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12/03/2005 Archived Entry: "More on Stop Snitchin shirts"

WELL, I GUESS IF I WATCHED TV OR HUNG AROUND WITH GANGSTAS I'd have known that the "Stop Snitchin'" shirts were already famous. Or infamous as the case may be.

Wearing them to trials might not be the brightest thing anyone could do. But this is a truth that needs telling:

According to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, 40 percent of drug trafficking prosecutions in which defendants got a sentence of 10 years or more involved "substantial assistance to authorities" from informants.

Dr. Natapoff found that the pressure to become an informant has a disproportionate effect on the black community, because one in three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 are under court supervision at any time. In her article, she estimated that more than a quarter of black men in poor communities are under pressure to inform on their peers.

"Snitching becomes a fact of life," she said. "At every barbecue, at every holiday party, someone is under law enforcement pressure to snitch. That in my mind is a destructive public policy."

Sellers predict that the shirts are just a passing fad. I sure's heck hope not. Rather, I'd like to see them spread across the land so the message would get through to all those snoopy, government-addled mail carriers, truckers, store clerks, bankers, and all the millions who are being encouraged to believe that their fellow citizens are all terrorists, meth cookers, money launderers, or whoever the villain of the week is.

You can buy the shirts here (men's and women's versions), here (men's shirts), and here (women's shirts).

There's even a Stop Snitchin' DVD -- although given that I can't even understand the Amazon.com blurb for it (which seems to be written in an obscure subdialect of urban Ghettoese), I don't think I'll be buying the movie. Netflix has it, though. Worth checking out.

(Thanks to SJ for finding additional info and links.)

Posted by Claire @ 12:49 PM CST

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