“Snitches get stitches!”
“Snitches end up in ditches”
My entire life growing up in West Baltimore, MD those phrases were ingrained in me. It was a lifelong lesson best learned early. The understanding to me was as simple then as is it is now: You dont snitch on your partners. If we do dirty together and you get caught, take your time and be accountable for your contribution to the situation. Snitching was a label that no man (or woman) wanted. At 16, facing life, I had that understanding.
This very simple understand came from the environment I was living in. My mother was a drug addict and freedom was limitless for me, at an age where most girls are still playing with barbies. From the moment I jumped off the steps at age 7, living on Division Street in Sandtown, I have had an understand of what not to do to in order to survive. My peer group was twice my age and we spent our Friday and Saturday nights in Shake n Skate, wearing loud colors and multiple pairs of slouch socks. I was introduced to Tupac via his ominous tale of Brenda, I had inhaled marijuana and tasted Wild Irish Rose. I was grown. Then my girls used me as a scapgoat. They reasoned that because I was a kid and wouldnt get in trouble if we got caught. It sounded legit. We got caught or rather I did. I took full responsibility and sure enough, the police just took me home. Where my mama was waiting with a belt. When she demanded to know where I came up with the idea i simply uttered, “ I aint no snitch.” That only enraged her. As I received that ass whipping for staying loyal to my squad, i decided I just wouldn’t follow behind all the shit they suggested because they didnt have to deal with Amelia and her belt.
That was my understanding for close to two decades. Until a DVD series emerged from my city that pretty much redefined what a snitch is. “Stop Snitchin” gloried gang culture and pretty much stated that ANY type of police cooperation was just cause for death. I was confused, I swear. The message went around the world and back seemingly over night. Say nothing, do nothing because we’ve got guns.
Their example of what a snitch was supposed to look like was drastically different than the image presented to me in JayZ’s, “A Week Ago.” To me, that song is an ode to accountability. A warning that every person you deal with isnt as honorable as you are and you will never know it until they catch a case and your freedom becomes a bargaining chip. His example was very specific. That example didnt include protecting a person who randomly guns down 89 and 90 year old siblings in broad daylight. Im more than sure that his example did not mean turning a blindly eye to the drive by shooting of a 3 year old child.
I genuinely don’t understand this part of the game and because I have lived it and studied it damn near my entire life, i’m convinced you fools have the game fucked up. I dont know when you got it fuck up but you clearly did. If your savage ass cousin Tyrone killed someone not in defense of himself or his family, we dont want to hear you yelling, “Free Tyrone.” Fuck Tyrone. Furthermore, If Ms. Mary, the 40 year homeowner, calls the police to report that she saw Tyrone’s dumb ass murder someone, she is NOT a target. I repeat, she is NOT a target. Tyrone lacks regard for human life and that makes him a savage. He deserves a cage lest he become a predator. He will be Empowered by the fact that no one is bold enough to call Metro CrimeStoppers and report what they saw. Anonymously.
It is February 2016 and in my city, Baltimore, the savages are winning. Personally, im conflicted about using the word savage specifically but you know what, fuck them. Im not safe whether I say nothing or calling them exactly what they are. Why stay silent when you understand that? You arent protecting yourself. You arent protecting your children. You are ONLY protecting the predator.
Thanks for reading.