Monday, July 27, 2009

it's simply black and white

In regards to the recent buzz in the media over Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest and the race card being whipped around - the question I have is this...
...if the officer on the scene were African American instead of caucasion officer Sgt. James Crowley, would Mr. Gates behaved in the same fashion?

If someone is sensitive to an issue, they are likely to react erroneously - been there, done that myself. If an officer shows up at my door and asks to prove who I am as a call came in of a possible break in, and I KNOW I just jimmied my way into my own house...well I'd be thankful a neighbor took the intiative to look out for me and called it in and would happily show the officer my id.

Now I am no fan of authority and have been in confrontations with authority figures, including officers, in the past so I'm slanted, if anything, to Gates' point of view, per se. So, if the officer behaved rudely or unjustly then my anti-authority bravado would certainly kick in...but considering the reported events as they took place and were witnessed, and by Gates' own accord, this was not the case. Gates was ranting before anything came to light - he created the situation and overreacted.

Should he have been arrested? Wasn't there; can't say just how beligerant he became and in public view (that was key) but getting angry for being asked to prove ownership due to a CALL IN, not a drive-by...he is sensitive to issues that do truly plague our society. Unfortunately, his behavior only created the wrong kind of attention to a real problem, one that he didn't have.

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