START snitching

People have it confused; if you and your man do a crime and you get caught and he doesn’t and you tell. THAT’S SNITCHING! You chose that lifestyle, you are only telling because you got caught. However if a little girl gets shot in the street and you say you’re not going to “snitch”, a. that’s not snitching, b. you’re a punk and you’ll end up dead soon enough. See because you chose not to snitch you bring death to your own front doorstep! 1


We see it glorified in old mob flicks, rap records hail it as the sin of all sins; the number one code of the streets; “don’t snitch”. LOYALTY, I understand the concept very well, but when does it border stupidity and become a cause in fact of the violence and destruction of our neighborhoods. The “Stop Snitching Campaign” was subliminally etched into our minds long before the celebrated t-shirts with stop signs and the word snitching embedded within. Well please forgive me, for I am about to break the ultimate code of honor, I’m about to become the rat of all rats, because my charge for us as a community is to… “START SNITCHING”.

There, I said it, START SNITCHING, start snitching if you want your children to live to see past their elementary school graduation. Start Snitching if you want to stop living in fear as you walk to the corner store. This is heavy, because as a people we have a strong distrust for law enforcement. I mean, why wouldn’t we, after seeing many of our leaders crippled by this system of American Justice. We vividly remember news clips of the Civil Rights Era, watching police officers brutally attack people of color with water hoses and K-9 dogs? Many of us can attest to the “random” car stops, the harassment and brutality that our people face on a daily basis from those who are supposed to protect and serve. Yet I still say START SNITCHING, far too many of our children are becoming victims in the crossfire of drug wars, domestic disputes and other various forms of crime that begat violence.

What do you tell a mother who just lost her 6-year-old child to gun violence and you know what happened? What do we put on your grave when you’re no longer here, “here lies a good man cause he wasn’t no snitch”. No, more like here lies a coward who was too afraid to take ownership of his community and protect the lives around him. Now you’re thinking, “I‘m not snitching because then they are going to come and get me”. I agree, and sadly once again law enforcement does an awful job at protecting those who come forward with the truth. There is power in numbers, if we take a stand as a people we can combat these atrocities. We can put pressure on the legislators to create better programs for those who come forward, put pressure on city hall to allocate sufficient funds to the police department for such programs. Once we become aware of our power we won’t have to live in fear, we will begin to think for the system and have our thoughts implemented, as they should be in the first place. We elect, key word “elect” public officials, they are in their positions to serve us. So if we don’t feel safe it is our duty to get that message across to those who we have elected to make us feel protected. We can employ “effective snitching” by going to city council meetings, arranging town hall meetings and charging elected officials with doing their job and implementing programs that will make our streets safer. Our taxes are what pay the salaries of these elected officials and law enforcement personnel, so essentially they work for us, its time that we remind these people who write their checks and demand that produce results!

I’m talking about taking a stand for the well-being of the children we are raising. We know exactly what goes on around the way from violence to drug dealing and we even know what times it is more probable that these crimes occur. Effective snitching means as a community going to these elected officials and providing them with this information, demanding that they not only look at the information but that they create a plan of action to address it. Jail time is supposed to serve as a deterrent for crimes committed, meaning if you do the crime you do the time. By not snitching and taking a blind eye to the crimes within our neighborhoods, we are sending our people the message that what they’re doing is right and will be tolerated. We’re saying there’s no reason to think before you act because no one is going to tell so you don’t have to worry about prison time. No wonder the murder rates are so high, we have sent a message that people can be killed and we will protect the killers by keeping silent. START SNITCHING, effective snitching, lets be a catalyst for the change that we wish to see in our communities. Let’s Make It Happen!

Cedric D. Shine


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