Having recently returned from a trip to China, Gates must have thought he was still there when he was arrested in his own home for disorderly conduct after police arrived to investigate a break in. How does one get arrested for disorderly conduct in his own home when he is the only person there?!? Inside his own home? Who lodged the complaint? Why, it was the police officer who happened to make his way into Mr./Dr. Gates’ home that’s who, and how did he get inside Gates’ home? There is so much wrong with this story, so let’s back up just a bit.
It seems a “neighbor” called police to report two black men breaking into Gates’ home. If this neighbor saw two men, obviously one of them Gates, why didn’t he/she recognize him…I mean after all they are neighbors. That’s problem number one. Our lives are so transient, we don’t take time to know who the people are who live near or around us, and in many cases view people in such close proximity with us suspiciously. But the next problem is worse than that and involves the hot button topic of police brutality/fascism. If you don’t think it exists you haven’t talked to Henry Louis Gates. His questioning of police authority and insistence they treat him as a citizen and not as a criminal is what got him arrested. When anyone comes into your home…..so goes the social customs of America, they either treat you with respect in your own home, or they leave. It appears the police officer did neither; instead he arrested Gates.
What’s ironic is America for the last several weeks has shown images of the police’s crackdown of Iranian dissidents after their elections and condemned the actions of the Iranian government; what US officials have issued statements regarding police brutality against US citizens in America at ANYTIME, and especially after the Gates arrest? The double standard is stark and one more stain on the American fabric of “just-us” justice. Returning from a trip to a totalitarian government, Gates must have thought as he was led away from his home he was in a parallel universe.
We have come a long way, in time, from these two extremes yet socially very little has changed. Check out Jesse Washington’s take on the Gates arrest. It is pointed and disappointing to realize that more than 200 years after this country’s appearance on the international stage we have only barely advanced.
3 thoughts on “Henry Louis Gates Must Have Thought He was still in China”
Why didn’t the black cop represent?
Dude, he was trying to establish the identity of an unknown man on the premises of a suspected burglary.
Judging by your article, you MUST believe that any man in a house lives there. So, the cops shouldn’t investigate further if there’s someone in the house. Right?
It is ironic that a professor of black studies, a noted expert in the field which hopes to champion human equality, demanded to be treated as someone other than a citizen. He thought he was too good to obey the cop’s order.
And for the record, social customs don’t apply to cops. If a cop outside your house hears gunshots, he doesn’t need a warrant. Good thing, too. Further, if you’ve just broken down the door of your own home and left it open, he can enter through that OBVIOUSLY broken door. In fact, most homeowners don’t break down their own doors. Most of them fix it themselves or call in a locksmith or maintenance man.
Consider that, will you?
A reasonable and prudent person would believe that someone had broken in. But, socially, we’re not going into that guy’s house. There could be criminals in there with guns and knives and the desire to use them on us. Cops do not have that luxury, and if they act like they do, our society goes to hell.
Gates got busted for talking shit to a cop.
I’m a white guy.
I used to live in a VERY affluent neighborhood. Not Harvard Professor affluent, but doing pretty well. I got home late one night And began to let myself in through the side door. This does, however, look suspicious. ANYBODY knows that. Not all of us, however, have huge emotional problems like the racist Professor of Black Studies.
Black cop pulls up right after I get my mail and I’m about to go inside my own house. I drove a beat up work vehicle at the time. Got me from point A to point B, worked great.
Officer friendly wants to see my ID. Wants to know what I’m doing in such a “nice neighborhood.”
So, I started asking him if it was because he’s a big racist, sexually repressed homosexual who loves carrying out his power fantasies on white boys. And I bet he can’t just wait to handcuff me and bend me over his squad car like the Big Man he is.
No. I’m not stupid. I showed him my ID. He did something cops almost never do. He apologized for the inconvenience.
Turns out, if you treat the police like they’re part of the good and decent people who hold our world together, and like we’re all part of the same human family, they’ll usually treat you the same way.
Act like a bitch, get fucked.
“As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself.” – Dr. Gates, in his application to Yale.
If anyone owes anyone else an apology, it’s Gates and Obama. They both owe Officer Crowley and apology for calling him “stupid,” and “racist.” He did his job without regard to that jackass’s race, creed, color, or status at Harvard. He was fair. Hell, he even
helped that little emotional cripple down the steps.
There are PLENTY of unequivocal examples of racism by police. This just happens to be an example where the citizen is a racist. Learn to tell the difference.