Tuesday, April 24, 2007
'Stop Snitchin' takes hold in cities
If someone you loved was gunned down in front of you, would you tell police everything you saw? If you think the answer is obvious, you may be stunned by our lead story tonight, which looks at the power of two simple words: "Stop Snitchin."

This phrase is a catchy, hip-hop slogan that tells people not to talk with police. It preaches an unbending code of silence in poor communities -- and the message has taken root. In many inner-city neighborhoods, witnesses to crime aren't stepping forward, and murders are going unsolved. The driving force behind this troubling trend: rap and hip-hop music.

It's bizarre to think that a moral code can be so blatantly marketed, but "Stop Snitchin" appears in hip-hop videos and on t-shirts, Web sites and CD covers, and the people selling the message, including major recording labels, are making millions.

My report ran on "60 Minutes" this past weekend. You can see it again tonight on "360." We're building out on the story tonight, and one person we'll talk to is well-respected educator Geoffrey Canada, who makes a forceful case that African-Americans are undermining their own communities by permitting this music and attitude. We'll also talk to hip-hop producer Russell Simmons. It's a provocative subject and we hope you'll join us.

-- By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 4:27 PM ET
I'm glad that you will be talking to Russell Simmons. Hopefully you will talk to him about his new movement to take out some "extreme curse words" out of music. Is he going to expand that prohibition to "stop snitching?" It seems that the stop snitching theme that pervades the hip-hop songs is just as damaging, if not more so, than the "extreme curse words" he is now figthing against.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca, Akron OH : 4:45 PM ET
I think it is totally ridiculous that these people won't help the police. But they are the ones who have to live in the violence and crime...so be it!

When are these fans going to realize that these rappers care nothing for them. They just want their money. While these people are living in crime infested areas the rappers are going home to their mansions in gated communities. It's time for these people to WAKE UP!!
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Covington, Ga. : 4:51 PM ET
OK I can't believe I'm defending rap music, but it's a free country. It's up to the parental units to protect kids from bad influences. We can't just keep legislating against stuff or we'll end up in a socialist system.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago, IL : 4:58 PM ET
So I guess people are going to start bringing up the whole freedom of speech issue again on this one. You can believe in that right-like I absolutely do-but remember that is has consequences sometimes. There is some rap music that is simply dangerous. It's almost like mafia tactics in a way. I'm sure it's producing a huge fear factor as well as just becoming trendy in that community. I'm telling you...one of these days I'm moving to the woods to live with the animals. (an idle threat that some people in my world would probably welcome) The world is becoming a scarier place everyday.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 4:59 PM ET
Hey AC: Missed your report on 60 minutes this weekend but I'll sure watch it tonight. Good question: My first reaction would be Yes but at what price? If I were to talk, would I be chased and gunned down after? Do they pay the police under the table to get information on the snitchers? As long as we don't talk, they keep the power and nothing or no justice will be served. This situation or way of living and thinking is getting out of control. Good topic. Thanks!
Josee (Montreal, Canada)
Posted By Anonymous Josee (Montreal, Canada) : 5:20 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

We are so grateful that you are exposing this heinous campaign for what it is....an abomination. It shocks me to think that these persons are promulgating such a hateful message to young people.

Geoffrey Canada is a lone voice of reason in a frightening situation. God Bless him for helping to stop this atrocity.

Your 60 Minutes piece was fantastic and I look forward to seeing it again and also to hear your on-going and in depth study on this subject. We need to get the word out so that people will take action.

Thanks for Keeping Them Honest, Anderson. We lean heavily on you when it comes to these matters. Keep up the excellent work!

To answer your question, of course I would go to the police. It is our duty to keep our communtites and our nation safe and free for all.

All The Best =)
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 5:22 PM ET
If the African-American community was serious about ending the violence in their neighborhoods, they would begin by cleaning up rap music, ridding this music of all violence and negative lyrics.

