Monday, April 23, 2007

Stop Snitchin'

Tonight's 60 minutes piece from Anderson was by far the best one. His reporting seemed to be more in depth and he interviewed quite a few people on both sides of the issue.

For those that missed it, his segment was about snitching. According to the CBS website, "In most communities, a person who sees a murder and helps the police put the killer behind bars is called a witness. But in many inner-city neighborhoods in this country that person is called a "snitch."
In the piece, they talked about a shooting that happened while Busta Rhymes was making a video on Feb. 5, 2006. Israel Ramirez, was shot and killed with over 25 people reportedly witnessing the murder. None, including Busta, came forward to talk to the police to help solve the crime. Even after two years, Busta refuses to discuss the matter with the authorities to help them catch the person that perpetrated this horrible crime.

As Geoffrey Canada, a nationally recognized educator and anti-violence advocate, said "You know, I just think of him, being shot, falling down, probably thinking, 'This might be it.' And I just wonder, who held his hand? Who caressed his head? Who told him, 'I'm gonna be here?' Who stayed with him? Who made sure this man just didn't die alone for nothing?"

Watching Anderson's story made me wonder how one's career, or money or pride is more important than someone's life? Anderson posed an interesting question to rapper Cam'ron. He asked Cam'ron if he would go to the police about a neighbor if he knew the person was a serial killer. His response was that he would move but wouldn't tell the police because it would ruin his street "cred". Frankly, I think that's morally disgusting. Do people that have the same attitude as he does think about how this effects not only their very own community but their own friends and family? What if it were them or their family that was the next victim and no one would come forward with information.

I think it's a bit of a cop out (excuse the pun) to say that telling the police about horrendous and horrible crimes will hurt their careers or make them look bad in their own community. Why not report these things as an anonymous person? You are not required to give your name or contact info to the police if you give a tip. Sure, that's a simple solution but until people step up do the right thing kids will think it's okay to continue this. I find it disgusting that someone can let people get away with crime. The bad part is that these criminals who pretty much get away with any criminal activity are killing, raping and wounding mostly people in their own community.

As much as the rap and hip hop community don't want the blame I think a lot of the blame lies with them. Saying that the corporation is making money off them and find it okay is a very weak argument. If some big companies could make money off prostitution, drugs or killing people they probably would and DO. That doesn't make it right. The big corporations don't have to live in the inner city and neither do most rappers. They get to live in crime free million dollar neighborhoods while their fans live with this day to day. I think these artists need to realize they are role models (like it or not) and that until they present a good example to youths they lend a hand in making their own community far less than it could be. Not all under privileged kids will get the chance to go on to become rappers or famous people, most will be poor and stuck in the same situation their whole life. They are the ones that will have to live with these murders and criminals because people won't come forward. If they had better role models maybe this wouldn't be the case.

I know it's a much bigger problem than just this issue and I hope that things like the Don Imus incident and others will continue to open the dialogue and allow everyone to discuss this and find solutions.

To read more about this story or watch some videos of Anderson's piece go HERE.

More 60 minute caps by Phebe:


swmpratt said...

I thought it was a good segment but I just couldn't get into it after this week. I taped it on my tivo so I can go back and watch it when I'm in a more receptive mood. Just too much unpleasantness this week for me.

I did note that Anderson wore at least 4 different outfits in the show. All nice but I got tickled at the number of different outfits. Sure shows he doesn't tape it all in one day!

copperfish said...

It's really sad that there were people who can't make a stand. Each of them had their own reasons and we can't do anything about that. We can't enforce them to do things that we think is right. What may be right to us may not be right for them. I remember what Ellie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and a Nobel Piece Prize winner once said:
"The world did know what was happening ( the massacre of the Jews) and they remained silent. We must take sides, Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion or political views, that place must at that moment become the center of the universe".

Violence continues to happen in our surroundings and countries are in chaos because of war brought about by differences of ideology. THE WORLD IS NOT SILENT, WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE.

ACAnderFan said...

I really liked this piece. I thought Andy did a great job. His reprtoing was excellent as usual. Is there anything he can't do???

I think it's ridiculous that telling the police of a crime could hurt ones career. To me it's very sad that some people value thier career and image and money more than the life of someone else. How would they like it if someone killed their brother or whoever and the murder was never found because someone was afraid to 'snitch'. It's sad, it really is.

