Monday, August 30, 2010

no snitiching - the new crack

Drug abuse and addiction have historically been a major problem in minority communities, in particular the African American community. Now, we are confronted with a new addictive behavior that is reminiscent of the impact that crack once held in our neighborhoods. This new addiction is not a substance but a problem behavior that can be coined "no snitching."

On Wednesday, July 28, a 13-year-old boy was gunned down while riding his bike in Chicago. According to witnesses, the gunman stood over the youngster's body and continued to fire into his bleeding body. The victim was an eighth grader named Robert Freeman. The doctor found 22 bullets in the boy's body.

Although detectives have spent days interviewing witnesses, no one has yet provided them with information regarding the murder. Even the appeal of the family, especially from the mother, has yet to produce any leads or suspects — despite the fact that according to reports, there were dozens of youths outside on the street when the murder took place. This is similar to the tragic death of Derrion Albert, the honors student who was beaten to death while walking home from school. No one spoke to police or "snitched" in that case either, and if it were not for cell phone videos, the individuals who were caught would not have been, and to this date, other suspects still have not been apprehended.

Historically, African Americans have a sordid history with law enforcement and aren’t too enthusiastic about working with police. This history was rooted in law enforcement allowing lynch mobs to have their way with black men, mainly in the South during the days of Jim Crow, Reconstruction and segregation. But today what is the excuse?

The truth is that what we see in Chicago and Memphis, Tenn., and many other urban areas around the country is that black youth are murdering each other at a rate that far outpaces anything a bad seed cop could ever do. The idiots who promote this violent ethos — although it is often stated that music doesn't influence kids — are often from the music industry. Rappers who call themselves by names such as Noriega, Al Capone, Rick Ross, and Killa Cam along with a host of others with the name Killa or gangster in their names, do hold some of the blame. Not to mention the many who wear their gang affiliation as a badge of honor, as if it is a college diploma. Some artist have made songs promoting silence in criminal matters, including “Snitches” by Master P and Snoop Dogg and “Snitch” by Lil Wayne. Even NBA star Carmelo Anthony played a role in a video supporting the "don't snitch" movement. And we all remember Busta Rhymes' silence in the death of Israel Ramirez.

Yes, it is true, not snitching is the new crack in our communities and may be leading to the unsolved deaths of our most valuable assets — our youth. It is not snitching if you are simply telling the truth. What is the logic of not telling who murdered a child if you witnessed the killing? Nothing, for only punks and cowards are afraid to tell the truth.


bookfraud said...

great post, and very sad as well. i wish i could come up with an answer, but being neither a criminologist, psychologist, community activist or really having any idea why people refuse to report violent crime, i have no idea. i certainly understand the awful relationship african americans have had with law enforcement, but damn, what happens when that gang banger who you don't report having shot a kid in the neighborhood goes and kills your kid?

cowardice masquerading as honor, i guess. the whole sordid affairs of robert freeman and derrion albert just makes me sick and helpless.

Anonymous said...

No snitich'n. It's just the way shit has to be. We don't give a fuck. NO SNITICH'N.