Many communities in larger cities have some sort of economic hardships. Because of this many people resort to selling illegal substances, gangs are controlling the communities and the homicide rate is high. Police have no leads and no one will talk, so they bust someone for a crime and try and get them to snitch. Police claim it protects the arrestee, but in reality the arrested are doing the job of the police. However, the “stop snitching” movement has become very popular among rappers, basketball players, and hip-hop culture. Out of fear, many citizens in the poorer communities look the other way and never say anything. Maxwell believes that if Americans start snitching and help the police, the problem is going to stop (700).
However, Phansalkar states that “stop snitching” won’t stop crime and that by helping police your putting more people in danger. Some even question the cost of snitching. If a person commits a crime, that person knows the risk they have taken and should accept responsibility for one’s own actions and let others take responsibilities for their own actions. Drugs and gangs are taking over many of the neighborhoods in larger cities; with the current drug problem crime is up to an all-time high. People are seeing more break-ins, car-jacking, and African Americans are killing each other daily. There is too much violence and the snitching isn’t helping to reduce the crime rate. In fact, Natapoff states drug dockets are swelling and courts can’t keep up.
The prisons are overcrowded with nonviolent drug offenders. Although prosecutors depend on snitches to provide information, and in return often let the criminal go or reduce charges Natapoff argues no one really knows how effective snitching is, or if it reduces crime rates (704). Until the American people see the effectiveness of snitching, we will not know if it is helping the government or it is just endangering the lives of the informants and their families. Many rappers hold this position. In their effort to stop snitching, rappers often promote violence.
If rappers and the communities came together to make the neighborhoods a more positive place to live, this change could create a positive environment. Phansalkar suggests that rappers focus on not committing crimes but on “improving the systems of inequality and injustice through positive action” (698). Snitching is hindering the very system built to protect everyone. Rappers should promote taking reasonability for one’s own actions for crime comminuted rather than expecting a “bribe” to get out of the crime.
Those who favor snitching, do so because it has always been an accepted rule. Snitching has become what some would call a “sport”; a person never has to expect responsibility for their own actions because, it is easier to snitch and walk free rather than taking reasonability for ones actions. In Maxwell’s essay Start Snitching he states that if people snitch this will reduce the number of black on black deaths, and make the communities a better place to live (700). Maxwell also says out of fear many blacks never say anything, Maxwell also feels that fear factor receives to much weight and a untold number of blacks have become insensitive to black on black deaths as well as other black on black crimes (701). If people don’t take reasonability and hold others accountable for their actions, the problem of drugs, gangs, and homicides are going to get worse.