“Granddad, Stop Snitchin’!” said little Riley Freeman as Granddad protested the arrest of his marijuana grower. For Riley, not snitchin’ and reppin’ the streets is what separates the real n*ggas from the fake n*ggas. Riley’s dilemma, to snitch or not to snitch, finally came to a head in the Boondocks episode “Thank You for Not Snitching” in which Riley chose not to rat out Ed and Rummy when they stole Granddad’s car.
It’s not difficult to understand why many in the African-American community loathe informants, those casually derided as rats, narcs, and turncoats. When it came to light a few days ago that famed civil rights photographer Ernest Withers was an FBI informant, Julian Bond, a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee , said “I grew up in a political culture in which an informant – somebody who told on his friends – was the lowest form of life.”