Thursday, July 23, 2009
So a man gets arrested in his own for looking "suspicious" to some random white lady and he has no right to be angry about it?
Also, if he thinks, maybe, possibly, that the only reason anyone called the cops on him is because he was black then he is of course needlessly playing the "race card" and should just move on.
Yeah.... How 'bout no on both of those.
First off, once Prof. Gates showed the officer that he did indeed live there, that should have been the end of the whole thing. The officer had no right (repeat NO RIGHT) to remain on his property once it was proven that it was Gates residence. In the police report, the officer clearly states that he believed it was Gates' home. So why did he stick around?
According to the average commenter on the Boston Globe, he wanted to fulfill his duties as a police officer.
As convincing as their comments are, I'm going to roll with my initial thought and that was to "put the uppity nigger in his place."
Back to the police report for a sec, so we're supposed to believe that a Harvard scholar really yelled to the police officer "Yeh, I'll speak to your mama..." Because you know, no matter how much education we get, we can't resist an opportunity to drop a "yo mama" reference into the conversation. Come on folks, if you're going to make stuff up at least get with some current slang. That's as bad as the hey whitey crap with the Obamas.
I would love to link to the report itself, but, for some strange reason, the boston globe has taken the original one down and replaced it with another one! Wonder why?
Also, yelling at an officer who should not be in your house to begin with, is not a crime. So he should not have been arrested.
Beyond those glaring issues, thoughts remain on the woman who called the police and all the wonderful commenters out there accusing Gates of playing the race card.
On the woman, isn't great how someone who doesn't live in a neighborhood can call the cops and get someone who does live in the neighborhood arrested?
On the commenters, is anything racist guys? Anything? Is there something that someone could do that would qualify as being racist and not a misunderstanding or somehow thrown back at the victim. Once upon a time, I would have said that hanging a noose would clearly be racist, but the Jena 6 incident proved that wrong.
So to all the people who keep insisting that they would have called the police regardless of who it was at the door, I simply say
NO YOU WOULDN'T HAVE!
These were two middle-aged men with luggage sprawled about! Why would a criminal try to get in the front door when he could go around the back? What criminal on earth would just sit there banging on a door IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY! What criminal would go around the back, unlock the door, take inside HIS LUGGAGE, and then come out front and again try to get the door open. What criminal stands outside in broad daylight with glasses on, slacks and a polo shirt....
You know what, I could go on for days.
No, you wouldn't have called the damn police on anyone. You see black guy, young or old, big or small, educated or thug, and you see criminal. Period.
It reminds me of my criminal law class when we discussed racial profiling. One of my classmates couldn't understand why people didn't just let it go. I asked him how many times he had been stopped, questioned, ticketed, etc by the police. He said twice. I said, you know, the first two times I was questioned by the police, once while riding my bike at age 5 and the other playing basketball at age 8, I let it go too. By the time I was 18 and the number was well into the double digits, I was a lot less hospitable. Having people stop you anytime they feel like, not because you have actually done anything, but to ask you questions about things you haven't done and people you don't know kind of wears on you over the years.
At the very least, I am still relatively young and really expect nothing less out of cops. I can only imagine what it felt like for Gates.
While he has not lost his connection to the community, you have to think the brother felt like he was beyond this sort of thing at this point in his life. Unfortunately, he wasn't and neither are any of the rest of us.