Some say art imitates life, but the reverse is also true.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:22 PM ET
Hey Anderson-

The undermining of America in general hinges on behavior such as this. Even in first grade I have seen students with this same attitude. Children with the mind set that they can do and say anything they choose with no consequences. Bad behavior choices are the norm for many of today's youth because they know there is no punishment in most cases. I am amazed to see 6 and 7 year olds covering for each other knowing full well it is wrong! Society in general suffers when we experience even a small faction of the population choosing this "Stop Snitchin" mentality. All of our children need to be held to high standards. The world is open to us all through the internet, television and travel opportunities. We are basically one big family. The borders of race, gender, belief and education that once deeply divided us is ever being erased. We are more and more accepting of differences between each other so why can't we all just get along. Why is there so much killing and hate in the world anyway? Our Earth is one big community of God's people. I wonder what he thinks when he looks down on the human race and sees such. With him there is no "Stop Snitchin" because he has already seen what happened down here on this planet called Earth.
Posted By Anonymous Zann Martin, Tennessee : 5:26 PM ET
I am glad that you did the interview with Camron. It shows the world how ignorant rappers have become. As an A/A female, I am excited about the attention being focused on this "music". I was pleased to see that you were not easy on Camron during your interview. Please continue to ask hard questions. The Black community as a whole does not agree with the "stop snitching" marketing campaign. It's not a way of life in the "hoods", it is a marketing ploy and rappers don't mind destroying their communities for money to spread this trash. Even in our neighborhoods, snitching was a term used by criminals when cooperating against each other. It was never applied to the general community until rap did it, but because the young people now have been raised in this rap culture, they believe that snitching applies to everything. People ask where are the parents, well, they still don't listen because as it has been throughout history, young people don't think their parents understand anything. That's why it's important for us all to stand up to people like Camron because even with good parents, teens still look up to celebrities like him. So we have to MAKE him be responsible and if that means losing a contract, so be it.
Posted By Anonymous Cecilia, Houston Texas : 5:27 PM ET
Your piece on the "Stop Snitching" epidemic was fantastic but I have to say I was so disgusted by Cam'eron it is not even funny. This was not the first time I had heard about this "stop snitching" issue, a few years back I believe in 2005 Toronto had what they called "the year of the gun" There were over 60 killings due to gun violence and all the news outlets in Toronto were trying to get people to come forward and alot of people were wearing these "stop snitching" t-shirts. It is so hard to believe that a person would rather keep their "street cred" then to help justice be served. But I don't believe people like Cam'eron would even help the police if their closest friends or family members were killed. It is such a sad state in the world. I wanted to like slap Cam'eron when he was like I would just move away from a serial killer but would not tell anyone. How completely selfish is that.

We somehow as a society have to show these large corperations that this is not something we will stand for any longer. I personally will no longer certain any hip-hop artist who values this "stop snitching" and their street cred more than a human life.
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 5:35 PM ET
Thanks, Anderson Cooper! Welcome back to your own blog! Let's keep it alive here, ok?? The *Podcast* is great, but this blog is "more interactive" on the human level, as we all get to share our thoughts, feelings, and opinions. The Podcast is just not the same. So, thanks from all of us for "reviving the AC 360 blog" after it sort of *died* the past week and a half during the "birth of Podcast" and the VT shooting tragedy. I think there are many of us out there who really enjoy the AC 360 Blog. Thank you, AC for reviving this blog!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Sacramento, CA : 5:39 PM ET
All right! Looks like the Blog has been resuscitated! Those rappers, shame on them. They are DISGUSTING and dragging down the black community/ies. Another example of "Too Much Freedom". And the selfish, spoiled American attitude of "don't tell me what to do." The right of the individual trumps the rights of the group. They are low-lifes, those vulgar, dirty rappers!
Posted By Anonymous Sam, Houston, TX : 5:41 PM ET
Unless you are in that kind of situation it would be hard to know if you'd tell the police what you saw. If there is implied retribution in the killing, I'm not sure you'd want to speak up.

Fear and intimidation are serious motivation unless you know the truth in your heart.

The excuse though that it's to protect record sales is bunk and makes me involuntarily roll my eyes.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 5:43 PM ET
It's not just African American rappers. Lots of Latinos play that crap, and they play it LOUD!!! I live in East LA and I can't tell you how angry it makes me and how offensive it is to have a car next to you blasting their rap-crap SO LOUD YOUR OWN CARE IS SHAKING AND THE CEMENT/ROADWAY IS ALSO!! Crazy!! They all should be in jail! Buncha FOOLS!
Posted By Anonymous Carmen, [East] Los Angeles, CA : 5:44 PM ET
An alternative explanation to “Stop Snitchin” can be explained by the fact that African American communities are targeted more often by the police and are overrepresented in prisons. Amnesty International on Human Rights asks “why is it that over 80 per cent of US executions have been for murders involving white victims, when blacks and whites are the victims of murder in equal numbers?” Are the lives of blacks not valuable in comparison to whites? The “Stop Snitichin” was initially not promoted by the media; rather it was the communities themselves who created this informal code of silence because of how they were handled by the police. Not too long ago in a small community in Toronto, a young male, Omar Wellington was stripped down to his underwear and slowly beaten to death for 5 hours in the middle of crowded residential complexes with over 100 witnesses, but very few came forward, fearful of being labelled informers. We should ponder on this some more.
Posted By Anonymous Jananee, Toronto, ON : 5:45 PM ET
I missed your 60 Minutes report this Sunday, so I'm very glad you're reshowing (and expanding) it! Especially after seeing Russell Simmons on The Colbert Report last night. Can't wait to see what he says in a "serious" interview.
Posted By Anonymous Ashley, Baton Rouge, LA : 5:50 PM ET

