A Snitches Reward?

Of all the things a young black man in urban America couldn’t afford to be labeled with, a snitch, had to be somewhere close to the top of the list. Nobody wanted to associate with a snitch. To do so might earn you a snitches reward. Since it was characteristic for the person accused of having loose lips to deny the accusation, they always bore the burden of proof of innocence. Meanwhile, the perpetrator of the deed could continue doing their dirt, confident that the streets would direct its attention on silencing the snitch. It didn’t matter what the truth was. The hood had its own rules. Therefore, rule number one has always been and will continue to be – keep your mouth shut.

This is an excerpt from "Pick and Roll", a story I published in 2009 as part of an anthology entitled "Don't Hate The Game" (Michael T. Owens)

Somebody should have enlightened D'Angelo Russel of this rule, but that's water under the bridge at this point.  What I want to know is this -  Why is it that no matter how enlightened, spiritually-minded, or mature we get do we hold onto thought processes that defy our belief systems?  Don't get me wrong, the boy messed up.  Big time.  But do we ever grow enough in life to overlook offenses of this sort and how does a kid like this navigate his way back to the shore?  I see this potentially ruining his career.  What say you?  


Five Years to the Day

It's been five years to the day since I last posted here and looking back, I can say that it's been a hell of a time. Sure, there were some good days in there, some very memorable ones in fact, but so much has happened since I was last here. A lot of pain, a lot of struggling, a lot of enduring, but also a lot of overcoming. It seems more like ten years have passed as opposed to five. If I were to categorize it, I would say that I've gone through a cleansing. A cleansing of bad habits, bad behavior, and bad thinking, and now that I'm on the other side, I can honestly say that I'm a changed man. A rehabilitated man.

In some ways I feel like Red, played by Morgan Freeman in the movie Shawshank Redemption, because it feels like I've done hard time. Time that continued to evolve until I was willing to let go of every chain, every bit of deception, every person that had no rightful place in my life, every thought of defeat, every hindrance to my purpose, everything that kept me tied to a wrong path. And now the days are finally starting to feel brighter, like a true breakthrough is occurring. And I feel good. I feel at peace. I feel like God has removed his hand of resistance and that my time to walk in the fullness of his blessing has arrived. While I'm sure that there will be other life challenges, I can honestly say that I'm grateful for today.

[click "play" (the arrow button) to watch]