July 23, 2009

Look! Over there! It's Skip Gates!

"President Barack Obama came alive about 50 minutes into Wednesday night’s news conference – when somebody finally changed the subject.... [H]e suddenly re-engaged with a question that he’s spent much of his life mulling, race, in the form of the arrest of a black Harvard professor.... [H]e spent most of his hour just checking rhetorical boxes, with language so poll-tested and focus-grouped, it was bleached of life... [H]e rarely seemed deeply emotionally engaged with the human facts of health care, and kept his remarks to a level of abstraction that recalled the old knock on Obama the candidate -- too aloof, too detached...."

But when the subject turned, at long last, to race, "Obama produced a bluntness and lively engagement that had been absent for most of the preceding hour." From the transcript (with my boldfacing):
Well, I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don't know all the facts. What's been reported though is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house. There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place. So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into -- well, I guess this is my house now, so...(LAUGHTER)... it probably wouldn't happen. But let's say my old house in Chicago. (LAUGHTER)

Here, I'd get shot. (LAUGHTER)

My understanding is, at that point, Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I'm sure there's some exchange of words. But my understanding is, is that Professor Gates then shows his I.D. to show that this is his house and, at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped.

Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing 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 the Cambridge 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.

As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in the society.

That doesn't lessen the incredible progress that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress that's been made. And yet the fact of the matter is, is that, you know, this still haunts us.

And even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently and often time for no cause casts suspicion even when there is good cause.

And that's why I think the more that we're working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we're eliminating potential bias, the safer everybody is going to be. All right? Thank you, everybody.
I had 3 responses to Obama's Gates statement. (I'm not counting the brief interlude when I thought I could get credit for coining the term "Gatesgate." I can't.)

1. On hearing the statement live: If you don't know the facts, why are you saying the police acted "stupidly"? The President's own words collapse on themselves. How dare he take sides? Gates has already signed a statement, along with the police, saying “This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of Professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department,” and here is the President of the United States taking it upon himself to demean the character and reputation of the Cambridge Police Department and to (sort of) vouch for the Gates version on the story.

2. The morning after: It really was stupid for the police to arrest Gates, and it's a stupidity that stands apart from whether the police or the Gates version of the story is accurate. Considering who Gates is and where he was, he's a sympathetic character or, if you don't think he's fully sympathetic, he's certainly capable of playing this incident big, as in fact he did. Thus, it was stupid to give him this platform.

3. As I started writing this post: As he was speaking, I think, the President realized his words collapsed on themselves. He said he didn't know the facts, and yet he called the police stupid. To get out of that jam, he decided to veer into a riff about racism in general, asserting that "there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately." (I love the way he threw Latinos into that.) He celebrates what he sees as or hopes you see as his escape from the jam by asserting "That's just a fact." He didn't know the facts of the specific case, but hey, look over here, here's a fact: There is racism in this country, we all know that. He then tumbles toward the end of the hour with an acknowledgment of what he knows a lot of people will say — that he made it to the presidency, and, yeah, there's been "incredible progress" — and a reprise about racism — it haunts us — and reform, reform is important. He worked in the Illinois legislature. Let's improve policing. Let's make everybody safer. He's just trying to wrap things up and get out of there looking reasonably okay. "All right? Thank you, everybody."

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
NKVD said...

I know the facts - Obama is stupid and a racist. Known that for a long time. And his wife has an enormous ass. These things are easy to see.

Quayle said...

it haunts us

It certainly is starting to.

Obama's thin-ness, that is.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

This happened in my own back yard.

The people's republic of Cambridge.

And I don't give a shit.

Sofa King said...

Is racial profiling actually based on racism? I don't think so.

Stupid Honky Pigs for Obama said...

Sgt Crowley did they right thing. He treated Skippy like he would anyone else. He's a great cop and Cambridge is a pc city with no racist cops. What did Skippy want affirmative action for being uncooperative towards the police?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"What's been reported though is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house."

Well, no. What was reported was that the door was stuck, probably due to a prior attempt to break into it. Gates went around through the back door (to which he had a key) to see if the front door was simply latched. It wasn't, so he came around to the front and forced it, with the driver's help, so he could carry his bags in. Subsequently he called maintenance to come fix the front door.

This is a big deal only because the Pres. said he didn't know all the facts, but even what he said was known was inaccurate. So he clearly didn't bother to inform himself at all, he just jumped on the racist-cop bandwagon. Are we surprised?

