurtful things). Notice that the murders he was convicted of are NOT a part of this bullet since he maintains his innocence.

– He acted on the aforementioned change of heart, by writing his books and becoming an outspoken ANTI-gang activist that led individuals to end the wars he helped begin.

If I ran SQ, I would have this guy be my spokesperson. I would parade him around to any and every town/city/state/country/planet looking to imprison anyone. I would say, “we took in this killer and made him a (Nobel) peacemaker! We will make ‘productive’ citizens of your captives!” that would work for everyone because Stan wouldn’t die, satisfying the anti-capital punishnent crowd, and the jailers would get more mon- I mean jailees (I apologize for that prison industrial complex moment).

Stanley Williams is a SuperSpade. He is a great leader who went from a negative direction to a positive one. He has inspired far more than he has misguided. He elevated his mind and his actions. We all strive to do just that.

They can’t kill him. SuperSpades never die.

Garlin Gilchrist II

Sent via Wireless Handheld


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

7 responses to “The Blueprint”

  1. David Betts says :

    I’ve always loved how our wonderful “Christian” society is so content with the death penalty, inferred from what I feel is a lack of opposition to the practice from social conservatives, yet they can complain to President Bush about how Jesus wasn’t mentioned in the official White House Holiday Greetings cards. Hypocracies and moral dilemmas are fantastic aren’t they?

  2. Garlin II says :

    Indeed these sort of hypocrytical statements are deeply woven into the American conservative/fundamentalist movement. We can combat this in a couple ways:

    1. Positive propoganda promoting logical themes
    2. Categorical rejection of fundamentalism in all of its forms.

    Propaganda that is being used against people with brains (like in the so-called “War on Christmas”) can be combatted equally smarter, better executed propaganda on the flip side. In the case of Stan Williams, the machine got rolling, but it was much, much too late. Not to mention it was kinda sloppy.

    My father told me that fundamentalist anything is stupid, and I agree with them. Having faith and having a brain are not mutually exclusive. Most of our right-wing counterparts talk about Jesus and then talk about eye-for-an-eye. The New Testament Gospels proclaim love instead of killing killers. I guess I read a different translation or something.

  3. Kyle Warfield says :

    Man, we need you back in Ann Arbor. Now. Good argument. I’m in agreement. So much so that I’m going to put it out there as my own and give you no credit whatsoever.

  4. Steven DeVougas says :

    That’s real talk. Our system is so dysfunctional, and until they can conclusively prove guilt, the death penalty should be withheld (i.e. Jeffrey dahmer). The fact that Stanley was able to elevate his mind a la Malcolm X is more than noteworthy. it is an example to all our brothers behind bars that they can lock your body, but not your mind…

  5. Julian R. Williams says :

    Good work fellas. My objection to the death penalty is plain and simple. The power to say who lives and who dies is in God’s hands not man’s and should definitely not be in the hands of a flawed criminal justice system.

  6. Kyle Warfield says :

    I’m just growing tired of the “Well, he started the Crips who have done SO much evil…” argument. I liken it to someone who kicks up a little snow and causes an avalanche — what good can he do at the bottom of the mountain to stop it? His turn around (I like Steve’s Malcolm X analogy) is remarkable, and decisions on who dies are definitely out of the realm of man. Stan should have been the centerpiece of San Quentin…I doubt even we’d be upset at the shameless promotion they’d be doing with him because it’d be for the greater good. The flaws within are criminal justice system are EXTREMELY evident when death is considered true “rehabilitation”, or even an option for the “irredeemable”.

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