FanGirl moment: How handsome did Andy look when he had on that light blue shirt, dark jacket and no tie??? I think that's the best he ever looked And his hair looked so soft and silvery.

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched the program yet, but I would be curious to see what Cam'ron (or however you spell it!) would do if someone he loved was killed. Then would his street 'cred' be as important?

Anonymous said...

I thought the show was great. Anderson did a fantastic job especially talking to the group of young people, I think he was amazed by their answers and attitude.

The one thing that kept popping into my head listening to the rapers was -
"What about the victims' families. They seemed more concerned about what snitchin would do to their career than what the crime would do to the families of the crime victims. I'm probably wrong but since when is money more important than someone's life?

On a lighter note - does anyone besides me think Anderson wore all the suits in his wardrobe during the segment. The man really needs to go shopping and not just for a new field shirt.

Cindy said...

I think last night's show was the best "60" Minutes piece that Anderson has done thus far. I hope in the future they give him more stories like this and no celeb pieces.

And I agree totally with everything you said PT. It is just ridiculous that these people won't help the police! I don't see how you can see a person get killed and then turn a blind eye to helping the killer be put away. It really shows someones morals and values when they think of money, fame, and fortune over someones life.

When will these fans realize that these rappers care nothing for them. They get to go back to their mansions and gated communities while the fans have to deal with the crime infested areas. All they care about is their money.

But what can really be done to change this? It seems nothing really...until people are willing to step up and help rid these cities of crime. But unfortunately it seems this attitude is getting more prevalent and worse.

beaslma said...

it was more sickning to hear it straight from the 14 year old that obviously the message is getting through loud and clear. I think even AC was shocked at what was coming out of a kids mouth who was so young.

Anonymous said...

I was almost shocked when watching yesterday's 60 minutes, "stop snitchins" segment. What in the world was that? The sad part was when Anderson was asking the little boy about snitchin and the boy seemed to be very well taught, I can't imagine at his age he already know and do those stuff. Sorry to say this but, when he grows up, means he won't hesitate to commit a crime since he already know that people around him will cover him up and won't say a thing to authorities? And I'll never understand why rappers USE crime to sell records, is it because i'm so yesterday? don't think so. One word, THIS IS SOO WRONG!

Anonymous said...

HI Purple Tie:

I agreed with you one hundred & ten precent. These rapper export the worst part of the prison culture to our youth. These thug value money & street cred more important than human life, and you wondered why the ghetto's crime rate is so high.
I am glad Anderson did this piece, I think it is time for us to let the record company know that we won't buy any of these product. The only thing these execs sees is money. Once there is no money rolling in, they will not support these thugs who pretend as musicians.

Anonymous said...

The message these rappers are sending out pisses me off. There should be laws, if there aren't already, that categorizes witnesses or those in the know as aiding and abetting the criminal if they don't snitch.

Anonymous said...

i agree with what you. The only thing these people care about is money so we need to stop buying, listening, watching and giving them what they want.

As the old saying goes " if you are part of the solution then you are part of the problem."

ACAnderFan said...

That was sad when that 14 year old boy was talking about what he learned from rappers. I think Andy was shocked when that kid was telling him that stuff. I was even shocked and most things don't shock or surprise me. That kid as a sad life ahead of him. He's only 14 and he believes the crap that rappers are telling him. That is sad.

swmpratt said...

Unfortunately we aren't the target market for these records/videos, so us not buying them is like spitting in the wind.

Now don't jump on me but I could understand some of the attitude. Being from the South, I've seen the police pull over the Afro-American kids (especially the boys) for just walking down the street. And the police aren't always real nice about it. Its still assumed around here pretty much of the time that if there are 2 parties at a crime scene and one is white and the other is black, then the black is the responsible party. I can see where they might not want to get involved.

And don't forget - back in the 60s in New York City (Queens), a white woman, Kitty Genovese (I think that was her name) was stabbed to death in front of her apartment building, screaming for help for over 30 minutes. Did anyone help? Did anyone call the police? No.....the neighbors who were aware (and about a dozen were) of the attack did nothing; they were quoted as "they didn't want to get involved" and most of them (if not all) were white. The psychiatric community labeled this the bystander effect and efforts were undertaken to make ongoing crimes such as this easier to report. However, 10 years after the incident a woman was attacked and strangled in about the same area of Queens that Kitty was killed in; again no one did a thing.

