Cameron Giles is a platinum selling rapper known as Cam'ron. By way of disclaimer, I have never heard of this gentleman and know nothing about his musical talents. But Giles was interviewed Sunday on 60 Minutes and helped explain a cultural phenomenon that is beyond my humble imagination.
Giles explained that a "code of ethics" within the black community prohibits any assistance to law enforcement. The rapper said helping police in any way would hurt his record sales and violate his street "code of ethics."
Any cooperation with police, Giles said, would violate this "code."
An expert in urban violence also on the television program said the anti-
police code is widespread in urban neighborhoods and this lack of cooperation results in fewer crimes being solved.
The expert said: "It is now a cultural norm that is being preached in poor communities. It's like you can't be a black person if you have a set of values that says 'I will not watch a crime happen in my community without getting involved to stop it.'
"In these neighborhoods, we have already lost the rule of law."
This total disregard for law enforcement might make for greater CD sales but it certainly doesn't advance society in any form or fashion. If the "rule of law" is no longer present in certain neighborhoods, then chaos will surely follow. We've already seen countless examples.
Here's where leaders like the Rev. Jackson and the Rev. Sharpton could actually be a benefit to society. These two leaders of the black community could focus their attention on this disregard for law enforcement and actually bring a positive change. But that would surely alienate much of their political base and - even though it is certainly the right thing to do - they will never, ever make that leap.
Cam'ron is probably right. To actually cooperate with police may indeed hurt his career. But this position of silence is at the heart and soul of rap music and that is why so much attention is focused in that direction.
Without the rule of law, society crumbles. Anarchy is close behind. And the rule of the street prevails.
If that's the society you want, just remain silent. Don't voice your disgust. Just believe that law enforcement is the enemy and to cooperate with them is to break the code of ethics of the mean streets. If that is truly the culture of the urban neighborhoods, then don't worry about the future. It won't be worth worrying about.