No Snitching: The Black Community’s Universal Code

There’s a long-standing rule in the black community that simply states: “no snitching” and the reasoning that follows is phrased as “snitches get stitches”, but why? How have we allowed ourselves, as a people, to become conditioned to accept crime within our own communities? The crimes being committed are made by our people, against our people, and from the outside looking in, it seems so contradictory. I will explain further…

Crimes in predominantly black, low-income neighborhoods (“the hood”) have been an issue for a while now and it has become such a cycle that many people have claimed to being numb to violent acts due to their frequency. For those of us that continue to have feelings of shock, grief, and sadness, when does this cycle end? We do vigils, t-shirts in memoriam, and shout “R.I.P” on every occasion but in the midst of it all is someone who was a witness to the scene, an article from the Miami New Times states:

we need to hold ourselves accountable when it comes to black-on-black violence. The no-snitching culture applies to thugs killing thugs, but not when innocent young blacks with promising futures are the victims.

Not speaking out against violence that you were a witness to, not only makes you selfish and a coward but you’re telling the families of victims that you don’t care and you give green lights to recurring events like these….

Grieving family

I had conducted a short poll on Facebook, asking users how they felt about the “no snitching” rule within the black community and it seems that each of them stood against it, every single participant, however, was (unintentionally) women, no men cared to comment…


It lead me to a more interesting question of why do our men feel ashamed to say if they saw anything? Now would this no snitching be in effect if we were to witness a white cop gunning down an innocent black man or even worse… a child? [Take a moment look at a few comments in the slideshow below.]

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We quickly post videos, report what is seen, and testify against an outsider with no hesitation but remain mum when a brother kills his own kind. Does it make sense at all? The Miami New Times stated what we have already concluded which is: “The only time African-Americans get riled up over one of us losing our lives to gun violence is when a white cop pulls the trigger.” I could dispute this statement by saying, no, we DO get riled up, we DO get upset but we DON’T stand up against it. If we marched, protested and rioted in the streets when one of our innocent black brothers and sisters are killed by another black brother or sister, we could actually get results. I want people of color to understand that what we are doing is not getting us the results that we NEED, and since we are on this topic, rioting and destroying your own communities when the police kills an African American, is completely thoughtless. Our people seem to have no structure or guidance and for us to be capable of accomplishing so much we are still so behind.

The entire point of this article is to address the fact that no snitching has gotten us nowhere, we’ve achieved nothing and we deserve better from each other. Continue the discussion below or @ me on twitter to let me know what you think! @Nadjiinadj

3 Comments Add yours

  1. ulondabest says:

    Could it be that since the poliece would not be considered apart of the community, but a threat to other people of color, why some would want to go for the “snitches get stiches?” I always though it ment the community would handle its own not involving the poliece. The biggest contradiction comes to my mind is that these crimes almost never get handled by the community. Just more deaths. Around 4 years ago there were 1-2 funerals every week for the whole entire summer a few months before and after in one county. It was too much for anyone to handle. (Purposefully being opaque about the situation, it’s not my story to tell.)


    1. People are living in fear and shame due to the “snitches get stitches” phrase. Many oppose of the movie “Chiraq” but that film really tells the truth and addresses many issues within the AA community. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you watch at least once. It will answer most if not all of your questions concerning this topic


  2. ulondabest says:

    Excuse me that was suppose to say *S.C County* sorry.


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