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View Full Version : Snitching, or not ???



hokiefan
06-25-2007, 06:06 PM
I found the following Q&A in the 5/14/07 edition of Time, in an interview with Russell Simmons, apparently a rap mogul who recommended that the N-word, the F-word, and "ho" be banned from radio versions of songs.


Q: Even if you eliminate these three words from hip-hop culture, what about other rap themes that are dangerous to society, like "no snitching" anthems?


A: "S___, when I was a kid I didn't snitch either. I don't know if you wathc them gangster moview where the Italian guys come out the the church and they don't talk - the sad truth is that we can talk about "no snitching" as if it were a rap code, but it is a street code. We need to create a dialogue between the police and community. That's the issue. We talk about gangsta rappers, but why do we never talk about our gangsta government."

When I was a kid, one of the things you never wanted to be was a "tattle tale" and I can say I mostly avoided that. I would eventually answer my parents direct questions, that was inevitable, and no one who knew my dad held that against me. But I could keep my mouth shut, I didn't bring it up.

When my daughter was in 2nd grade, her teacher gave the class a speach about how she didn't want the kids tattling. They weren't to come ratting to her unless another kid was doing something dangerous. I remember being surprised by this, from a private school, but I also liked it. It was quite comforting that my wife actively agreed with the teacher and we told our daughter this.

I understand that "tattling" by a 2nd grader is a different issue than "snitching" on a murderer. But they are also related on some level. How do you teach the difference? I know its a part of the underlying character you help the kid to develop, but what do you guys think. How do you teach the right balance?

Bobby

rbgarr
06-25-2007, 06:13 PM
If the intent is revenge or to get someone else in trouble for your own enjoyment, think twice. If someone needs to be forewarned or a crime is involved, there's more of a responsibility to speak up.

LeeG
06-25-2007, 06:22 PM
boundaries

I think if you have clear standards about what you'll listen to or ignore will help. Jumping up everytime someone is tattled on reinforces the behaviour. "mommy, I SAW Joey spit on the cat!"
If you jump up or call Joey you reinforce it.

Think of it as time management and prioritize the information from the tattler. If you deal with what they say on an information level and not a call to action you'll probably bore them to tears and they won't repeat. But then there's the kid who likes to gossip and then you're on another level. Bascially how much time do you feel like being summoned to action by a kid.

Let the kids figure out the difference. If they snitch about vandalism then they know not to be involved in it or they do a better job hiding their role.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 08:26 PM
It seems like rbgarr and the teacher hit on a key teachable angle -- if someone is doing something dangerous (or has done something that means they are dangerous) then speaking up is the right thing to do. If you are snitching to gain the upper hand on someone then it is wrong.

The street culture problem of course is much more difficult. As Russell Simmons suggested, it partly goes back to the fact that in many poor neighborhoods the police are pretty close to being the enemy. Also, even for people who see the police as their friend, law and order has so broken down that it can be very dangerous to speak up.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 08:31 PM
I found the following Q&A in the 5/14/07 edition of Time, in an interview with Russell Simmons, apparently a rap mogul who recommended that the N-word, the F-word, and "ho" be banned from radio versions of songs.

Q: Even if you eliminate these three words from hip-hop culture, what about other rap themes that are dangerous to society, like "no snitching" anthems?

Huh? Why in the world the no-snitching attitude is "dangerous to society"? Is the interviewer daft?

Kaa

hokiefan
06-25-2007, 08:41 PM
Should have clarified a little, I posed this as a rhetorical question. This is basically set in my kids as they are 11 & 15. We could still screw it up, but the basics are in place. I feel this stuff is pretty well set by 2nd or 3rd grade in most people, although I think it would be easier to influence negatively after that. IMOH.

I just saw the quote in the article and remember the teacher's talk and thought it was an interesting topic. Thanks for comments, I think both are well stated from slightly different perspectives. Dave has a good way to explain it to a kid (my wife is better at that stuff than I am), and Lee has a good perspective from the parent's view while teaching the kid.

Cheers,

Bobby

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 08:49 PM
Huh? Why in the world the no-snitching attitude is "dangerous to society"? Is the interviewer daft?

Kaa

Because these days it quite commonly means that murders and other serious crimes are going unsolved. It is quite common these days in some inner-city neighborhoods for someone to be murdered on a public street with numerous by-standers as witnesses and when the police come in and start talking to people everyone claims not to have seen the murder either because of the no-snitching creed or because of outright threats. There have also been numerous cases where people show up to watch court proceedings with no-snitching slogans on their clothing, which in street culture is apparently pretty much the same as a death threat against the witnesses. So, suddenly witnesses don't know anything, didn't see anything and so on, and the criminal goes free.