Fred4Pres said...

Gates was not arrested for being black, but for being an asshole.

But I do not see how being an asshole, in your own home, justifies getting arrested. Was he violent? Completely out of control? Or was Gates just challenging the officer's integrity and being generally offensive, and the officer reacted by arresting him? Well guess what, we still have the right to be assholes in our homes. Gates has a chip on his shoulder about race. Cops have chips on their shoulders too.

But then Obama has to go jump in and pick up this tar baby...oh oh, now I have to denouce myself.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

The cops are not racist in Cambridge. 1/2 the police force is some color. The mayor is a black dyke. Hello, it's Cambridge.

Dale said...

It would seem the solution to a colorblind society would be the immediate practice of colorblindness. Beginning January 1, every government entity should:

1) stop the recording and recognition of race in all documents and in all census/surveys.

2) end all programs and services that take race into account in any manner and for any purpose.

3) Remove race as a defining characteristic in all "hate crimes" legislation.

After several years of chaotic finding our national footing, the issue would pretty much be solved.

Or can someone explain why not?

knox said...

(I love the way he threw Latinos into that.)

Yeah. Very canny.

Fred4Pres said...

And tonsils? What was that about? Getting your medical date from watching old Brady Bunch episodes is stupid. Doctors have not been removing tonsils willy nilly since the 1970s.

But talking about willies, Andrew Sullivan's pet cause (other than bashing Palin) is male genital mutilation (aka circumcism). Obviously trillions of dollars could be saved if we banned that procedure. The only reason we do it is a cabal of Christianist Jewish doctors pushed it on us. Oh wait, Muslims do it too, nevermind.

God this is boring. Let's talk about racisim again!

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Cambridge does not have a lot of fags though.

Dykes yes, it is fag friendly but not a lot of fags.

The fags are in South Boston (yes true), South End, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, and Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

The average salary in Cambridge is like 75,000=fabulous.

Fred4Pres said...

Yeah, the Latino comment was slick. I give him that.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Small one bedroom condos go for 600,000-800,000 in Cambridge. Fabulous.

Deirdre Mundy said...

We used the friends/uhaul method to move across state to our current house. My husband and his buddies pulled the truck up to the house at about 2 am and started unloading.

One of the neighbors called the police, suspecting that someone was looting the house.

They showed up a few minutes later. My husband showed them his driver's license (which he'd just renewed--so luckily the address on it matched the address he was 'looting.') They looked in the truck, verified that we were, in fact, moving IN, apologized and left.

My husband and his friends are all lily white. We were GLAD to know that our new neighbors were nosy enough to call the police any time something seemed a bit 'off.' After all, even if it's an inconvenience sometimes, if there was an ACTUAL break-in attempt, it would be much appreciated!

Yelling at cops is uncalled for. They're usually pretty young guys, just trying to do their jobs. If you're pleasant and polite, things go much better.

(Of course, I also don't believe in yelling at receptionists, waitresses, and cashiers. I bet Gates is a real charmer when his groceries take too long to ring up....)

Bissage said...

From the transcript: But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; . . .

I guess I’m not one of “us,” by the President’s reckoning.

If I break into my own house because I misplaced my key and the cops show up, I’m going to feel like a gigantic asshole and apologize like there’s no tomorrow.

Deb said...

Rule number one. Do not argue with the police. They don't care who you are.

If I were a burglar, I would be headed for Gates's neighborhood. I doubt the police will be in a hurry to respond to any burglary calls there any time soon.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

When in Cambridge I recommend eating at: Henrietta's Table, Oleana, Rialta, Harvest, East Coast Grill, Chez Henri, Ole,

Cambridge and Somerville Mass combined are two of the most congested cities in the country. We are literally on top of each other. I think it has one of the highest number of people per square mile in the country.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now, I don't know, not having been there

This time, the adaptable Obama votes "Not Present".

Richard said...

Small one bedroom condos go for 600,000-800,000 in Cambridge.

Obviously, we need to nationalize the housing market to bend the cost curve. How much longer can hard-working Americans afford to dish out several times their annual income to put a roof over their heads????

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Cambridge is the Biotech Capitol of the country.

You can't swing a cat without hitting a biotech company.

Lots of stem cells getting ripped apart.

PatCA said...

If you don't know the facts, why are you saying the police acted "stupidly"?

Desperation.

The country, including his base, is waking up to the fact that the man is a campaigner, and that's all.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Unfortunately there is also housing projects and poor people in Cambridge which effects the numbers in terms of average salary.

