Snitches Die Heroically, the Rest Burn in Hell
October 2002. As the flames ripped apart the body of a five year old girl, burning her skin into a mass of molten cellular plastic, boiling the red and white blood cells that traversed her barely formed veins, charring her fragile, yet to be developed bones, and exterminating the intelligence, wit, and beauty of a child who never had the chance to be; our generation looked on and cheered. While the firefighters rushed to squelch the blaze and douse the embers of dying justice, we arrogantly proclaimed the righteousness of this row-home funeral pyre. We laughed at the horrid faces, grotesquely frozen in an expression of horror and agony at what had transpired. We gloriously rejoiced at the sight of seven “snitches” getting their just reward and told ourselves over and over and over again that we are morally superior, we are virtuous, we are the saints of street justice.
But we were wrong. The Dawson family was everything that we are not; they put others before themselves and they put justice before selfishness. Our generation believes that there is no honor in the truth and that it is better to live forever in moral ambiguity then to die on principles long established as the framework for civilization. There is no virtue in living on your knees, no honor in selling your morals to highest bidder or your neighbors to the lowest villain. As long as we urge others to resist the temptation to do the right thing then we will forever be damned to live in a world held hostage by those who succeed by propagating other’s misery. The liberty we proclaim in not speaking is enslaved and bastardized by the very people whom we refuse to oppose.
When Angela Dawson's screams pierced the cool Baltimore evening, it was not only a family we heard dying but the promise of a generation forever perishing in the inferno of ignorance, hatred, and self-absorption. When we tell others to stop snitching, we sacrifice everything that makes us human; and when we willingly forfeit our humanity, we are lost. We are a lost generation. We are the lost generation. We are the lost generation that no one will miss.