A couple of years ago, here in Providence, a teenage girl was shot and killed the day before she was to show up in court as a witness in a murder trial.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 08:57 PM
Because these days it quite commonly means that murders and other serious crimes are going unsolved. It is quite common these days in some inner-city neighborhoods for someone to be murdered on a public street with numerous by-standers as witnesses and when the police come in and start talking to people everyone claims not to have seen the murder either because of the no-snitching creed or because of outright threats. There have also been numerous cases where people show up to watch court proceedings with no-snitching slogans on their clothing, which in street culture is apparently pretty much the same as a death threat against the witnesses. So, suddenly witnesses don't know anything, didn't see anything and so on, and the criminal goes free.

A couple of years ago, here in Providence, a teenage girl was shot and killed the day before she was to show up in court as a witness in a murder trial.

Intimidation of witnesses is not exactly the same thing as a no-snitching attitude.

So let's see. I walk by an abandoned factory and see a couple of kids climb over the fence and go inside. That's clearly trespass. Should I call the cops?

My neighbors are sitting in their backyard smoking something. I catch a whiff of smoke and it may be pot. Should I call the cops?

I am driving on the highway when a car passes me by doing at least 100 mph. I noticed the license plate. Should I call the cops?

Kaa

Art Read
06-25-2007, 09:10 PM
The car doing 100mph is swerving and full of teenagers throwing beer cans out the windows... Should you snitch?

The pot smoking neighbors have emaciated, half dressed toddlers with bruises and cigarette burns on their arms... Should you snitch?

The kids climbing over that fence are wearing "Earth First" t-shirts and have a five gallon jury can full of gasoline with 'em... Should you snitch?

Perspective people.

Kaa
06-25-2007, 09:26 PM
Well, Art, do tell. Should you?

Kaa

Art Read
06-25-2007, 09:32 PM
In a heartbeat. (Given my "particulars"...)

Would you?

skuthorp
06-25-2007, 09:38 PM
the whistleblower, the one who 'tattles' on big business, govt, the church, sometimes bogus 'charities'. There's not much protection here, even when a subsequent enquiry reveals that the 'tattle' was true. Several people, private citizens, public servants and journalists have been convicted here, some prosecuted by Govt on one hand even as the other is boosting protective law. The judiciary seem to do what they can under the law. It's people like these who protect our very flawed 'democracy'.

hokiefan
06-25-2007, 09:38 PM
I haven't snitched on any of the examples given, obviously. But I have called the police about a teenager that wouldn't quit speed through our neighborhood full of little kids. Several of us talked with him and yelled at him as he sped by. One dad talked with his folks. Dumb little s*** lived down the street so we walked down, got his tag, and started calling 911 everytime. I think it took several calls for the police to actually do anything, but when three different irate dads called on different days, they eventually dealt with it. I don't know what if any ticket he got, don't really care, because he start crawling through the neighborhood, especially in the daytime. Thats all we wanted. He had his chances to correct it before he got in any trouble.

Bobby

George Jung
06-25-2007, 09:49 PM
I've called in roadhazzards to 9-11, dangerous drivers (highspeed, alcohol/drugs,) - in short, 'potential to harm others' situations. Haven't encountered any arsenists yet.

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 10:06 PM
Intimidation of witnesses is not exactly the same thing as a no-snitching attitude.

I'm fairly certain that intimidation of witnesses is an important part of what Russell Simmons was talking about and what the Time interviewer had in mind when he asked the question. This is especially true if you consider it to be intimidation of witnesses to promote a general attitude that even if you witness a murder you should keep your mouth shut. I consider it to be functionally the same thing, especially in the context of a street culture where it would be common knowledge that breaking the no-snitching code could get you killed.

Wild Dingo
06-25-2007, 10:07 PM
And such is why we have a culture of bullys within the school system... that continues though into the workforce and through life.

Dob the bastards in! Yes I dont hessitate some little or large shyte is doin something illegal wrong violent or whatever I will not hesitate to call the police... the problem being is DOES the police take any notice are their response times quick enough... same with the school system with the teachers hands tied behind their backs and the kids KNOWING that they cannot be disciplined at school they are screwed... and the kids AND their parents KNOW IT and for some just knowing it gives them the opportunity to bully berate abuse and denigrate the teacher... generally in front of the kids... and so it goes

At an apprenticeship traineeship position the bullys rule the roost by way of intimidation razzing and initiations... learned skills from the playground and home

Until WE every bloody one of us stand up and stop bullying at its base root and support the teachers of our children dob the mongrels in and the police start to REALLY get pro active it wont change in fact it is getting worse

DOB THE BASTARDS IN!! :mad:

Bruce Hooke
06-25-2007, 10:14 PM
The car doing 100mph is swerving and full of teenagers throwing beer cans out the windows... Should you snitch?

