Remove the Word “Snitch” From Your Vocabulary
by Dan Blankenship
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Co. 16:13-14 NIV)
Besides profanity, there is really only one word I would truly like to see removed from our vocabulary: SNITCH. Of course that would mean we would have to get rid of all forms of the word: snitching, snitches, and snitcher.
Why do I have such disdain for a word and its derivatives? Because the word snitch has been used to intimidate a large segment of our society into ignoring situations and abhorrent behavior that should be reported to authorities assigned to handle such conduct. In short, some of our nation’s schools have become unsafe because students are afraid to be labeled a snitch.
Yes, students during my generation also were afraid of acquiring such a label. But during my school days, there were not students bringing guns and knives, and in the case of Valparaiso High School in Indiana, a machete and a tree saw. Fifteen-year-old James Lewerke didn’t have to worry about another student seeing him bring his weapons to school. After all, no one would want to be labeled a snitch. I have no doubt that some teens at Valparaiso High are convinced that people like Lewerke, a kid who slashed the faces and hands of five of his fellow classmates, still rank above a snitch on the “cool” list.
Yes, we live in a whole different environment on today’s campuses. But the stigma those who choose to do wrong create, by labeling possible witnesses as snitches, still has the same power that it has carried for years. It is time to tackle these snitch-labelers head on. Responsibility and good citizenship flourish when people are held accountable for their actions. Disarray and rebellion increase when the populace can act without fear of being held to a certain standard.
When a kid who used to attend my church acquired his driver’s license, other kids noticed him driving recklessly almost everywhere he went. Not one of the other kids told this child’s parents or the pastor. They didn’t want to “snitch” him out I heard one of them say shortly after the wake. This life was sent home early because this young man’s closest friends were more afraid of a label than the fact that their friend might be killed by his actions.
I believe Satan laughs every time that word is used. It one of his many weapons in the spiritual warfare that takes place everyday, in our school hallways, where we work, and in our homes. The next time you here the word snitch, ask yourself if it is being used in a context that the devil himself might find useful. Often, that is exactly the case.
So how do we eliminate the word “snitch” from our vocabulary?
First of all, don’t use the word to describe anyone, even in jest.
Secondly, if someone tells you another person has done something wrong or is about to do something wrong, and you are sure someone in authority needs to know, tell the person who needs to know – even if you do so anonymously. In some cases, you may be saving someone’s life. Don’t even think about the label that might be attached to your name for doing the right thing. This hesitation, this fear of being labeled, has cost people their lives.
And finally, talk to you friends if they use the term snitch. Find examples online where people died because a person was afraid to come forward with information. Let you friends know what the world would be like if no one ever turned another human being in for breaking the law. Show them this column if that what it takes. And pray that the Lord will give you the strength and the courage to always do what is righteous in His eyes.