Now this piece will shock some people, especially black folks and some whites. My opinion even shocked me. So before we do anything, let us get the facts.
Henry Louis Gates is a competent scholar and primarily known for his work at Harvard University and the fact that he is black. He is all over the media, hosting shows, commenting on issues, even being listed in the Time Magazine among the 25 most influential Americans. This guy is huge at 58 years. At the time of this incident he was on a trip from China where he is filming a documentary.
So, Gates arrives at his rental home in a limo and attempts to open his door. The key turns the lock but doesn’t open the door, it is jammed. There are conflicting reports here, some say he had a key others he didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Apparently this wasn’t the first time. To solve the issue he heads to the back of the home and enters through the door turning off his house alarm system. He then heads to the front door and with the help of his driver they get the door open. In getting the door open, the driver has to wedge his shoulder in the door as is he is trying to force entry to get in. Meanwhile, a passerby who knows there have been increases in break-ins in the area calls the police and mentions what is taking place. At this time Gates is on the phone reporting this matter to the managers of the home.
In no time, American style, police shows up.
Sgt. James Crowley
Now, if I were Gates, I would be so nervous police shows up at my house. I am innocent this is my home. After hearing what the police is there for I would be eager to explain the situation, gently not causing any alarm. I haven’t done anything wrong.
No, Mr. Harvard goes in a tirade, yelling and accusing the police officer Sgt. James Crowley of racial bias. The officer recognizes what he is dealing with and asks for identification. Gates said “No, I will not.” Of course, every officer should know his face; he is a diva professor at Harvard. How could you not know who you are talking to?
Gates goes on to say ‘this is what happens to black men in America.’ Now this situation is getting out of hand. Racial issues are brought up. The officer attempts to calm Gates down to no avail. Gates heats up declaring to the officer ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with”. At no point in the official report does it say the officer is rude, uncouth, harsh, or disrespectful to Gates. The report details the vicious verbal attack of Gates against this law enforcement officer.
So he is locked up, mug shot all over the internet, charges dropped later and we all have our opinions.
Now an officer is charged with the duty to serve and to protect. An honest call was made to the dispatcher about a possibly break-in. This officer within his limits has to ensure that this is not a criminal in a home. He must also use his judgement. I would not want to imagine what would happen to this officer if he allowed a thief to get away. He would have looked silly.
Henry Louis Gates is the real racist in this matter. He is battling his own issues of being black. He is the first to draw the racist card and does so in a violent way, having a tantrum with the officer, even though he is innocent. Gates is also wrong for not willingly identifying himself. Dude, you are INNOCENT, YOU ARE IN YOUR HOME. Gates was not arrested for showing proof he lived at the house. I would think that he was arrested on disorderly conduct because of his nasty attitude and racial comments. That is the real issue. His hissy fit gave him an arrest although the police may have been in the wrong. By the way, the police actions are consistent with his traning.
Henry Gates should be ashamed of himself. This matter could have been handled by him much better. But in his quest to stand up for every black man in America, and sell more books he now looks stupid. Of course for many, this is racial profiling. White police officers should not accost black men, because all of a sudden you will be accused of being a racist. Black people should stand up and blame themselves for packaging themselves wrong. They have a terrible history of breaking the law and being cheeky.
Barack Obama was then asked recently in his press conference about his thoughts on the issue. He didn’t minced words to call the police men of the area actions stupid clearly pandering on the thoughts of many black Americans who cry race. The president is wrong here. He normally is credited for his language and oratory skills; on this issue I do not think he handled it well.
Lesson here, cooperate with the police. It may safe you some PR work if your this popular.
Below is the Police Record of what happened.