The report exposed how “Stop snitchin” is a catchy hip-hop slogan that encourages the attitude that makes those who go to the police the bad guy. The slogan can be found in music videos, on T-shirts, Web sites, album covers and murals. The rule in the streets is never talk to the police.
As a result, police say witnesses are not coming forward and crimes are going unsolved. African Americans have a long history of disdain for the police. Regarded as the enemy of those in the inner city, police departments are forced to contend with the sad reality of the past. The rise and change of focus of the Black Panther Party was stirred by out of control police brutality in Oakland, CA. The movement spread to other urban centers due to the prevalence of police corruption.
In recent years, African Americans have witnessed a series of highly publicized examples that make it difficult to trust the police. Most notable is the Rodney King case and the underlying racial issues during the O.J. Simpson trail. “Stop snitchin” is, for those who promote it, an affirmation that the police are adversaries rather than positioned to protect African Americans living in inner city communities.
“Stop snitchin” is about communities witnessing corruption and a disparity in how crimes involving African Americans are handled versus those involving whites. This law of the streets is designed to bring balance to the system. It brings poise to an arrangement that, in the minds of many, keeps African Americans poor, incarcerated and lacking resources needed to alter their condition.
Cooper met Victoria, Alex, Derrick, Darnell, and Tess through a church-based organization called Uth Turn. They’re 14 through 19 years old, and they told 60 Minutes the "stop snitchin'" code doesn’t just apply to rappers.
It’s the rule! Is that what you say to the mother who just lost her son? It’s the rule! That’s what you say to the woman who has been raped? You look her in the face and say, “I know who did it but I can’t tell you because that’s the rule.”
The rule promotes the continuation of crime and violence in inner city communities. Those who live by it deny themselves the right to live void of the fear of crime. The criminal is honored more than being safe. That’s not a law, that’s insanity.
Making things even worse is how the slogan is promoted to give “street cred”. I suppose it’s easy to do that when you no longer have to live in the hood.; when your talent has provided you the resources to move on up to the East side.
Cooper asked Cam’ron an important question. "If your record label said to you, 'Look, we're not going to promote you, we're not going to distribute you if you keep calling Curtis Jackson a snitch.' Or you keep, writing about guns and selling drugs, would you stop?"
Go back to the plantation. Mr. Charley said you still a slave. We ain’t free.