Thursday, August 23, 2007

Talib Kweli on snitching

From Jake Paine's interview with Kweli for All Hip Hop.

'With the “Stop Snitching” movement, the conversation that needs to be had is not being had. What’s happening is… you’re listening to an argument, and both people are making different points, and as an outsider, you can sit there and see why they don’t understand each other. When I watched Cam’ron on [60 Minutes, interviewed by] Anderson Cooper, Cam’ron wasn’t answering his questions. Cam’ron was explaining…in a real street level, what it is peoples’ minds. Cam’ron went on that show to represent a street mentality, but that wasn’t made clear; it seemed like he was just a jerk. It seemed like he just didn’t care, and I think Cam’ron’s got too much love for his community to just not care. He was blindsided by the questions.

Understanding the relationship that the police have in the ghetto is a healthy thing. People don’t trust the police for a reason – not ‘cause [those people are] criminals or evil, people don’t trust police because the relationships that the police have in the ghetto. Police have not been there to serve and protect us, they’ve been there to serve and protect the property. So if someone has been oppressed, beaten down and treated like a suspicious person by cops all they life, you expect they’re gonna run to cops in times of trouble? No, that’s a realistic thing that needs to be dealt with; you can’t just say “stop snitching!”

“Stop snitching!” came from revolutionaries in the hood that was trying to do good, when you had Uncle Tom n***as [acting] like coons, ratting them out to police. That term doesn’t come from drug dealing; that term comes from the Black Panther movement. Once that conversation is had, then people can talk about it honestly. The answer that Cam’ron should have probably gave was not “If I ever found out a child molester was living next to me, I’d move,” no, the members of the community will mobilize and we’ll do something about it before we go to police.'

Read Paine's full interview with (Talib) Kweli here.

Kweli's 'Ear Drum' album is out now.
The BK MC's official site .

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