A local radio rap, R&B, hip hop station played your interview with Cam'ron Monday morning and the DJ did not seemed to be to pleased with his response regarding the serial killer living next door. I know that people have a right to believe they are being singled out by another group of people(police), but what I don't get is the lack of sensitivity to the victim's family. Letting a murder or crime go unsolved or unpunished because of a code just seems heartless to me. Where are people's feelings for their fellow man now a days. I just don't get it.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 5:53 PM ET
To Carmen in East LA:

When the cement was shaking, are you sure it wasn't an earthquake? ;)
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 5:55 PM ET
I'm getting my very own t-shirt made with the following motto:

Rap Is Crap!!
Posted By Anonymous Stan, Columbus, OH : 5:55 PM ET
"Geoffrey Canada, who makes a forceful case that African-Americans are undermining their own communities by permitting this music and attitude."

Um, there are plenty of upstanding African-American communities that would not tolerate this, however nobody ever consults them.
Posted By Anonymous Erica, Denver CO : 5:57 PM ET
Anderson: This report was very well done and definitely raised my awareness level. I was shocked and disappointed at the same time to see young children embracing this whole "stop snitching" concept. It's sad to see that people like Cam'ron and Busta are encouraging our youth by setting this kind of example. It would have been interesting to know what their definition of a "hero" is. To not speak out after witnessing a wrong would be considered a coward in my book.
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 5:57 PM ET
I hope people realize that not ALL African Americans or even some rappers agree with stop snitchin'. What is frustrating about these reports is that it leads people to believe that all blacks feel the same way about EVERYTHING. Well, we don't. I've NEVER listened to hip hop or rap and I don't believe what the rappers and inner city people are doing is right, but it's probably more complex than anyone who isn't directly involved can understand. Hopefully, something can be done to stop it.

I'm shocked, SHOCKED that Anderson has blogged again! Happy to see it.
Posted By Anonymous Grace, San Francisco, CA : 5:59 PM ET
Are we back to the theme in Footloose or is this discrimination?

Does anyone out there dance? Rap and hip hop have sweet beats. Let the music play and the people dance.

Rap and hip hop are about honesty and truth. Is it that we don't want to know the truth, and that we can't handle the truth, that we have created?

When someone needs to talk, we should listen. When lyrics include bits about killing people isn't it obvious its time for us to start listening. Why is it that budgets for social workers are being cut?

Thanx for everything. Take Care.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Boston, MA : 6:02 PM ET
On returning to the States after 15 yrs., I found myself working in factories. Not something I'd dreamed of all my life, but seemingly the only way to pay the bill's in a factory town. I ended up working with some interesting people, to say the least. On one job I did quality control and there was usually drive time involved so some people brought their own music. One black guy brought some of his hip-hop and it kind of shocked this naive white girl, so I asked some questions. The frequent use of the "n" word peaked my interest, because there was a time when that would have gotten you shot where I grew up. He just said that's the way it is now; aint no thaang. Simple response. Seems like a lot of people are born into impossible surroundings. Growing up is a form of survival. The hip-hop artists have "been there", and for millions of frustrated young people growing up in the midst of extreme poverty and crime, they are the only ones who empathize with them and feel their pain. Maybe for them a negative message is better than none at all. And there is probably huge pressure on the street to "stop snitchin'", in some cases a life or death issue. Too bad they don't have anyone to empathize with them who can point them in the right direction.
Posted By Anonymous Naomi Schroeper-Couch, Finhaut,VS.,Switzerland : 6:09 PM ET
To those whose comments have said "down with Cam'ron":

