Is it snitching? Are you a snitch?

Emroyana Caesar, Reporter

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When an African American says, “The Culture,” they are referring to the shared experience of black people in America.  The saying, “The Culture,” isn’t exclusively associated to black culture. Although more commonly associated or linked to black culture, it can also be used in reference to urban culture. Urban culture is one of those things that many young people love regardless of origin. It just speaks to many, since it’s so lively and fast paced.

In urban culture music, clothing, and slang (among other things) are appropriated. Not appreciated, but appropriated. Appropriation is a major issue. However, this article isn’t concerning those issues today, in fact, it’s concerning slang. Slang which is an informal term that stands for, or means, something else than its literal meaning. For example: “she’s bad,” doesn’t mean she’s bad like wicked or evil, but it means she’s pretty or cute. Or “it’s brick outside,” doesn’t literally mean it’s brick, but it means it’s cold- like really cold. After a while of using, or just exposure to slang, it’s picked up and used. The common usage of slang isn’t an issue, it becomes an issue only when used incorrectly. One of the many words in slang that is incorrectly used is snitching. Snitching is telling on someone to get yourself out of trouble. However, the trouble isn’t something miscellaneous like taking a piece of candy out of your mom’s bag or breaking a glass plate. Snitching is 99.9% of time referred to criminal activity, but it’s usage is normally not in reference to that. One of the many expressions, maybe as old as time, associated with snitching is “snitches get stitches.” Which in blatant English is, open your mouth, and as a result you will get hurt. Now getting to the issue of snitching, is it snitching or simply vigilante actions in effort to ensure the safety of the community.

Many communities to an outsider look well put together and organized, but when looking beyond the surface problems are brought to light. These problems can be a result of gangs, race, economic status and more. In many of these communities things are left unsaid or simply, no snitching, but is it really snitching if you weren’t directly involved or know who was. In one perspective some people are generally concerned about the protection of their community, so by any means necessary, they do so. In another light, if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen- don’t get involved in illegal activity if you aren’t willing to pay later. Snitching is directly linked to criminal activity. Pay attention/be aware, if you’re going to do something, do it right- including the use of slang.