Also, there are many squares in Cambridge: Inman, Porter, Central, Kendall, and Harvard-which is gross, total tourist trap.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I think he also brushed on health care in the press conference.

AllenS said...

How long before the affirmative actioned Obama claims that his policies not being enacted, are because of racism? You know it's coming.

AJ Lynch said...

Skip Gates? Sure sounds like a white guy to me.

PatCA said...

Here's more on Emperor O's "stupid" cop: Cop Tries to SAve Reggie Lewis

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Well,I hope everyone's happy.

With this last election cycle and the actions of this administration so far,(the black panther polling place incident)blacks are now safely ensconced as the most racist group in America today.
Just look around and see that it's so.

In less than 7 months this president has set race relations in this country back by many years.
Though Obama doesn't have the slightest clue,I believe him to be a major setback for blacks in this country...Time will tell.

The "blacklash" will be something to see.

jayne_cobb said...

This was easily his dumbest move of the night and it will eclipse everything else he said (if you don't believe me just check out Drudge right now).

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Exactly AJ-when is the last time you heard a black guy named Skip.

There are lots of blacks in Cambridge too and Brazil people and Portugese and El Salvadoran and Guatamele and Pirates from Somalia and Haitian cab drivers for days. Oh and French Blacks-where do they come from? It's weird getting into a cab and hearing a black guy speak French.

ricpic said...

...a question that he's [Obama's] spent much of his life mulling, race...

Do you laugh? Do you cry? Zero's a trickster. And that's all he is. Mulling? Other than how best to fool every last person he's ever come in contact with, including his handlers, he's never mulled over anything in his reptilian trickster's life.

John said...

How is that whole post racial Presidency going? Obama was amazingly stupid to have this brought up (please don't pretend that all the quesitons aren't written by the Whitehouse and given out in advance). The point of the press conference was to sell the healthcare plan. But thanks to this, no one is talking about healthcare this morning. They are talking about this. It is like this is the only thing that happened. Boneheaded move.

Maguro said...

If you don't know the facts and you're biased because Gates is a friend, why not just say so and leave it at that? It would have been a perfectly reasonable answer to the reporter's question.

Instead we get treated to yet another rambling monologue about how racist America is. Predictable and lame.

Jeremy said...

I'm sure the President would LOVE to hear all of Ann's reflections and advice.

Send them along, Ann.

And be sure to include all of Meade's comments relating to how the President "lost" him.

I'm sure he's waiting on pins and needles.

DADvocate said...

Gotta keep that racism alive. Without it the Dems would lose a large voting block.

AJ Lynch said...

That's all Gates needed to say:

"Hi Officer, I am Professor Gates but please call me Skip".

That would have defused the racist cop [snark alert] and put him at ease that he was dealing with a nice, safe guy named Skip.

Heheheh.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

Tibet people for days in Cambridge today. Mini Dali Lamas everywhere.

The Hoochie Mamas are fo real here too.

Jeremy said...

And, as usual...the local racist assholes are out in force today.

What a disgusting and creepy crew.

Jeremy said...

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rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TitusABalletForMartha said...

Skip can't be his real name.

It must be Topongotu or something else.

He just uses Skip to try and assimilate with whitey.

AllenS said...

Once again, Titus and Jeremy show up at the same time. Expect shit.

dbp said...

"P.S. - Is there a single Republican in Cambridge?"

Sometimes. At least when my wife and I go to the Hong Cong for comedy night.

John said...

"Skip can't be his real name.

It must be Topongotu or something else.

He just uses Skip to try and assimilate with whitey."

Skip is his slave name.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

rocean is correct. Cambridge is the most left wing city in the most left wing state.

There is actually a bar in Cambridge called The People's Republic. It has a huge sign on one side of the building with that commie picture.

I was arrested in Cambridge once because my plates had expired and I didn't have any insurance. The police officer was black. I also had like 1500 dollars in unpaid parking tickets.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

No, there are no republicans in Cambridge. If they announce it they are shot or sent to reeducation camp.

Actually, there is one, he lives right below me. He was George Bush's personal assistant for the past eight years, his name is Blake Gottesmen. His parents have a fabulous house in Kennekbunkport.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

In our building he is just referred to as "the republican"-and I am not kidding.

Richard Fagin said...

Has the President disowned his white grandmother yet?

dbp said...

Drats! The comment I responded to got deleted.