The pot smoking neighbors have emaciated, half dressed toddlers with bruises and cigarette burns on their arms... Should you snitch?

The kids climbing over that fence are wearing "Earth First" t-shirts and have a five gallon jury can full of gasoline with 'em... Should you snitch?

Perspective people.

Well said, Art. It seems to me that we are back to roughly the point where we started, which is that if the actions someone is taking clearly pose a serious threat to their own and others safety or property then "snitching" is not just your right, it is your responsibility.

Surely it would be better to have the police catch that car of teenagers before they hit a tree and get killed?

Surely it would be right to save the child from a clearly abusive situation?

Surely it would be right to protect someone's property from arsonists?

On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to say that in the original version of these scenarios, as posted by Kaa, there could be some doubt about how much danger the person in question is to themselves or others (depending a bit on the details of the circumstances -- clearly someone doing 100 on an urban highway where the speed limit is 55 mph is very different from someone doing 100 somewhere out in the middle of Nevada where there is not another car on the road for 20 miles in either direction).

Art Read
06-25-2007, 10:37 PM
Agreed, Bruce, (and Kaa). If the kids climbing over the fence are just toting a rack of beer, hormones and a boombox instead of that jury can, I'll mind my own business... If the neighbors are just sitting on their patio, enjoying the sunset with a few tokes on a nice summer evening, minding THEIR own business, I'd just wave. And some dumb bastard flying past me in the passing lane, just late for work, usually makes me think to myself, "Good. HE'LL get the ticket!" :)

Like I said.... Perspective.

skuthorp
06-25-2007, 10:51 PM
"And some dumb bastard flying past me in the passing lane, just late for work"

I usually think 'There's a big gum tree somewhere just waiting for you mate'.

Art Read
06-25-2007, 10:58 PM
True. Lots of ways to get your ticket punched...

hokiefan
06-25-2007, 11:14 PM
"And some dumb bastard flying past me in the passing lane, just late for work"

I usually think 'There's a big gum tree somewhere just waiting for you mate'.

Working out of town, I have a 2-1/2 hour freeway drive every Monday and Friday. On each trip I invariably see one or two people who do something truly idiotic in their rush to get "there" a few minutes earlier.

Couple of weeks ago I saw in my rearview mirror a vehicle upside down and airborn heading from my lane across the median into the oncoming traffic. I immediately called 911, but didn't go back because there was a mile of traffic stopped in that lane by the time I saw a place to turn around. Don't know how it happened or the full outcome, but I know it didn't end well. The worst part is people in the southbound lane were probably injured by an accident starting completely out of their control in the northbound lane.

I'm always happy to see the police active on the highway.

Bobby

Kaa
06-26-2007, 01:56 AM
I would say that whether you're pro- or anti-snitching basically depends on whether you trust the law enforcement and the judicial system in general. And that, in turn, very much depends on where and how you were raised.

I know some people who -- with good reason -- consider police to be the enemy and will not willingly call in the cops other than in extraordinary circumstances. I also know people who will not hesitate to call in the cops on their neighbors launching fireworks on 4th of July.

Kaa

hokiefan
06-26-2007, 09:16 AM
I would say that whether you're pro- or anti-snitching basically depends on whether you trust the law enforcement and the judicial system in general. And that, in turn, very much depends on where and how you were raised.

I know some people who -- with good reason -- consider police to be the enemy and will not willingly call in the cops other than in extraordinary circumstances. I also know people who will not hesitate to call in the cops on their neighbors launching fireworks on 4th of July.

Kaa

You are quite right in your assessment. I, in general, trust law enforcement and the judicial system, but I feel strongly that they should not intrude on most people's lives. I have called on the situation where someone was placing others in danger, speeding in the neighborhood, etc. I wouldn't call on the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Our next door neighbor called the police about 10:30pm one Saturday night to report underage drinking in our backyard. About 7-8 of the neighborhood kids (9-13 yo's) were in the backyard swimming in the pool. And yes they were drinking, Mountain Dew & Coke. My wife and I were out there watching them and they were having a grand time. The police really got a hoot out of that one, and said kids are allowed to play in their backyard on Saturday until midnight with no noise restrictions. Play on !!!! We are civil with her, but its not always easy.

Cheers,

Bobby