yes, people can "stand up to" rappers such as Cam'ron who encourage kids to break the law - by NOT BUYING his music. But let's talk about RIGHTS. Cam'ron has a RIGHT (per the US Constitution) to "preach" whatever he wants. We have a RIGHT (per the US Constitution) to denounce him and his sponsors. But I say make no laws restricting music; to me, that's more scary than Cam'ron's message.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago, IL : 6:25 PM ET
Russell Simmons's defense of rappers' no-snitch admonitions--that they are artists, only 'mirrors' of the, e.g., misogyny and homophobia in their subculture, and that artists have been maligned throughout history for their art--is a whopper of disingenuousness.
It is one thing to condemn societal wrongs literarily--think Alice Walker, Richard Wright, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, etc.--and quite a nasty other to use one's art as a megaphone for ADVOCATING societal wrongs.
It reminds me of the effusively wrongheaded praise of the likes of G. Gordon Liddy and the late pope for simply having unshakeable convictions, with no thought as to the moral and rational defensibleness--and potentially horrible social consequences--of those convictions. Rod Gates
Posted By Anonymous Rod Gates, New Orleans, La. : 12:21 AM ET
I am a young black male who listens to all types of music. I am disappointed to learn that an individual such as yourself does not have a view broadened enough to absorb the reality of the music industry as a whole. You can't seriously blame hip hop, rap, or gangster rap (or whatever you're calling it these days) for any more wrong doing than metal, alternative, or even country. I've heard rap songs saying things about killing, drug dealing, and making strong sexual comments towards women. I have heard alternative music referring to getting high and having sex, "because sex is so much better when you're mad at me" or "I want to feel you from the inside." Then we hear country songs describing women’s body features or depicting the vandalization of a guy’s car because he cheated. Or, even better, “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” Thank you, Johnny Cash. Then we hear hard rock/metal describe the victory of suicide or the path to take to "lithium", and how life just isn’t worthwhile without “doing it for the drugs”. You can't put all the blame on rap/hip hop. It may be more blatant than the others, or it may be the loud guitars that hide what is being said. The bottom line is there is positive music available in every genre, just as there is negative. The American household would be quite a bit more prosperous if we directed our families toward the former. Every radio station is pushing the limit these days. Freedom of speech, right?

By the way, Run DMC is a “them” not a “he”. It’s a shame you don’t have the decency to be more familiarized with the genre you speak so poorly of. As they say, ignorance is a virtue. Don’t worry. I don’t expect this to be posted. God forbid we admit our downfalls.
Posted By Anonymous James S. Chattanooga, TN : 12:21 AM ET
Dear Anderson,

Excellent interviews last night with Geoffrey Canada and Russell Simmons. Unfortunately it sounds like the Black community is destroying itself from within.

Mr. Canada seemed genuinely concerned about the destructiveness of this music, but Russell Simmons was being disingenuous. Does he expect us to believe that these rap and hip-hop artists are merely reflecting life on the streets? They are dictating to the masses. While they go home to their "gated communities" these kids are on the streets murdering each other after being "inspired" by their music.

Thank you for stepping back and allowing Mr. Canada to speak, what he said was important and he said it eloquently. On the other hand, I am glad that you pressed Russell Simmons on the subject, it was clear that he was trying to make excuses for the language and the messages sent by this music.

I look forward to tonight's program, this is a subject worth investigating further.

