This prose is about the snitch. Some might find it offensive, but I am compelled to write about it for the sake of enlightening you on how snitches can be counter-productive to a community. Before you can totally understand how the snitch can be an impediment to the prosperity of a community, you must first understand what a snitch is and how they came about.
Snitching has been going on for as long as man existed, but many seem to associate the term with crime and Black communities. We often hear of Black communities being intolerant of snitches. This intolerance relates back to slavery when Blacks were pitted against one another as a way for slave masters to maintain control and order over the slaves–who greatly outnumbered them on plantations. For treats, special privileges, and to escape punishment at the hands of the master, selfish slaves would keep an eye on the other slaves and report their behavior and plans to the slave master. As slaves pursued freedom and moments of contentment, the snitch often stood in the way.
Today snitching is still the same, but in a different form. Many people get the term confused for people who are simply upholding their civic duties. The snitch is not the old lady staring out the window reporting the crimes occurring in her neighborhood; it is not the lady who calls the cops and reports that she has been raped, robbed, or beaten; it is not the man who calls the cops to report that he’s been beaten and carjacked by a group of thugs. All of these innocuous people have a right to protect and defend themselves and their communities by any means from predators–even if it means calling the cops and sending violent predators to prison. They are not snitches, but merely law abiding citizens utilizing the law to protect themselves and their community.
The snitch, on the other hand, is that sneaky, selfish individual who sacrifices the lives and freedom of others for his own benefit. Often, he is a criminal himself. He uses others as a get-out-of-jail-free card. He is not concerned with the well-being of the community–as he often pretends to be when testifying in court–his only concern is himself.
The snitch lacks empathy and falls from the tree of selfishness. For his own benefit, he will lie and fabricate crimes to the detriment of others. He has no qualms about separating nonviolent men from their families and creating communities of fatherless children who lack role models and leaders.
Perhaps it seems that I am stretching this somewhat, but the evidence can be found in America’s War on Drugs, where snitches assist the government in desiccating the Black community of nonviolent, financially-oriented men by sending them to prison for extreme amounts of time.
And now that the drug business has declined in many Black communities, the government has set other traps in which snitches are used.
At the government’s behest, snitches prey on young brothers and hoodwink them into participating in phony “stash house” robberies. The prey are allured by the promise of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cash and drugs, but the promise turns out to be a government sting that nets the young men decades behind bars for conspiring to steal money and drugs that don’t really exist.
It is disheartening to see so many young brothers being hoodwinked by snitches, but it is even more troubling that our own brothers, friends, and partners are responsible for fabricating such hoodwink. As men with structure and principles, no amount of money or early release from prison should be able to entice us to help perpetuate a systemic cycle that is arguably partially responsible for eradication of fathers, leaders, manpower, and voters from our communities. But the snitch has no principles. For that reason alone, the snitch is an impediment to our growth.