Anyway, Titus always claims to be a Republican, so there is at least one in Cambridge.

NightBastard said...

Gates come off as more hypersensitive than a Geico caveman.

Richard Fagin said...

Before the guy in your building, Titus, the last Republican in Cambridge lived at 372 Memorial Drive. He left in January 1978 never to return.

Maguro said...

Obama knows what it's like to experience racial oppression at the hands of the Cambridge PD.

The racist bastards made him pay his overdue parking tickets.

No wonder he holds a grudge.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

The republican in my building is an affirmative action Harvard Business School Grad. He didn't receive an undergrad degree but was accepted to Harvard Business School.

Not a bad deal.

Stupid Honky Pigs for Obama said...

My husband just heard the policeman on WEEI Boston radio who told his side of the story. He's a great cop and all around nice guy.
He warned Gates half a dozen times to stop and even waved his handcuffs in front of him. He said that he would have arrested a white guy sooner. There are witnesses to this who verify the cop's story. Gates was exploiting the situation for his own ends.

TRO said...

Jeremy said: "Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine, Bitch and whine, bitch and whine, bitch whine..."

That's the most eloquent you have ever been my friend.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

David Gergon lives here too.

And John Maklovich-don't know how to spell his name.

And Dershowitz.

jayne_cobb said...

As a general rule it is best not to support anyone who actually thinks "You don't know who you're messing with" is a reasonable response.

AJ Lynch said...

Sometimes umpires don't walk away from an irate player or manager.

Sounds like the cop should have left the 'perp'etually beleagured Gates ranting to himself.

rcocean said...

Sorry for the deletion. I thought this was turning into another Troll fest.

Then Titus shows - funny stuff.

Oligonicella said...

"How dare he take sides?"

It's called empathy.

Beth said...

Once Gates had identified himself and it was clear he was in his own house, then yes, it was stupid to arrest him. Not just stupid to "give him a platform" but stupid because he didn't break into someone else's house.

Why does it matter if the police waved handcuffs at him and warned him to stop (stop what? being angry at being accosted by cops in his own house?) So he acted like an asshole - so what? Are we now living in a country where being less than polite is a crime? Where the police can command our deference no matter what the circumstances?

Here's my ID. I live in this house. Get the hell out of it now.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

quite a few women not wearing bras walking the streets of Cambridge as well. On a good day you can see nipples peaking out to say hello.

Beth said...

Sounds like the cop should have left the 'perp'etually beleagured Gates ranting to himself.

Indeed. It was proper for them to show up and investigate. But when they found, via the ID, that there's no house burglary? Move on.

dbp said...

Beth,

Gates wasn't arrested in his house. He followed the cop outside and was accosting him in the street.

Fred4Pres said...

dpb, I heard Gates was arrested was just outside his door on the porch. I count that as his home.

garage mahal said...

Althouse asks:

"1. On hearing the statement live: If you don't know the facts, why are you saying the police acted "stupidly"

And answers herself!:

"2. The morning after: It really was stupid for the police to arrest Gates, and it's a stupidity that stands apart from whether the police or the Gates version of the story is accurate."

MadisonMan said...

I think he said too much. Which is typical of a politician.

Roger J. said...

I agree with Beth--and I have in other posts bemoaned the increasing militarization of the police forces--look at the abuses of the SWAT teams in maryland whose primary skill seem to be shooting family pets.

Yeah--police officers have a tough job and Gates is probably an asshole, but its his house and there is no law that prohibits being an asshole in your own house.

Police should have exercised more restraint, and learn to walk away.

Now--Obama was an idiot to comment on it and obviate what ever message he was trying to deliver in his health care schtick--Obama is the idiot in this one.

k*thy said...

Agreed, Beth. I'm not getting that part and why the cop went off. A dose of common sense and professionalism would have helped this blow over.

As for Gates, yeah, you just don't mess with cops.

As for Obama, he looked conflicted - professional vs. personal experience. No, he didn't have the facts, but he's been a lot closer to these types of situations than most of us here, have, and knows what this smells like. All in all, he didn't express himself as well as he could have.

kathleen said...

Jeremy, why is every third "Bitch and whine" capitalized? is that some sort of secret terrorist code?

Maguro said...

garage - You don't think the President of the United States should be a little more circumspect in his words than a blogger should?

Seriously?

MnMark said...

2. The morning after: It really was stupid for the police to arrest Gates, and it's a stupidity that stands apart from whether the police or the Gates version of the story is accurate."

