Gatesgate

, Bob Parks, Leave a comment

This is not another href="http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/07/obama_cambridge.html"
target="_blank">“just words”
moment.

During a primetime press
conference on the whole
black-Harvard-scholar-being-racially-profiled-and-arrested-in-his-Cambridge-Massachusetts-home
thing, President
Obama style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> said,

“Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is class=illinkstyle>a friend style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'>, so I may be a little biased here.
I don’t know all
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial'>the
facts
.”

This is where the
president
should have style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> stopped and minded his class=illinkstyle>own business style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'>, but the all-about-me man just
couldn’t contain himself…

Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all class=ilspan> style='display:none;mso-hide:all'>the
facts
,
what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one,
any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that
class=illinkstyle>the Cambridge style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> police acted stupidly in arresting
somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and,
number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is
that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and
Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just
a fact.

President class=ilspan>Obama
admits he didn’t know much about the case, and yet slams a class=illinkstyle>police department style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> on national television. Is this
stupid or what?

When
hearing about the arrest of professor
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial'>Henry
Louis Gates

Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American
Research at Harvard, something just didn’t smell right.

The way the story’s
been reported, Police arrived at Professor Gates’s home near w:st="on">Harvard Square to
question him as he had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.

href="http://www.black-and-right.com/wp-content/uploads/Police-report-on-Gates-arrest.PDF"
target="_blank">According to the police report,
Professor Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told
him he had “no idea who he was
messing with,”
and that he was being targeted because style='font-family:Verdana'>“I’m a black man in w:st="on">America.”

The term “racial
profiling” is negative code for police doing their job. If a
disproportionate number of redheaded teens were seen as committing crime, it
would be irresponsible of the cops to not keep an eye out for redheaded teens.

Cambridge, Massachusetts style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> is 12% black. I haven’t been
able to easily find the racial breakdown of crime there, and that may be due to
the very liberal make-up of the style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial'>city style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'>. But if blacks are committing more
than 12% of the crime in the affluent area where the professoriate live, then class=ilspan>the
Cambridge police would be hassled for not following up on reports of
suspicious behavior.

And if Professor Gates was
this victim of police profiling and harassment, he sure didn’t act like
the victim he portrays himself as.

Bill
Carter, the man who snapped a photograph of Gates being led away in handcuffs,
said police officers were calm and that Gates was style='font-family:Verdana'>“slightly out of control”

and “agitated”
when he was arrested.

“The officers around kind of calmed him down,” style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'> Carter said. style='font-family:Verdana'>“I heard him yelling — Mr. Gates
yelling. I didn’t hear anything that he was saying so I couldn’t
say that he was belligerent.”

Professor Gates is in the
race business and displayed elitism when all he had to do is cooperate. Now,
the problem is Gates has gotten a taste of the international limelight; a race
peddler’s dream, and he’s going to href="http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/20149000/detail.html" target="_blank"> style='color:windowtext'>milk it
for all it’s worth.

“He should look into his heart and know that he is not telling
the truth and he should beg my forgiveness.”
style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:Verdana'>

Mouthing off to cops gets
congresspersons, multi-millionaire celebrities and athletes arrested, and the
police know whom they’re messing with.

Should I side with
Professor Gates just because he’s black? Many seem to believe I would and
should. But if Gates fully cooperated with the police and was courteous,
chances are this wouldn’t have escalated as it did.

The officer, Sgt. James
Crowley, told CNN affiliate WCVB earlier Wednesday that he will not apologize.

“There are
not many certainties in life, but it is for certain that Sgt. Crowley will not
be apologizing,”
he said.

Kudos to Sergeant Crowley
for not apologizing and giving added juice to href="http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/" target="_blank"> style='color:windowtext'>America’s latest race huckster
,
Professor Henry
Louis Gates
.

Gates said he’d be
prepared to forgive the arresting officer “if he told the truth” about what the
director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African
American Research said were “fabrications”
in the police report. He said Wednesday that he and his lawyers were
considering further actions, not excluding a lawsuit.

Gates said that although
the ordeal had upset him, “I
would do the same thing exactly again.”

The same President of the w:st="on">United States
who constantly reminds us of that status yet claims it’s not all about
him, has carelessly interjected himself with yet another reckless statement.

Unlike Professor Gates, I
don’t make my money looking for racism, so I don’t see it when
it’s not there. Unlike President style='display:none;mso-hide:all'>Obama
,
my words don’t resonate nationally to the point where they can influence
policy… yet. His words can cause unrest if not spoken wisely.

Barack Obama’s
election was supposedly a sign of the end of racism in w:st="on">America,
however his actions (including the dismissal of charges against election day
intimidating Black Panthers) are now showing he thinks with the race head
first, and that is very dangerous, especially when his mouth is equally
unrestrained.

Barack Obama’s election was supposedly a sign of the end of racism in America, however his actions (including the dismissal of charges against election day intimidating Black Panthers) are now showing he thinks with the race head first, and that is very dangerous, especially when his mouth is equally unrestrained.

This column by radio broadcaster Bob Parks originally appeared on Black & Right. You can read the original here.