For years, the saying "Snitches Get Stitches" has been used as a way of enforcing/confirming (however you want to look at it) the fact that black folks generally don't report crimes that occur in our neighborhoods. Historically, when crimes are committed in our neighborhoods, we turn our heads and act like we didn't see anything. Why is that? Is it because we are afraid of retaliation? Or is it because we just don't like the police? Either way, I think it's a topic that needs to be addressed. In this case, is silence really golden, or is honesty the best policy?
I can only imagine how the family of a murder victim feels knowing that there are people out there who know what happened to their family member, but who refuse to come forward with that information. If it were me, of course I would want to know everything about the murder, and would want the persons responsible prosecuted. But if the shoe was on the other foot, and I had bore witness to a murder, I can't say for sure that I would be willing to come forward with that information.
What responsibility, if any, do we have to each other to report the crimes that we witness, be they major or minor? Of course it's easy for those of us who no longer live on the block to say that those who do should report the various drug deals, gang activity, and whatever other crimes plague the neighborhood. We don't have to live around and see these people everyday. But by not reporting even the most minor crimes, I think we jeopardize our ability to complain about the status of our neighborhoods. We have to take it upon ourselves to be responsible for the things that occur in our neighborhoods. And we have to stop hiding behind fear and the police to do so.
Just my two cents.