A law professor is suggesting that police should make arrests based on the political implications of the situation rather than on whether a law has been broken?

That seems 180 degrees wrong to me.

William said...

Gates is a multimillionaire and on a first name basis with the President of the United States. He is not a Lowndes country sharecropper, and Sgt Crowley is not Bull Connor. Gates and Obama did not respond to the situation, but to bad history. And they have created more bad history......Here's an interesting stereotype. In Swahili they are called "ibenzi". This term refers to those rich, important men who tool around town in black Mercedes-Benz. They blow through life and its intersections in their air-conditioned cars. Heaven help those who don't get out of their way. This is not a red neck put down. It is an African one. Gates acted like an ibenzi.....What is the difference between a proud man and an arrogant one. A proud man asks for what he deserves, and an arrogant one demands what he doesn't......If I were an enterprising burglar, I would case Gates' home. The professor is away a lot, and there's a good chance the police quick response team won't arrive in a hurry. Not that the neighbors would even call.

AJ Lynch said...

Anyone else notice that Jeremy has black dogs? What is up with that? heh.

EK said...

Professor Althouse,

As to your three reactions to Obama’s Gates statement, I think you are on solid ground on points 1 and 3, but not so much with your point 2: “the morning after.” I think that your reasoning here only makes sense if you presume that the officer on the scene knew, or should have known, who Henry Louis Gates Jr. is exactly, i.e. his stature within both the academic and the African-American communities. I do not believe that this is a reasonable expectation. He may be a superstar on campus, but I would not expect a local cop to necessarily know that.

As for Beth’s comment, I’m afraid that she is off base. Accounts of the incident that I’ve read make it quite clear that Gates refused to identify himself to police officers when they first arrived, and that he became indignant and belligerent with them straightaway. The man got what he deserved.

Stupid Honky Pigs for Obama said...

For those who say Gates shouldn't have been arrested by Sgt Crowley, you're really saying that Gates shouldn't have been arrested because he's black. Crowley followed police procedures re a disorderly person. (as if you don't known not to hurl insults at the police)

MnMark said...

I would like to know from Jeremy: when and under what circumstances are we permitted to criticize the President without being accused of "bitching and whining"? Could you explain the difference between legitimate criticism and "bitching and whining"? Because when a guy who you disagree with on 99% of issues is the President, and promises to "fundamentally change the United States of America", as he put it, there's going to be a lot of legitimate critical comments to be made. Is any of that OK with you, or are we all supposed to just shut up?

Joe said...

"I don't know all the facts."

Perhaps Obama's health system overhaul rhetoric was getting mixed in with his Gates rhetoric.

garage mahal said...

garage - You don't think the President of the United States should be a little more circumspect in his words than a blogger should?

The takeaway seems to be, yes it was a stupid arrest, but Obama shouldn't comment on it and Gates was all uppity when talking to a cop. Fuck that. I would have done the same thing.

Howard said...

'Bama is right, the cop was stupid for arresting Gates.

Macho republicans want a police state with mommy Sarah to spank them for being "bad". Since when is it an American trait to kiss the ass of authority when they are all up in the face of your sovereign domain? I woulda kissed the cop's ass 'cause I'm a pussy, but Gates showed his balls. I'll tip my hat to that. This creeps repugs out because mommy would not be happy. Just keep in line and stay in your cubical. If you are good, you can go the a Tea Party and feel young and svelte as you look at your fellow nutjobs.

I'm also sure Gates acted like an asshole. That's his right. The cop is paid to act like an adult and smile, say thank you and walk away. Instead, he behaved in a way that indicated he has a confidence problem.

Let's just hope he is not on the swat team raiding grandma's house instead of the crack house next door.

Meade said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
"I think he also brushed on health care in the press conference."

Yeah, but thank god at least he didn't try to jigger health care into that press conference.

He coulda been shot.

dbp said...

It is unclear from the news stories I've seen exactly where Gates was when he was arrested. He was clearly outside his house though. News pictures showed him on the porch, so it would make sense that that is where he was arrested.

The police report indicated,

"These actions on behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed,"

One could argue the wisdom of arresting him. On one hand, you've got to assume someone like Gates is goind to raise a stink over it--though he might have done the same even if he had not been arrested. Police need to project authority and retreating in the face of being yelled-at, runs counter to this need.

What I don't understand is why all the criticism of the police and so little for Gates? Good God, he is a professor at the most elite university on the planet. Shouldn't we expect better decorum from one so exalted?