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 12:21 AM ET
Thank you for doing this piece. It has been playing in my head for weeks ever since my nephew was falsely accused of something he didn’t do and my sister and her husband reported it to the principal.
When my nephew heard of the action taken by his parents, he pleaded them to drop the inquiry because in school, it’s alright to be known as a liar, cheater, and a bully and so on…but there’s nothing worse than to be known as a ‘snitch’. It a common practice in school and it’s one of the codes.
It was mind baffling to us adults when we heard it. Where on earth did they come up with that?
This is not just an American issue. This is a global issue.
They call this freedom of speech and what…being honest and truthful?
So they get to do it, taking no responsibilities and facing no consequences and making lots of money while influencing others and our future generations to ‘not snitch’…and that would sum up to telling us it’s better to not to tell the truth and be dishonest.
This is an issue that all parents, teachers, schools, rappers, the industry and higher authorities have to look into and address this properly and thoroughly. If this isn’t nipped at this damaging stage, what would become of this world in the future?
Posted By Anonymous LaiPengFoong,Penang,Malaysia : 12:37 AM ET
Hello my name is Michael Williams and I am responding to the "Stop Snitching" program that came on tonight. First and Foremost I'm a sophomore at Morehouse College, and native a Boston Massachusetts. After Completing my first semester at Morehouse, and coming back to my community which is considered to be the "hood" I saw a rise in the "Stop Snitchin" T-shirts, amongst the youth in my community. A couple of peers and I, collectively with the National Black College Alliance Director and CEO George "Chip" Greenidge, created t-shirts that read a much more positive message, "Wait until You See My Degree!" We were successful in getting our message across to the youth in our community, but we were unsuccessful in the longevity of our movement. When I was finished with my Freshman year, I came home for the summer back in Boston, and was quite excited about working as a Lifeguard in my community to help "re-socialize" the ideas and portrayals Geoffrey Canada mentioned that several African-American children posses. Almost every young black male wanted to be a rapper, or an athlete, which ironically is relevant to the content of the lyrics children are listening to. Notorious B.I.G say's, "The Streets is a short stop, either you slinging crack rock or, you got a wicked jump shot!" This is how our children are being socialized to think! About midway into my summer break, you think that I would receive love from my friends and community, but instead one of my peers shot me in the face with a 38 special close range and tried to take my life. There were plenty witnesses, and people who know the person that shot me, but since the whole "stop snitchin" campaign, nobody in the entire neighborhood wanted to tell the police what happen, and the end result was, another dangerous criminal walking free. Ironically the very next day after I was shot, a kid about 17 years old was shot and killed about 100 yards from where I was shot, and I was shot about 50 yards away from another kid who was shot and killed memorial. All of this is happening because people are afraid to talk to the police!
Its so funny how so many people in the black community have fought for justice, and continue fighting on a daily basis. What about Emmett Till? Let’s propose a hypothetical situation of a black man being tarred and feathered, and lynched today and 200 witnesses all white, saw this and none of them talked to the police because they adopted the "stop snitchin" mentality. When Black people "stop snitchin" its okay, but when a white person does it, there are marches, protest, a demand of answers and social chaos. I challenge Mr. Simmons to let his young daughters sit in any urban neighborhood in America, and be shot like animals, and be denied justice, because the people in the community adopt the poetic thoughts that some rappers sway. Mr. Simmons would instantly become a hypocrite, and see as a primary source the problem our community faces!
Posted By Anonymous Michael Williams Boston Native, (Morehouse Sophmore) : 12:50 AM ET
i'm a person who believes in the original definition of don't snitch. however i do feel the definition has changed. it went from you telling on another person that you did a crime with or a person that you know is doing a crime in order to receive a lighter sentence to just don't talk to the police period. that i don't agree with. i could not see myself doing what busta rhymes is doing right now. if i knew who killed my friend. i would do everything i could to make sure justice was served, but to just sit back and don't say anything is absurd. as far as the negative terms that are being directed at females. whether we want to believe it or not. their are females out there to do fit these terms. if females don't want these terms used. then you talk to the females out there that are waiting at the hotel for these rappers. you talk to the females that only get with a guy because he has money. you talk to the females who strip. you talk to the females who sit around and depend on a man to support them. you talk to the females who will laugh in your face, and as soon as you leave they're talking about you like a dog, and you talk to the females that use what they got to get what they want. then maybe these terms will cease to exist.
Posted By Anonymous nick, lake city, south carolina : 12:52 AM ET
There are so many popular individuals in this nation and the world that have so much hate and anger. They need so badly to share their unhappiness w everyone....why dont they just go to counseling to deal what is really hurting in their heart. Any music that blurts out profanity is an infliction of pain that is delivered to everyone who hears it. In a sense, it can be a form of indirect brainwashing that over time numbs the conscience in knowing between good and evil(or right and wrong). Foolishly, all of the silver and gold these people earn from the sales of their music proves to me only a meek costume to cover up what is really destructive in their heart and mind.

What they do not get....is that their cars, chains of gold, their attitude, is merely superficial and will eventually fade away. The only thing that last forever is the love of Jesus Christ and accepting him into your heart.
Posted By Anonymous Tina.....San Antonio, Tx : 2:35 AM ET
Hi Anderson,
I don't understand why rap music always gets the majority of negative comments on any contained subjects. With television shows like The Sopranos, along with countless video games and movies, glamorizing (mistreatment of women, violence and drugs), the same subjects that rap music does, it's sad that we're the only ones who have to awnser for it. Every time you turn on CNN, violence is all you see. Rap is the news for the forgotten that you neglect to report on. Rap music, if consumed with a grain of salt, can be empowering to many who have nothing to believe in. It saved my life.
Posted By Anonymous Jack Bozikian (Montreal, Canada) : 3:02 AM ET
What I'm hearing is some straight bull.Rap music isn't what's making kids "Stop Snitchin" and corrupting them because I'm a young black male and I listen to alot of rap music and I don't have alot of run-ins with the law. Its the people around them. Being labeled a snitch in the black community is not a good name if your labeled a snitch then nobody will want to be around you how can they trust you.Some people will even threathen you or beat you for snitching on some one that's close to them. I'm not saying people shouldn't come forward and tell the police what they saw but if you do then you got a live with the name, criticism, and fear for your life for the rest of your life.
Posted By Anonymous Russell, Waterloo, IA : 3:19 AM ET

