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No Snitching Creed a Poisonous Ethos for the Black Community

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Steven Leser
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The last time I touched upon African American issues, it was to explain the reason why African Americans hope for the acquittal of high profile defendants. My article, “Why the Support for the Tookies and O.J.s in the Black Community?“, which can be seen at  http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_steven_l_051212_why_the_support_for_.htm , was also cited by the National Association of Black Journalists, see http://www.nabj.org/newsroom/commentary/deathpenalty/index.html . I’ve been a member of Rainbow Push in the past and vigorously support African Americans in their fight for equality and social justice.


What I don’t understand is the no snitching philosophy that has taken root in the black community and I sat and watched, disgusted, as this poor excuse for a moral code was explained in tonight’s episode of 60 Minutes. “No Snitching” means that no matter the circumstances, you do not report crimes to the police and you certainly never become a witness at a trial even if you see a murder or a rape and clearly see who did it.


The 60 minutes segment included interviews with rappers, non-rapper adults, children, all seemed to indicate support for ‘No snitching’. It was so surreal it was like watching the equivalent of the last few pages of a Kafka story. I’m a fan of Chris Rock and marveled along with him that Tupac Shakur was killed on the busy Las Vegas strip and his killer has never been found. It doesn’t sound so surprising now.


If I were a criminal, knowing about the no snitch code, I would immediately change my operations so that all my criminal activities took place in black neighborhoods. In other words, this belief system is an open invitation to criminals of all stripes to prey on members of the black community. That is what this philosophy is. It’s the entire black community standing up with arms outstretched and saying at the top of their lungs, “Come rob, rape or kill me, (or all of the above) please!”.


After the 60 minutes expose, I would expect to see Burglars, Robbers, Rapists, Child Molesters, Drug Dealers, Con Artists, Organized Crime syndicates and any other kind of criminals move their operations into black neighborhoods. I am sure we will see this happen and see it reflected in the crime statistics over the next few years. A law enforcement official in the 60 minutes segment quoted a statistic that in some African American communities, ‘No Snitching’ has contributed to reduce the rate of murders being solved to less than 10%. It is a shame that only a few years after African Americans mostly rid their communities of gangs, they are extending an open invitation for criminals to take up residence there.


At the same time, now that this is known, law abiding people are going to start avoiding the black community. I certainly don’t want anyone I care about to go to a place where criminals know they are getting a free pass to rob, rape or kill them. This is going to translate into a measurable economic loss for businesses of the black community. All the work that many people are doing to create new businesses owned by African Americans along with other efforts to build up the economic power of the black community is going to be destroyed by “No snitching”.


I happen to be watching the IFC channel as I write this. They are playing a film called “Mississippi Burning”. I’m reminded of how hard blacks and the federal government had to fight to stop the violence and crimes being committed against blacks in the south and other places in the 1960’s. How did we get from that to “No snitching” where blacks see crimes happening against members of their community and turn their backs on them? Where are the brains of the people who buy into this garbage?


Leaders of the black community need to get together and take on this cancer in their community. No snitching isn’t noble or brave, it is a way for a community to commit a slow and painful suicide and up until now, leaders of the black community have stood by and let it happen. It is time for them to show that they are leaders and that no matter how pervasive and popular a bad idea is, they are willing to take it on. No snitching has to go.

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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)
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