Every time I hear about these idiot rappers and others going around talking about "stop snitching," I just want to wring somebody's neck. People have a right to be able to go about their lives confident in the fact that, if they are done wrong, somebody who saw something till speak up on behalf of the person who was hurt. Instead, you have these fools talking about some "code of the street."
When I was much younger, I understood that there were certain things that distinguished "grown-ups" from kids. One of them was that grown-ups had to go to work, while kids didn't (and usually couldn't). More importantly, I know that when you passed a certain point in your life, you were expected to take responsibility for your actions. If an eight-year-old breaks a neighbor's window, his (or her) parents have to pay for it. But if a working teenager or adult does the same thing, he or she is responsible for it. To run away from responsibility was to avoid "being a responsible person," that is, an adult.
Which means that these idiots pressuring people to "stop snitching" are basically overgrown boys and girls trying to pass themselves off as men and women. Do you hear me, Tony Yayo? You "had something to do" with a shooting that escalated from your G-Unit crew's stupid tactic of starting beef with any- and everybody just to get headlines, and it ended up with a man being killed in cold blood. Until this matter is settled (and if you did the shooting, that means you behind bars), YOU CANNOT CALL YOURSELF A MAN. Grow up, and take whatever the law has coming to you like a man.
But wait, there's more...
The New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority has a slogan, "If you see something, say something," to prevent would-be terrorists from disrupting services or taking lives. The saying also applies to those "stop snitching" idiots. If you see a crime being committed, especially against someone who did nothing to merit being wronged, you have a responsibility (there's that word again) to speak up. To do otherwise, again, is avoiding being a responsible person, an adult.
Did you hear that, Busta Rhymes? Until you do right by the family of your slain bodyguard, YOU CANNOT CALL YOURSELF A MAN. "Doing right" by them doesn't mean only paying for the funeral arrangements and whatever else you might have done to ease a guilty conscience. It means speaking up so that the triggerman, be it Tony Yayo or whoever, will go to jail and pay for what he did. As for you, Busta, you don't have to prove anything to people who don't want to grow up, unless you yourself don't want to grow up either. Until this thing happened I had always thought you were a stand-up guy, as they say. I guess I was wrong...
Being responsible also means not blaming others for your own stupidity or lapses of judgment. You hear, Lil Kim? You refused to testify against people who cooperated with the police. What in God's name was the poInt of that? Don't you know that anytime you even refuse to answer a cop's question on the street, they can get you for obstruction of justice? Even if you harbor a fugitive that you know is innocent, you are still guilty of obstruction even after the person's innocence is proved. That charge doesn't mean allowing someone to get away with something, it means not cooperating. You chose not to cooperate, so you went to jail. Case closed. Yet you run around, yapping to anyone who will listen that your former friends "snitched" on you. But they didn't make you decide not to cooperate, that was your choice. Until you can own up to that (and shut up and move on) , YOU CANNOT CALL YOURSELF A WOMAN.
I could go on and on -- the hip-hop world, in particular, excels in providing examples of this kind of stupidity -- but I've made my point. Once you pass a certain age, you take responsibility for your actions. That is what "responsible adult" means. If you won't do that, YOU ARE NOT AN ADULT. Period.
And just for the record, I am not some old, conservative, Frank Sinatra contemporary who just "doesn't get the younger generation." Nor am I Stanley the Grouch, um, I mean Stanley Crouch writing incognito. I'm 41 years old; I grew up with rap but I remember when there were no rap records. I remember when there weren't so many thirtysometings walking around acting and talking like teenagers to appeal to an audience who will forget all about them in six months.