Immortal Technique Has a Story to Tell About Snitching
From http://twitter.com/ImmortalTech - @ImmortalTech.
Everyone's favorite anti-establishment rapper has a story to tell about the code of the streets. All of the text below is taken directly from his Twitter feed on the night of May 6th.
Let me give you a lesson on snitching since this was brought up today. I'll tell you a story about when I was young that illustrates my point. Because I don't like using hypotheticals.
When I was young I was incarcerated and thrown in prison for a crime, my co-defendent turned into a fuckin' canary. And yet, I said nothing. It was how we were raised in #Harlem I said nothing, no statements, no pointing fingers, I literally said nothing. After all the only person I could incriminate was...me. I plead the 5th.
The state was patient with me. They took their time & when I found myself in the hole (RHU) they came back to. They said that since my co-def had snitched that I should snitch on him and close the case. They put papers in front of me...
Mind you at the time I was living in a 6'8' cell "alive in a grave" 23 & 1. Although anyone who has really done time knows that the CO doesn't always give you the hour. You usually have 30-45 min. And sometimes nothing. So they gambled that I would love freedom so much that I'd be willing to sign those papers.
They said, "sign and you can leave today young man..." I look up at these 'servants of the law' and replied, "No, you're wrong. If I sign that paper I will never leave here. You will always keep a part of my soul I was forced to compromise in this decrepit fortress of horror and stone." exact quote. haha I refused. I asked to be returned to my cell. And in the coming week I learned the price of my actions. The disc hearing, recommended that I spend the max allowed. I was transferred to another higher grade facility.
I called my mother, I still remember the day and the time, and I listened to her cry on the phone when I told her that I was not coming home next month but probably going to spend another year in this hellhole. I gave up that part of my life, and it was not easy. But I remembered the code.
If you see something wrong done, bomb planted, child kidnapped, you are not a snitch for speaking out. But if you commit a crime, and you are caught, and then instead of accepting the personal responsibility for what you did you choose to take the quick and easy path and throw them under a bus. Then you are a rat. And if you're a member of a family. You will be dealt with, and if you are a civilian you will be shunned until you atone...by taking some of our innocent people out of hell. But let me finish the story.
I was sent to a place very far away about 8 hours away from NYC. I was allowed to walk in a cage outside "the bing" and wore manacles like fuckin' slave. Which according to the 13th article of the Constitution I technically was at the time. But I do not regret my decision... However it made me think about life differently. Having given up a piece of it for honor.
And so I began to think. What if the same happened only it wasn't a year but 50 years. What if you had the papers tell YOU. You reading this now, that you can either sign and get out in 3-5 or you can be the realest nigga in jail and get out when you're 68 year old. Can't fuck hardly. Any kids you had were raised by others, everyone you know is probably dead, you come home to nothing.
I asked myself (not who would or wouldn't sign) but how many people would lie to my face when I asked them if they would do it. Because the bottom line is that in the heart of hearts of 99% of kids that I ever heard talk about not snitching. Ask yourself, would you really take the 50 years? And then ask YOURSELF "Do I realize what the fuck I just said?"
And then ask yourself after 3 months in the hole do you think that person who is claiming they would never snitch would change their mind about the 50 years. I did not cry on that day, but when I hung up the phone with my mother. I understood pain, and I understood sacrifice. And I cannot imagine being incarcerate for some shit that I didn't do. Like so many of our brothers and sisters, or sitting in a cage for decades for some trumped up charges. Those people deserve our help.
So I changed my life. Moral of the story kids. Don't ever put yourself in a position when you have to make that decision, because I got lucky. I only lost a year.
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