There is a delightful movie titled Lottery Ticket that's broadcast from time to time on BET. The main star is Bow Wow, formerly known as Lil Bow Wow, and the movie depicts the ordeal an inner city young man who holds a winning $370 million power ball ticket has to endure until the lottery office opens after a long weekend.
Much of it is predictable. Relatives come out of the woodwork, old acquaintances suddenly want to become best friends, the cutest girl in the 'hood who previously wouldn't give him the time of day suddenly wants to take him to bed. Maybe the same thing happens to ghetto rappers who hit it big, and one has to wonder if some of it came from Mr. Wow's own history.
Spoiler alert --
There's one scene that stood out. A neighborhood thug decided that he should be the owner of the uncashed lottery ticket and set out to take it from Bow Wow. Near the end of the movie Bow Wow is on a street corner and the thug approaches him. There must be 20 to 30 people standing around watching. The thug pulls his gun and threatens to kill Bow Wow then and there unless he relinquished the ticket. The amazing thing to me was that the thug assumed that all the witnesses would keep mum whether he got the ticket peaceably or had to commit murder to get it. The code against snitching against evil doers that seems to prevail in some cultures must have been the glue that would seal the lips in that crime ridden neighborhood.
Applying this to a real world event, perhaps that's one reason why the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case had such a culturally different reaction. Mr. Zimmerman had no problem with snitching on bad guys. So right there he earned a stigma. It went downhill from there.