living in an area like that, you have an awareness of your surroundings outsiders have no clue about.
You know damn well exactly who's doing what. You know which house is a drug den. You know which house is a brothel. You know who are the ringleaders, who are the accomplices, and who are the customers.
And you don't speak one godsdamn word to the authorities about it.
IF you speak to the authorities at all, you talk to them in the open, with a handful of family or friends around you, who all know (and will repeat verbatim) exactly what you said to the cop.
Now, there's a couple of different reasons for this.
One is the fact that snitches get stitches. The cops are under no obligation to protect you even if they had the ability or inclination. And nobody wants the hassle of the local scumbags even thinking that they've been speaking to the authorities. So they keep their heads down and hope for the best. (And yes, they can and do keep their heads down and hope for the best while bombs go off on a daily basis. The Iraqis have been doing so for years. The Palestinians have been for DECADES. You can get used to damn near anything.)
The second is that blood is thicker than water. Yeah, the guy at the end of the street may be a scumbag. But he's also your cousin. Your nephew. Your ex. Your insert-convoluted-family-tie here. You've known him forever. The cop questioning you about him, on the other hand, is some asshole with a badge and a gun you don't know from Adam. What loyalty do you have to him?
And the third is that you couldn't stop or change anything if you wanted to. Even if your testimony could send someone to jail. Even if they didn't intimidate you into silence. Even if they didn't slit your throat before your court date. Even if you came home from court to be dismembered, along with your kid. Even if the recently convicted's colleagues didn't leave one of your severed tits in the front yard of each next door neighbor just to show what happens to people who speak up. Even if they were convicted. Someone else would fall right into their job before you ever got home. Assuming you ever made it there. You have no money, no options, no way out, and no reason to step up. So you keep your head down and go along.
But that's the case for people living in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, pick your current war zone. What about those living in civilization?
Look, no matter where you stand, there are people who agree with you who happen to be dicks.
Imagine being a Christian moderate who has to deal with a racist grandparent and soapbox sadie evangelist acquaintances, then has to go into the office every day and hear about the KKK or Westboro or those assholes with hit lists of abortion clinic workers.
Every. single. day.
Would you stand up and condemn? Every time? Knowing that the very first word out of every smug asshole's mouth is going to be asking how you justify sharing a belief with such horrible people?
Or do you just shake your head and try to do your job and live your life in some sort of peace bubble?
((Of course, now that I've typed this, some fuckstick is going to come roaring up screaming about how Westboro never killed anyone. That's why it's an analogy, sunshine. I don't have to get into a who's worse contest, just have parallel trends.))
Now, does this cover everyone? No. There are folks who rail against this shit every day of their lives. (Good luck finding them on a mainstream news channel, though. Those asshole vultures could give less of a shit so long as they get clicks. If it's bleeding, they're leading.)
Conversely, there are those who happily support (insert scumbag organization here). They're too lazy or comfortable to ever Jihad themselves, but they'll gladly talk smack all day, then run and cry "islamaphobia" whenever someone calls them out on their bullshit.
Long story short, people are complicated. Slapping on a label short enough to fit on a bumper sticker means you're missing something.