To Snitch Or Not To Snitch?

The opinions expressed in this editorial do not necessarily reflect the position of or any of its employees

The justice system in this country

sucks ass.  We all know that.  There are plenty of times when the

judge, jury and executioner don’t give a damn whether or not you’re guilty. 

The jails are filled with folks of color and the reasons behind that are

convoluted and countless. 

Is everybody in prison guilty? Hell

no.  The system is racist and unyielding in its desire to incarcerate our

folks.  Do we help the system?  Hell yes.  For every horrifying

story of the innocent spending years behind bars or folks being over-sentenced,

there are 10 stories about dudes who actually belong there. 

That’s why this “no

stitching” doctrine confuses me.  There are times when it’s probably

best that you keep your mouth shut, but there are also times when giving up the

information is the better course of action.  The hard fast rules hurt more

than help in many instances, especially considering the source. Have you ever

noticed that most of the people barking all that snitch s**t are the ones who

have never been confronted by anyone related to lady justice? 

How many have been in that

situation?  How many of those who claim to live by the no snitch code have

actually found themselves in a position where they had to evoke said

code?  Jake asking you if you saw your boy lift that DVD from the FYE down

the street does not count.  Seriously.  When was the last time you

found yourself in a hail of bullets only to cradle your best friends head in

your arms and watch his life drain from the bullet wound knowing the only thing

you can do is call the law?  I’ve never been there.  I don’t want to

be there and it’s unfair to judge anyone who has.

Can you truly say that your adherence

to some street law would be more important than attempting to bring some

homicidal maniac to justice?  Oh, I forgot. You would drop that vigilante

hammer on them, huh?  Posse up and go hunting humans, right?  Stop

boo-boo. Stop. You watch too many fucking Charles Bronson movies.

I think that in all aspects of our existence

there is evolution.  We are products of our experiences which are driven

by the decisions we make.  In the absence of that experience; your hard

core Hip-Hop-coated thought process doesn’t amount to a hill of beans to that

person who is living it.

You can feel what you want.  You

can concoct every situation possible that might require you to answer a

question posed by a homicide detective. Stand in your mirror and practice your

‘f**k you copper’ face. Take notes from Juice and Menace to Society and get

yourself ready.  I still really hope that you are never faced with such a

horrible circumstance. However, at least we know if you are, you will be able

to slick tongue yourself out of actually helping to bring your loved one some

justice and making the neighborhood a little safer for the rest of us.  We

thank you.

Even Killa Cam explained the code in

more detail once his camp apologized for the infamous Anderson Cooper

interview.  He explained that it’s not code, but apprehension that drives

the silence.  He said folks who cooperate with the police are frowned upon

in the community and open themselves up to more criminal attacks.  So does

that mean the code is nothing more than fear and apathy rather than a disdain

for the criminal justice system?

That fear is palpable and regularly

cemented by brutal attacks on those who choose to do the right thing. 

However, when you don’t have the strength to speak up for your own community,

should you be berating those who do?  I don’t think so.

We have developed a mistrust for law

enforcement that is valid.  You can drown in the reams of paper that

document the scandalous mistreatment of minorities at the hands of the boys in

blue.  However, once you remove a single experience from that context;

once you look at the lives lost and pain suffered; you have to admit that we

also mistreat ourselves and that remaining silent or criticizing those who

speak may be just as scandalous.

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