To Snitch or Not to Snitch – And the role of the community
I know you have heard it all before – “stop snitching”, “don’t rat”, et cetera, et cetera. Many people don’t believe in the justice system, and especially the face of the justice system (cops). Now, in particular communites (especially, black, latin communities) there have been a long-standing demise of the relationship between the police, and the communities that they are supposed to ‘protect & serve’. Many stories of police brutality, and corruption are almost synonomous with police behaviour; and of course, the ultimate blow to the relationship between police and black/latino communities was the videotaped beating of Rodney King: that solidfied the disdain and distrust that many have of police.
So with that history, being circulated and passed on through oral & written tradition, and with popular music vocalizing the notions of ‘stop snitching’ – what are we supposed to do in the face of an injustice? If we don’t ‘snitch’ (hypothetically speaking), then what do we do when we know of, or have seen, an injustice committed in our community? Do we turn a blind eye?
Could you turn a blind eye if you were attached to the situation (i.e. someone you knew was victimized)?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you don’t wanna ‘snitch’ then you need to go to the members in the community who can rectify the situation.
In Arizona, a young teenage girl was violently raped; many in the community knew who was responsible. However, there was/is a disdain for cooperating with the law. So what happened? Several members in the community went to the people responsible for the rape, and basically told them to turn themselves in to the authorities … and surprisingly, the rapists obligied.
What I get out of this interesting story is that the community has decided to police and regulate behavior (sort of what the Black Panther party was ‘ideally’ supposed to accomplish).
Ergo, if we choose not to ‘snitch’ then, when something goes awry, the community has to step up to the plate and exercise justice.
What do y’all think??