No Snitching: Er… You’re Doing It Wrong!

Jennifer Hudson, my condolences to you about the family. Hopefully, there’s swift justice here. However, I’m even more sorry that there’s a lack of information about the murders. Since people will be quick to blame hip-hop, I want to examine what song or influence they (the media) would use. What popped up in my mind? Snitching.

One possible reason that hip-hop “could be blame for the deaths and increase of crime with the black community” could be about our once secret code of ethics. A code around the black community called “No Snitching”. Of all the movements in Hip-Hop, I personally think this is one of those backwards way of thinking. For those that needs a lesson, here’s a brief one, thanks to Huey Freeman.

“No Snitching” really equals to “no tattletale” to me. In the black community, we grew up on this unwritten code, which basically means we don’t tell on our friends. You know, nobody likes a tattletale. It’s something we as children was raised on. But that’s the problem with the no snitching code in general, people get the point of “no snitching” totally wrong.

The roots of “No Snitching” is actually a code that started among thieves and the drug culture. It’s a code that means if one of your comrades gets arrested, you’re not suppose to tell the cops anything about your partners whereabouts, under any circumstances. Nowadays, “no snitching” means if you see something, don’t say anything to anybody. It makes it difficult for the good police (you know, the ones that have a passion for their jobs) to do their jobs.  How this code of thieves somehow passes itself off as a stigma within our community? One reason is probably because the police can’t be trusted by the community, even if it’s one of our own. However, this rule to make it cool not to snitch is of course fanned by Hip-Hop and its leaders’ actions.  Case in point, Busta Rhymes.

On Feb 6, 2006, Isreal Ramirez, a bodyguard of Busta Rhymes were shot at a video shoot. Busta, as well as others, refused to talk to the police about what happened, resulting in the murder being unsolved. Busta, a rapper who don’t really do gangster music, was now acting a role which one would expect from 50 Cent. Speaking of 50, it would be ironic that Rapper Yayo would be involved in that incident. Did Busta saw anything? Perhaps. But he showcase an unwillingness to talk to the police. If he did talked to the police, he would have lost respect from his audience or “street cred”.

Another good examples are the murders of Jammaster Jay,  Tupac, and Biggie Smalls. All these murders happened in front of eyewitnesses, but thanks to the stigma of “No Snitching”, these murders have gone unsolved and will probably stay unsolved forever.

To illustrate matters worse, during a 60 Minutes interview, Anderson Cooper asked the following quest

"If there’s a serial killer living next door to you, though, and you know that person is, you know, killing people, would you be a snitch if you called police and told them?" Cooper asks Cam’ron.

"If I knew the serial killer was living next door to me?" Cam’ron asks. "No, I wouldn’t call and tell anybody on him. But I’d probably move… But I’m not gonna call and be like, you know, ‘The serial killer’s in 4E.’"

If you think Cam’ron is kidding, he’s not. Maintaining street cred sells record – just watch his movie "Killa Season," or his rap videos, and you’ll quickly learn about his drug-dealing past. He wears it as proudly as his jeweled chains.

It’s one thing to tattletale on a friend if he’s doing stupid things to his mother, but not to report a murder? It’s an altitude like this that prevents the police from doing the job that our “tax dollars” goes to. (For those who want to argue about taxes, let’s save it for another day) People complained about how murders were go scott-free due to a lack of evidence.

It’s important to keep this code to where it belongs… and that’s with the thieves and pacts between friends. Extending this code to just about anything black related can have serious conflicts with and within the black community…

So in closing, it’s sad that Jennifer Hudson’s family was killed in a senseless manner. But what would be more senseless is if nobody step forwards if they saw something.

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