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?  

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