It seems to me it takes more courage to go against this supposed ethic of 'stop snitching'. I understand the genesis of the stop snitching, but courageous people will go against it to protect the communities and stop the violence. Hopefully, there will be more courageous people to come forward so that all of these cowards who are filling their pockets with money will be shut down.
Posted By Anonymous Brandon, Middlebury, Vermon : 5:06 AM ET
"STOP SNITCHING" not only applies to people reluctance to cooperate with the police when a crime is committed. It also applies to the police " Code of Silence " and their reluctance to snitch on each other when they violate someones rights.

As a former law enforcement officer, I endured the consequences of breaking the " Code of Silence. " I repoted an incident in which, unwarrantable, force was used excessively against a nonresisting suspect by fellow officers.

My initial report of the incident to my supervisor was greeted with the question " How far do you want to take this? " I responded " I will write a statement."

For the next few months, after I reported the incident, I was stared at, indirectly threatened and told that I wasn't needed when I responded to calls for assistance by certain officers. Most of the time I was the first assisting officer. That went on until I resigned several weeks later.

Just to say the same principle appplies to the " Street Code of Silence " as is does to the " Police Code of Silence. " Nor do the police like a snitch amongst them. Speak on this. Too much focus on the streets.

With all due respect to the good ones. I will still tell " SNITCH. "
Posted By Anonymous MOB, Augusta, Georgia : 5:19 AM ET
I think it is very sad that our children have to grow up in such a hateful world. I like some rap music, but the more i listen to how ugly it has become and negative the messages have gotten i makes me sick to my stomach. My husband is in the ARMY he is a real Soldier. I hear rappers refer to themselves as soldiers, but of what. For what cause? You hear all time that some gang memeber killed another gang memeber, or killed an innocent by stander. That makes me wonder if this is what they call being a Soldier. A murderer, a drug dealer or a criminal are in no way a Soldier. They are cowards that hide behind guns and violence. The whole "Stop Snitchin'" so called code of ethics is a terrible message to send out. I wonder if someone stole Camron's car or broke into his house would he call the police to report the crime? If so would he then want the police to solve this crime. Do these people not realize that the "stop snitchin'" will affect them too. If his child was killed, raped, or sexually assaulted would he want the police to do their jobs then? I will bet u that if any of those things were done to him or someone he cared about he would be all over the police and pushing for them to solve the crime. Would the "stop snitchin'" rule still apply or would he expect people to provide the police with what ever info they could? How fair is that? Dont teach the children that its wrong to do the right thing. You can still sell your records and be a big artist w/o teaching the youth of today to be prisoners of their violent streets.

Be a real SOLDIER be a MAN teach our youth that they need to rise above the hate and violence. Whether we like it or not you are their role models, why not be a HERO.......
Posted By Anonymous Sandy, Honolulu HI : 7:00 AM ET
Re: Jananee

While I agree with other posters that retribution is sometimes a very real threat in some communities, your "facts" as quoted are a bit misleading. What you don't mention (and what Amnesty Int'l always ignores) is the main reason there are more A-A males incarcerated is that statistically, they are the ones committing the majority of violent crimes in the U.S., even within their own communities. Mistreatment and violation of their civil rights should always be investigated and prosecuted, but don't try to distract from the real reason they are in jail. "Stop Snitching" is a perfect example of the gangster mentality that leads these young men to commit crimes in the first place. Do the crime, do the time.
Posted By Anonymous Charles, Tampa, FL : 8:45 AM ET
I almost fell out of my chair a few times last night watching the segment. You might have heard a thud when Cam'ron said that he wouldn't snitch on a serial killer next door. It is one thing to be 8 years old and "snitch" on a friend but it is another thing to be an adult, who should know right from wrong. Is there a "conscientious" chip missing from their brain? What a bunch of lame selfish excuses for their belief in not being a "snitch" when someone else's life has been taken. May God have mercy on their sad souls.
Posted By Anonymous SP, Villa Hills, KY : 10:13 AM ET
Speaking as an elementary school teacher, this is just what we need, more negative influences for the kids that already suffer so much. It is such a challenge to cut through all the junk that is being thrown at kids and try to help them understand that education is their ticket out of their situations. I am begging, pleading with the "powers-that-be"...please help us help your children. I saw Mr. Simmons on the Oprah show the other day, this man has REAL power to make a difference in the lives of so many more children that even teachers...I pray that he makes the right decisions for those children.
Posted By Anonymous Terri Lynn Surrency, Jesup, GA : 10:20 AM ET