While rap encourages this type of behavior, I just don't think the answer to "not snitching" is as easy as that. As with everything there is more complexity to the matter that first meets the eye.

@Grace - I thought Anderson showed a remarkable amount of variety in his clothing in this piece. It may have indeed been all his suits. I liked the tight blue jeans the best though!! (sorry - fangurl just snuck out there)

Anonymous said...

This was a great segment for Anderson.

I was also very disturbed by the group of young children who have obviously had the "no snitching" message drilled into their heads.

We actually don't have many black people in our state. We do however have a growing problem with Latino gangs...moving in from the LA area and Mexico. I see the same attitude when crimes are committed. There is an entire subculture living right in the middle of the community which follows it's own set of rules in terms of criminal behavior. They also tend to "solve" their problems inside the community (usually meeting violence with violence.) It really concerns me that segments of our society are so alienated. What makes it even harder is that racial profiling does occur and people are treated differently by law enforcement depending on their skin color. I have witnessed this first hand. My father is Azorean. This heritage shows up strongly in my youngest brother. He is often mistaken for Latino. It is amazing to go into the city with him and watch security follow him around the mall etc. I went with him to the State Fair last year. When our large group entered the park, law enforcement singled him out to take off his jacket and searched his belongings. I was shocked at the way they spoke to him and how physically aggressive they appeared to be. My mother was distraught; he had done nothing to stand out. It is hard to explain how this feels to someone who has not been in the situation. Constant experiences like this are bound to make you leery of law enforcement. I think the “no snitching” mantra initially grew from these types of experiences. If the thugs in your community threaten you if you go to the police and the police treat you with contempt when you have contact with them, is it any wonder people would be unwilling to get involved. On the other hand, it appalls me to see how these thugs, gang members, and rappers now use a fear of law enforcement to control and exploit their own communities. I believe the criminal element and so-called gangsta rappers are out to make a buck - nothing more. As Cindy already commented, as soon as they have the bucks, they move far away from the community of fear they helped create. I don't know the answer but I sure hope there are more people like Geoffery Canada working to change the minds of the children growing up in these neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

This morning as I was out and about on errands I turned on the radio and while searching stations I heard a very familiar voice on of all stations one that features rap, R&B and Hip Hop. You guessed it it was none other than our dear Andersn - they were playing his interview with Cam'ron(sp?), the part I heard dealt with the serial killer living next door. After the segment was over the DJ asked people to call in and give their opinions. Unfortunately I didn't get to hear the reaction from the general public, but the DJ didn't seem none too pleased with Cam'ron's remarks.

Anonymous said...

And they nailed Imus for what he said! Imus may have been wrong, but he is not covering up a murder.

sydney said...

Anderson just blogged - sounds like he's going to be on. They'll be showing some of Peter and Nic's Afghanistan reports this week.

ACAnderFan said...

Andy blogged today. Does that mean he's going to be on??? To me it sounds like he isn't going to be on. I hope he is on. I wonder if he's back in Afganistan.

Anonymous said...

@annie kate-

I completely agree with you. It is so easy to quickly dismiss their attitude as 'stupid' or 'sad', but if we take a closer look at some of the reasons why, then it becomes more complicated. I was saddened to hear the boy say that he was pulled over just because. If that happened to me, I would be pissed...How can I trust their authority when they abuse theirs... As an African American, I worry about my brother and I pray that he never experiences anything like that...Unfortunately, it is all too common these days. I not saying that this idea of snitching should promoted, but lets not easily dismiss their attitudes...

Anonymous said...

I liked this piece a lot. But, I kidn of got where the rappers were coming from. Yes, they want to sustain their business, but when they see the police as a brutal force, keeping quiet is a way to hold their community together. It's unfortunate, though, because that's a tragically flawed method. It only helps the criminals.
It'll be interesting to see if this mindset ever changes.

Anonymous said...

Is that a small bald spot in the back of the head photo?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that bald spot has been spotted before. Poor little fella.

Anonymous said...

