Celebrated Henry Louis Gates Victim of Racial Profiling in “Post-Racial” America

About a month ago Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)said in jest if President Obama did not have his security he would have a hard time getting a cab in New York. He was criticized for this remark but the reality is it is the truth. Some police see a black man and they think criminal first. This is why noted historian Henry Louis Gates was arrested while attempting to enter his own home. “Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door. They say that they ordered the man to identify himself and that Gates refused. According to a police report, Gates then called the officer a racist and said, “This is what happens to black men in America.” Gates is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, but to the police he was just a black man breaking and entering.

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  • Elogam  On July 21, 2009 at 2:25 am

    No,no,no, no, and again no! I knew this was going to be how you covered this! I read the AP story. Reportedly someone called and reported seeing “two black men” attempting to pry open a door. The police did what they were supposed to do, namely investigate. Professor Gates was indeed trying to pry open his front door when the police got there. GATES was the one that got belligerent and played the race card. If he had calmly said, “Hi. I’m Professor Gates, I live here and here is my identification.” I suspect we would have heard nothing further. Instead, he refused to cooperate with the police, got belligerent, accused them of racism, and got cited. Of course Rev. Al Sharpton, knowing TV cameras will be there, vows to be present when the professor is arraigned. This case is reminiscent of that congresswoman who got offended when the Capitol Police did not recognize her and insisted she show identification. (I’m sorry I don’t recall her name.) I don’t care how important you may be or think you may be. If you’ve done nothing wrong, cooperate with the police when you interact with them, and 99.99% of the time there will be no drama. If they cross the line and you can’t be accused of provoking the issue, you have a case.

  • musesofamom  On July 21, 2009 at 6:38 am

    You know I can understand Professor Gates response. You are going into your own home and you are approached by the police and it is your job to disprove a negative. As a black man over 50 I am sure this is not the first time he has had to do so. So you said he was breaking in well it was his house and why did the neighbor immediately suspect him didn’t they know that a black man lived in the home? Did it dawn on the neighbor to asks questions prior to calling the police? No, they saw black and they thought criminal and this time Gates refused to be passive, and if Al Sharpton wants to be there I say good.

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