Thank you for your excellent show last night and the very insightful interviews. I had seen Russell Simmons on Colbert and I noticed that he tried to manipulate both interviews to the point of rudeness. Something that can begin happening immediately is that Black and White parents can crack down on their kids buying and downloading the music of the worst offenders. Don't laugh. Parents are still their children's best teachers and a little solid parenting goes a long way. If profits start to slide maybe it will get the attention of the music CEOs. As private individuals we can't control an industry perhaps, but we can control what we spend our money on and what we listen to.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 10:38 AM ET
Hey Anderson,
Love the show! What about major athletes aren't some of them also contributing to this slogan? It is rumored here in Denver that one of the Nuggests has produced and starred in a "Stop Snitchin" video in his home town and one of the Broncos was gunned down on New Years Eve and no one has come forward to help. What can we as a nation do to stop these harmful/hateful lyrics, I'm all for free speech but tell a kid that he/she is dumb over and over and they will start to believe it, so it is no wonder that women are thought of are bitches/hos and pimpin is "cool".
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Denver, Co : 11:17 AM ET
Someone mentioned earlier how this whole "stop snitching" thing was to curb the detainment of African Americans. That is only covering up a problem. Rather, we should be focusing on the many white people who do the same crimes and get off for much less time.

If people stop snitching, it will only give the loser rappers more power. That's all they care about (Well actually I don't know what they care about, I don't know any personally)
Posted By Anonymous Mikel, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada : 11:49 AM ET
I live in a part of Richland County in Columbia, SC where the majority of the teenagers are African-American. I go to a high school where there are nearly 2,000 students and the majority is African American teens. Everyday when you walk down the halls, you see at least maybe one or two kids with a shirt on that says "Stop Snitchin' ". Sometimes you'll hear people say it around school. People here take things like murder lightly. It's a common question to ask "Where are the parents?" It's unnesessary to worry about if you're telling on someone who shot and killed someone in front of you. That person should be brought to justice, they shouldn't let them run around just so they can do it again. A lot of the police officers in my state are trying to crack down on gang violence but it's not working that well because there are a lot of scares at school and in the surrounding areas. People get shot around here and it's no big thing, but in reality, it is a big thing when a teenager is shot and killed in front of ten people and not one of them saw anything. If you ask me, it's a shame that people think that way. Hip-hop and rap are okay to listen to sometimes, but I agree that the message is violent and discriminating against African Americans when the people making the music are African Americans. It can't be that hard to write a non-violent rap song where you're not bashing another artist or a particular group of people.
Posted By Anonymous Alyssia - Columbia, SC : 12:05 PM ET
Hello Anderson, I want to first applaud you for the topic you chose to feature on your show. I am an A/A female and I have to tell you to hear the things rappers say disappoints me more than what Imus said. Yes Imus was wrong for saying what he said, but the truth is it hurts me more hearing it come from the black men that our children look up to! I don't understand the "stop snitching" approach that these rappers have aggressively taken on. I have a nephew in prison right now for murder and he is facing life b/c he refuses to tell his story due to the code of the streets "death before dishonor", in other words "stop snitchin". And what hurts the most is that he doesn't even seem to recognize that the family of the woman that was murdered might need to hear what happened to get the closure that they need! And while he is sitting in jail facing a life sentence, the other guys that were involved are singing to the prosecutor like they are in church. The "code of the streets" has taken over our community and it really sucks that these kids are so influenced by this. I feel sorry for Camron's soul b/c he has to face God one day. He disgust me and believe me if a serial killer got to his mother his attitude probably wouldn't change about "snitchin". Unfortunately he would probably try to locate the person and retaliate! He is ignorant and he showed the whole world on your show!!! Thanks for exposing him for what he really is. An ignorant little boy!
Posted By Anonymous Alisha in Washington, DC : 12:25 PM ET
Its about time that someone is adressing the situation. A 12 year old knows a complete song from 50 cents but does not know our Vice president's name.
The freedom of speech is welcome but look at the impact of the curse words and slangs. Even hip-hop radio stations are using crude references and foull words freely on-air.
Being a foreigner, I am not sure if this is the American Dream I was yearning for!
Posted By Anonymous Omair Rana, Dallas, TX : 12:46 PM ET
It's true that rap music should not be promoting such a negative idea. But like so may other things, rap music is being blamed as if it's the source or beginning of the issue. The idea of snitching (and not being a snitch, stool pigeon, etc.) started long before rap, and it existed in poor, black communities before rap and hip hop came into existence.