Anderson's piece 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 like over 60 killings due to gun violence and all the news outlets 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 there street cred the let 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.

From Anderson's blog - I don't know where he is cause he didn't say. I hate uncertainty :( Only a few more hours.(my comment made it on Anderson's blog - a week has past I can not believe it. and a week ago friday I talked to Anderson.....gosh time flies)

Anonymous said...

I actually can understand why people don't want to get involved with the police, it is much more complex than the rappers. Frankly, Cam'ron's explanation of it was pathetic and ignorant. They didn't invent this, but I agree they may help to continually perpetuate it.

Some commenters have already hit the nail on the head, if you have been traditionally the target of racial profiling, there is a mistrust of the police. NYC is one of those cities that targets young, African American males; we don't like to hear that, but it's the truth. A young man, Sean Bell, just died a few months ago, (the day of his wedding) after getting shot 50 times by a police officer. He didn't do anything, he was innocent, he got shot, for fitting the description of "young African American male". It's not the first time the NYPD has gunned down an innocent black man with excessive force. The last time something like this happened the police weren't even convicted. Things like that lead to a mistrust that has been around for decades. When is the last time you heard of a young white male being shot that many times by the police? It's unheard of.

The philosophy is the police don't help us, why should we help them.

The other thing is fear, people are afraid to come forward, who will protect you? OK, you give an anonymous tip, but you have to testify in court. Who is willing to risk the safety of their family? If the shooter tracked down whoever they were supposed to kill, don't you think they can track you down. We are not talking about a random shooting. I know what Cam'ron said, but these shootings are not some crazed serial killer. It's the same with mafia witnesses, they didn't call John Gotti the Teflon Don for nothing, nobody would testify, and if they did, they would die.

This isssue is very complex, and it's unfair to put it all on the rappers.

I understand it, and I think it's sad, but again, it's a much bigger problem.

Unknown said...

I do agree that there isn't a simple solution at all. I can understand why some African Americans want nothing to do with the police. I truly believe that there is a problem there with some of the police harrassing minorities.

However, unless the inner cities stand up and collectivly not allow crime and criminals to run their lives then it will only continue. It's a never ending circle. Everyone, not only African Americans need to help improve society. It's not just one groups fault. The police need to change as well.

I guess what it comes down to is that rappers are role models and they need to accept that and do what they can to help their own communities. As Jason Whitlock said a few weeks ago on 360, they are glorifing prison culture and how is that benifical to any community? Their fans, black or white, will follow what they do and think it's "cool". The will find it acceptable to call woman "ho's" and use the "n" word. I just don't see how any of that can be good?

There's nothing wrong with rap or hip hop. But it doesn't have to make it cool to have guns, to use the language they use or talk about killing or beating up people.

Anonymous said...

OT for this post - I just saw a commercial for the LK anniversary show will start airing on April 30.

swmpratt said...

Looks like AC is in the NY studio from the upcoming commercial just done. Guess he was working on something just for the weekend.

sydney said...

@megan thank you, I caught the tail end of that commercial, but missed the date.

Wow, we're leading w/ Iraq. It seems like forever since we've seen Michael Ware. He looks and sounds exhausted.

Hopefully 360 will be returning to more of a mix than we've had the last couple of weeks.

imagine said...

The issue of "snitching" is larger than racial profiling. It's also that police have typically hired "snitches" to go into black communities to "infiltrate" certain groups, such as the Black Panthers, The Nation of Islam, SNCC, etc. Does anybody know who killed Malcolm X or Fred Hampton? It's because there was a hired "snitch" amongst those groups that lead to both of those great black leaders being murdered by police/government. If you understand how painful those sorts of losses are for a community, you can begin to understand how that kind of thinking perpetuates even today. It doesn't make it right, or logical or progressive, but you begin to understand.

Please understand that ALL black people do not subscribe to the logic as presented by CBS. I'm African-American, female, and I come from the inner city of Chicago, but I venture to say no one I know subscribes to this kind of thinking. We are not all poor, uneducated, hooked on ho hos and rap music, even if we come from "the hood."

I fail to see what is the difference between the cover ups that go on in Washington (can you say MC ROVE & Gonzales) and this news story. Not much in my opinion.

Enjoy Anderson tonight :)