Jul 21, 2009

No word today from either Keith the car guy or the Honda Fit weasel. Luckily, I am in no hurry over this car business. I may not even do it, who knows? Perhaps you've been following the story in the news about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, by the Cambridge, MA. police. Police arrested Professor Gates after they received a report of a man trying to pry the front door of Gates' home open. Gates said he returned home to find his front door stuck. A neighbor reported Gates to the police, as a possible intruder. What followed is the basis of the controversy that has arisen. Professor Gates was either arrested for not cooperating with the police or the police are racist thugs who automatically assumed that a report of a prowler and the presence of a black man constitute a crime. I suspect that the truth is in the middle somewhere. Cops always show up assuming the worst and black men assume the worst when the cops show up. Many times the police don't handle their power well. They often overstep their authority, simply because they can and that's before race enters into things. Over the past weekend, the Hooterville police raided a nudie bar and cited all the nudie dancers for not having a permit to dance nudily. I think they busted about 25 women. Unfortunately, the police were wrong in their interpretation of the law and all the charges are being dismissed. You think that they could get it straight beforehand. Hopefully, someone is asking how they screwed up so badly. What got Professor Gates arrested was yelling at a policeman. The copper arrested him for being disorderly, which is the catchall for when the police get their feeling hurt and can't figure out anything else to arrest you for. It seems to me that if the police are on my property and have dertermined that no crime has occurred, they are fair game for being told to hit the raod and stay gone until they have a legitimate reason to be there. In the Cambridge Police Department I'm quite certain that they are telling one another that they followed procedure and did nothing wrong. I'm positive that they are reassuring one another that they are not racists. If you arrest an older, well-respected black man on the front porch of his own home you have to examine your beliefs and actions, not hide behind your authority. At least it seems that way to me. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Bella Rum said...

I saw them talking about this too. What a story.

Steve said...

I agree the truth is somewhere in the middle. It sounds like the cops assumed the worst, and it sounds like Professor Gates reacted in a way that only served to escalate the situation.

Kurt said...

"The copper arrested him for being disorderly, which is the catchall for when the police get their feelings hurt and can't figure out anything else to arrest you for."

Good one, Merle. I would also note than police officers aren't known for their warmness, which can further exacerbate a problem.

Ryan said...

If someone caught me prying open my front door - I would hope they would call someone over to arrest me. I would have no business prying open my own front door as it's the same front door I use numerous times every day (successfully). I even have a key for it and a plan for in case I don't have a key.

But that's just me.

I would be very suspicious if I was a cop regardless of the mans color.

Barbara said...

I can't figure out why looking at Gates' ID didn't immediately solve the problem. If he indeed refused to show it to them, then that's perhaps another problem. I hope I never have to go up against an angry cop with a gun.

Megan said...

I always do what cops tell me.

Reya Mellicker said...

You said it, brother.

Right after 911 I got pulled over by over-anxious police who dumped the contents of my purse on the car seat and held me for over an hour without answering a single one of my questions. I was so scared.

Afterwards I realized that if I were a black man, this kind of thing could and probably would happen to me over and over again. Wow.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I have yelled at cops when I feel they are treating me unjustly - you know what, I've never been arrested or even threaten with arrest. of course, I'm a middle aged white woman (but I wasn't always a middle aged white woman, once I was a young white woman but I didn't get arrested or threatened then either).

I think it's weird that despite the fact that 90% of obama's press conference address last night dealt with the need to reform the health care systems, so much of the follow-up zeroed in on the plight of professor gates. which was a media song and dance. makes me think of that old timbuk3 song "just another movie" - do you remember it?

hey, good luck with the car bit!

Nan Patience said...

Obviously that officer doesn't watch the same news shows as I do, I've seen Gates lots of times and would never arrest him.