Archive for the ‘Avenue Report’ Category

START SNITCHING

May 30, 2008

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


START SNITCHING

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

Advertisements

Avenue Report Spring Issue is Here

April 3, 2008

If you are not familiar, I encourage you to get FAMILIAR with Avenue Report; the young professional man of color’s guide to business, health, fashion, music, and politics. I currently write a column for this Lifestyle magazine which specifically serves men of color. The column is titled “Real Talk” and it seeks to address an array of issues that affect our people and solutions on how to deal with fighting stereotypes, crime in our neighborhoods, and the stresses of growing up in a single parent home among other things. Please check below for an excerpt of Real Talk in this upcoming issue. For more information on how to subscribe and become a part of the AR Family, feel free to check out http://www.avenuereport.com

Spring 2008 Cover.jpg

START SNITCHING

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.

http://www.avenuereport.com/index.php/ar_pages/subscribe/

Say Hello to a Reality Within Ourselves

March 15, 2008

Photobucket


We ain’t thugs for the sake of just being thugs. Nobody do that where we grew at nigga duh. The poverty line we not above so out comes the mask and gloves cause we ain’t feeling the love. We ain’t doing crime for the sake of doing crime, we moving dimes cus we ain’t doing fine. 1 out of 3 of us is locked up doing time; you know what that type of shit can do to a niggas mind. My mind on my money, money on my mind if you owe me ten dollars you ain’t giving me nine. Yall ain’t give me forty acres and a mule so I got my glock 40 now I’m cool and if al sharpton is speaking for me. Somebody get him the word and tell him I don’t approve. Tell him ill remove the curses, if you tell me our schools gon be perfect. When Jena 6 don’t exist tell em that’s when ill stop saying bitch, biiitchhhh!!!!!

Jay – Z “SAY HELLO”
American Gangster

In the 2003 Fade to Black DVD, Jay-Z referenced taking time out in his music to address what’s going on in the hood, asking his peers, “am I wrong to do that, to have those feelings.” Well on the last verse of Say Hello from Jay’s latest album American Gangster, Jay addresses many inherent issues within the black community, its duality is indescribable, just vibe with me!

We ain’t thugs for the sake of just being thugs….. True but false, we live in environments where many feel that they have no other options but to resort to a criminal lifestyle because of the lack of resources to education, and job training to achieve that American Dream. However, we also live in a time where the commercialization of hard times has become intriguing to many youth. In fear of not being respected our youth are imitating thug lifestyles in an effort to replicate what they see on television and hear in songs.

The poverty line we not above so out comes the mask and gloves…….. True indeed, many of our families are living below the poverty line, suffering, living from check to check. So out comes the mask and gloves…. Wait a minute, who is this mask and glove being used to hide? Who is the victim of these tools the perpetrator you so vividly paint chooses to use while committing his crime that he’s not doing for the sake of committing crime? More than likely, people who look just like you, live in similar conditions as you, creating a vicious cycle of survival of the fittest in our communities!

1 out of 3 of us is locked up doing time…………. Oh I know what that type of thing can do to a brother’s mind, to a young man’s self esteem. When your peers are being hauled away in record numbers to institutions of enslavement, better known as prisons! However, thread this story together; already Hov has answered some of his own questions, showing you the circumstances which desperately rape our communities of our brothers.

Yall ain’t give me forty acres and a mule……….. So you got your Glock 40 now you’re cool. No….. Not cool, that’s misplaced anger. They did that to us, well who is they, is this “the proverbial man” who keeps his foot on top of the black man’s throat? No! This is a historical reference, reflective of the United States and promises that were made to people of color that were not fulfilled. Moreover, it’s institutionalized racism that Jay is talking about and how it affects the neighborhoods we live in. The lack of resources and awareness on how to achieve in this land of American opportunity. Back to this Glock 40, this gun, our anger and despair for a system that oppresses us is quite valid but to then take out that same anger on our own people only furthers a system of destruction upon us as a community.

And if Al Sharpton is speaking for me………. Say no more my brother; many feel that the Old Guard of leadership is out of touch with the issues of today’s generation. A few months ago I saw Sharpton attacking Nas over his new album title “NIGGER”. I thought, we have to get better communication within our community of leadership! Nas shouldn’t have to hear via MTV news that Al Sharpton has a problem; Sharpton should contact Nas directly and feed him some knowledge and wisdom as a younger brother. We should respect our elders and in turn they should respect us and what we are trying to create as an innovative and creative group of young people.

Instead, we need to openly communicate about issues respectfully and provide viable solutions to these problems. Because once again, I hear anger within ourselves when we truly should be coming together to fight against systems of inequality and their injustices. Sharpton can’t make the schools better and neither can Jay, but with an agenda targeting urban public school systems WE Can. Targeting legislation used to fund educational programs in underserved communities, using our right to vote, utilizing our freedom of speech against the ills that plague us, We Can. By reinvesting in our own communities and not spending our dollar in everyone else’s the minute it’s earned, we can create economic prosperity and create opportunity within our neighborhoods. Then the mask and gloves don’t have to come out because they are only hurting us. There’s an awareness issue in the hood, there’s misplaced anger in the hood, it’s time now that we unite together and build with each other to create an agenda and Make It Happen! 1
C. Shine