The "Stop Snitching" idea and/or campaign is a problem, but rap is not the beginning or the end of it.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron, Orange, NJ : 12:47 PM ET
I'm going to be dating myself here but as I kid I remember Tipper Gore wanting to add "Advisory" labels to music and around the same time 2 Live Crew was coming under fire for there album (for you kids out there their were these things called albums/tapes/CD's which are the same as MP3 downloads) anyway I believe it was a way for parents to make the decision if there children should listen to the music. What this all comes down to is a responsibility of raising a child. I am now a parent of 2 children and I am a strong supporter of freedom of speech. It is my responsibility to teach my child right from wrong and let them know what the correct "code of ethics" are which for me is the old treat others as you would want to be treated.

You can’t keep blaming music, movie or books for the actions of people. It’s a cheap excuse for not blaming the real source of the problem. Let’s start raising our children to have respect for each other, for themselves and for the environment around them.

Can’t we all just get along???!!!
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 1:47 PM ET
i love when do-gooder liberal upper middle class predominantly white people comment on a situation they know NOTHING about. you people see something in our neighborhoods that you don't agree with like the "stop snitchin" campaigns and without understanding it, you decide it's not "good for us" and u start campaigns to end it.
so you want us to go to the cops who for years have abused, harrassed and punished us (blacks, latinos, poor people etc) and give them the names of people we see doing "bad things" all in the name of justice? yeah whatever...please stay on your side of the white picket fence world you live in. the police want names to get collars so the NYPD looks like it's doing something, the mayor looks good which in turn makes NYC look good.
they don't really want to help and FYI - if u see you dad get shot, no one in the "hood" will mess you up for saying somethin. thats your right. but if you see some other drug/gang/none of your damn bussiness other stufff going down...that's when you keep your mouth shut.
Posted By Anonymous gabrielle, ny, ny : 2:05 PM ET
...all this is making me very tired.

Let's just put all the gangsta rappers in jail where they belong, or WANT to be so badly. Then they can "earn their prison tattoos."

The rappers are not artists--baloney. Call a horse is a horse--the rappers are filthy, foul-mouthed ignorant and irresponsible FOOLS/PUNKS, and the people that buy and listen to their SICKO sounds (?Music?) are even worse for consuming it!! Feeble-minded Americans--blind lead/follow the blind. Wrong is now right, the world turned upside down! "Rap is Crap!!"
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Seattle, WA : 4:46 PM ET
Hi Anderson -

I can't believe people are making money off T-shirts, etc. which encourage people not to help combat crime!

It's interesting that the young people you spoke with really couldn't articulate WHY you aren't supposed to "snitch" - it's just something you shouldn't do. (It has become a cultural norm). Hopefully, many adults who work with young people saw your report and will be able to combat this message. Responsible adults need to teach young people that they are being used by the companies making money off the commcericalism of a sick message. Young people also need to feel empowered enough to not allow criminals to instill fear in them and take over their neighborhoods.

Thanks for the report.

Posted By Anonymous Jen NY, NY : 5:01 PM ET
Dear MOB of Augusta Georgia...

Thank you, thank you, thank you...

I was subjected to just such treatment, and none of the officers involved showed any of your nobility. So; thank you for doing that. It's nice to see that good officers still exist.

As far as this subject... I'd have to say it follows in line with the religious symbols topic earlier... In this day and age... why is this even an issue? That we even have this as a serious topic of discussion is a sad, sorry commentary on how far away from the vision of a just society our descendants fought and died for.
Truly sad.
Posted By Anonymous James Foley Kamiah, Idaho : 3:25 PM ET
i'm sure you heard by now Anderson, Cam'ron apologized for his comments on your 60 minutes interview, according to TMZ.com

not telling you how to do your job, you do it very well, but next time, you interview one of those staunch "stop snitchin'" advocates ask him/her the following: if you knew your neighbor was sexually molesting your child would you "snitch" on them or just move?

I loved your discussion with Glenn Beck. Making so-called clean and unedited versions of a recording is futile, S-T-U-P-I-D. what good is that going to do? Kids can put 2 and 2 together. Please update us on Sharpton's march against the record companies. He should really figure out what else he can do and/or say to stop the "stop snitchin'".
Posted By Anonymous Mariela, New York, NY : 3:48 PM ET
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