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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 23, 2007 / 5 Iyar 5767

Rappers' mantra protects killers

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Critics of vulgar, violent, gangster-style rap music make a mistake when they write off rap stars as stupid, immoral and self-destructive. They may be immoral and self-destructive, but they're not stupid. As one of my readers observed in a thoughtful e-mail, they're making a rational economic choice.


The reader wrote: "I had to stop and ask this question to myself: 'Would I call my mother a 'ho' or my sister a 'bitch' if I could make a couple of million dollars and get out of poverty and live a pretty good life? Makes you wanna say, 'Hummm ...' "


Hummm, indeed. My reader's right on the money. In a line of work that dangles riches in front of impressionable kids, some rappers will sell out more than their mamas. They'll even cover up for killers.


"Stop Snitchin' " has metastasized into a popular hip-hop slogan. Unlike earlier generations of poor ethnic communities that zipped up their lips around police, the Stop Snitchin' message is displayed on T-shirts, rap videos and Internet sites, boosted further by the entertainment industry's money and marketing machines.


In a CBS "60 Minutes" report on this community cancer, scheduled to air Sunday evening, the rap star Cameron "Cam'ron" Giles says cooperation with police would violate his "code of ethics." Besides, he says, "with the type of business I'm in, it would definitely hurt my business."


That explains the refusal by Giles or his entourage to cooperate with police even when law enforcement officials are looking for the man who shot the rap star in both arms while he was sitting in his Lamborghini at a Washington intersection in October 2005. Giles, 30, managed to drive away. According to The Washington Post, Giles said, "I didn't give up the car because I paid $250,000 for it."


Nevertheless, rumors swirled in the local media that Giles might have staged the whole thing to raise his "street cred," the street credibility that pumps up music and ticket sales in the weird culture that surrounds his line of work.


"60 Minutes" correspondent Anderson Cooper asks Giles if he'd inform police of "a serial killer living next door." No way, says the rapper, "But I'd probably move." Gee, thanks.


A similar ethos showed itself after gunfire erupted during a Brooklyn video shoot by another popular rapper, Busta Rhymes, alias Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr., in February 2006. Israel Ramirez, one of Rhymes' bodyguards, fell dead. As many as 25 witnesses saw it happen, police said, but none cooperated with investigators and the crime remains unsolved. Is this their idea of serving their community?


Yet keeping mum can bring rewards. The rapper Lil' Kim, for example, went to jail for perjury because she refused to implicate members of her entourage in a shooting. But before she reported to jail, Black Entertainment Television made her the center of a reality show. It turned out to be one of the cable network's most popular programs, but a crime expert in Cooper's report called it "big business selling death."


Rap is big business. Giles, for example, is distributed through Asylum Records, a division of Time Warner, the world's largest media conglomerate. Rhymes is distributed through Interscope Records, a label of Universal Music Group, one of the largest companies in the recording industry.


Other music forms also were created out of painful circumstances. But pioneering blues singers, for example, did not strive to return to the cotton fields. Gangster rappers, by contrast, milk the gangster pose, the appearance of keeping at least one foot in the criminal underclass. Hip-hop gangsters model themselves after white mobsters whom Hollywood glorifies. But the European-American gangs had the decency to hide their shame. The lure of big bucks removes all shame from hip-hop's gangster game.


Without community backing, good citizens who try to do the right thing risk severe punishment. The most outrageous example among many that I have run across is Baltimore's Angela Dawson. The married mother of five testified against a local drug dealer in October 2002. Two weeks later, the dealer set fire to her home as the family slept. All seven family members died.


The killer pleaded guilty to avoid a possible death sentence. According to Juan Williams' best-selling book "Enough," the drug dealer had vowed to kill Dawson for "snitching on people."


"You don't need someone destroying you when your own people are the worst messengers possibly," says Geoffrey Canada, a nationally recognized anti-violence organizer in Harlem. "And this is what black people in America have not come to grips with."


We can turn back the tide. Start snitching.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

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