Q&A Friday #61: Why Do People Hate Snitches?

Question: “Why do many on the left hate or feel contempt for police informants or “snitches”…especially given their support for goverment or coperate whistle blowers?

It’s kind of an odd interest for a right winger but I have what some would call a morbid interest in the porn industry during it’s “Film” or “Golden age” (1972 to about 1983) and thus recently finished reading a book on the 1981 “Wonderland Murders”. The author exhibited a marked (and understandable) disgust for John Holmes and at one point wrote a laundry list of the guy’s crimes and failings. Suprisingly among them was the fact that Holmes was a “enthusiastic, almost gleeful police informant”. Now I would think that a willingness to talk to the police would be seen as a virtue and in fact is one of the few good things you can say about the man…clearly the author disagreed.

This got me thinking. On numerous occasions I have seen posts on forums, blogs, and the like in which leftists have shown contempt for police imformants and derided them as being “snitches”. About the only other group I have seen show that much contempt for those who helpt the police are criminals…an at least they have a good reason to feel this way. 😉 Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all leftists are like this, but I have yet to see very many right wingers express similar views.

Why do you think this is? I have my own opinions on the matter that stem from my view that leftist thought is at it’s most basic level a hatred for authority and the rules, but am curious what others think.

PS: Let me clarify one thing. I have a lot of contempt for many informants too. Most are themselves criminals as well and turn on their fellows for motivations of greed oo their own avancement and self-interest rather than a desire to do the right thing and help law enforcement. However the leftists who share my dim view of imformants seem to hate the act of informing rather than the nasty nature of the people themselves.” — Trench Raider

Answer: My guess is that most people who have huge problem with snitches are, just as you’d expect, people who are criminals, their friends and family, or people who are generally sympathetic to criminals (of which, there are plenty on the left).

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