Those were the words that came out of my mouth when I saw the photo on television. I’ve been in my own little fantasy world (as usual) for the last week or so and have just sort of listened to the news on the radio and read blurbs on Yahoo or AOL or wherever I happened to be. I had heard the big flap over the arresting of a professor in a case that was being described as racial profiling but had not really gotten the whole story. I was flipping through the channels on my way to the Food Network by way of the news stations (our cable supplier here has them all grouped one after the other) and there I saw Professor Gates in handcuffs! And then I realized it was he who had been arrested and about whom the case of police racial profiling was about. This man and scholar was arrested? In his own home? After identifying himself??? For starters he should have been recognizable to the police officer on sight – if the Cambridge cops would open their minds and watch a little PBS they would have known immediately who he was. I would be asking for his autograph not putting him in handcuffs. And really how threatening is this man that he had to be put in handcuffs. I repeat — Holy crap!
I think ultimately it really is a case of two egos clashing- Poor Prof. Gates astounded that he would be put in a situation of having to prove he belonged where he was and Officer Crowley, who in typical authoritarian fashion, did not like to be questioned by someone he obviously believed should be submitting to his “authoritay” (as Cartman would say).
I’m with the President on this…
“I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don’t need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who’s in his own home,” Mr Obama said. The president called Sgt Crowley an “outstanding police officer” but emphasized that “it doesn’t make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he’s not causing a serious disturbance.”
Lesson to be learned: 1) Don’t mouth off to a cop, especially if you are a minority (yeah, we’re all equal – up to a point); and 2) Not enough people watch PBS (here take a look at Dr. Gates’ credits on the IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1326945/