Bender said...

Here, I'd get shot.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!! What a great sense of humor.

My only question is this -- Is he calling the D.C. police or the Secret Service a bunch of murderous racists?

Yeah, killing the president is always such a humorous topic.

PatHMV said...

According to the police report, Prof. Gates began accusing the officer of racism before coming to the door, before the police officer had done anything other than knock on the door and state that he was responding to a citizen's complaint of a possible burglary. According to the officer's report, at that time, Prof. Gates had not yet identified himself.

What it sounds to me like was that Prof. Gates was very tired and exhausted after a long day of traveling and very frustrated by a broken door. We can all sympathize, I think, with just how fed up with things you can get when you've been traveling and just want to sit down in your own home, but minor problems keep cropping up and stopping you from just sitting. It appears that Prof. Gates uses a cane, which makes me suspect that he might have been in some pain, too, beyond the normal fatigue we've all experienced.

So when the police came to his door, he reacted without thinking clearly (haven't we all just kind of gone off at minor frustrations, screamed at the kid for normal kid noise, whatever, just because of how tired and worn out we are on a particularly long day?). Because of his background, that came out as a racially-tinged rant. Other folks would have ranted and screamed based on some other irrational emotion (don't you f'ing cops have real criminals to arrest, or a racially-tinged rant at a black cop, etc.).

Based on the report, it looks to me like the police officer was understandably confused by Prof. Gates' reaction and tried to calm him down. Unfortunately, Prof. Gates wouldn't just show his ID and let the officer leave, but followed him outside and continued to berate him.

A real dialog on race would discuss both sides of this story, would have pointed out that Prof. Gates was too quick to assume racism, based solely on the officer's skin color, while also expressing concern over why an arrest was necessary once the officer verified that Prof. Gates was the resident of the house, regardless of how much berating he was doing.

I suspect that the joint Gates-Cambridge police department statement that charges were being dropped, and that neither side wished to disparage the other meant that Prof. Gates realized, once he had calmed down and gotten some rest, that he had overreacted. The parties had worked it out in an appropriate manner.

Sadly, our President can't help himself and his desire to be our Dear Leader in all aspects of life, and so he single-handedly revived a soon to completely die controversy, breathing new life into it. Stupid. Truly stupid.

B said...

Jeremy, why is every third "Bitch and whine" capitalized? is that some sort of secret terrorist code

It is called Copy and paste.

Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste.Copy and paste. and so on.

Jeremey's forte. When you have nothing to say that is original, you copy and paste from other sources and then make no reference to the original source so that people can check your references.

PatHMV said...

Garage... suppose you were out of town and one of your neighbors calls the cops, because they think they've seen someone breaking in. The cops show up, the guy says, "hey, I live here." Do you want the cops to check for ID to be sure of that before walking away? Or would you rather the cops just take the guy's word for it and drive off, leaving the burglar to ransack your house in perfect safety?

What you're missing is that Prof. Gates, according to the police report, started acting like a complete ass BEFORE he responded to a polite request for identification. Had the police left it at that, and it turned out that the guy in the house was a burglar, they would have been in serious trouble, and Prof. Gates would be screaming at them for leaving burglars inside his house without checking for ID. "What's a black man got to do in this country to have his property protected by the police?"

Had Prof. Gates shown ID as requested with the initial knock on the door, and THEN the cop gave him shit, I'd be with Gates. But that's not what happened, according to the police report.

Darcy said...

PatHMV: You make too much sense!

Jeremy said...

"Do you want the cops to check for ID to be sure of that before walking away?"

He did show his I.D.

But when was the last time you saw two burglars show up at a house in a limousine?

Jeremy said...

B - Blow me.

Patrick said...

The Community Organiser, still Organising his Communities.

Nothing to see here, except that Jeremy has become much more pithy and eloquent than I recall being the case.

Bissage said...

Hmmmmmmmm. Don’t know where I got the idea that Professor Gates misplaced his key.

PatHMV said...

Jeremy, read the police report. He did show ID, but not before he began his tirade against the officers. He initially accused the police officer of racism when all the officer had done at that point was knock on the door, say he was responding to a citizen's report of a possible burglary, and ask for the ID.

qwerty said...

Actually, the police report says that Gates did present ID (after initially refusing) and that he did so well before he was arrested. Its hard to read the report (its on Smoking Gun, and I recommend that commenters here read it, since very few who have posted remarks appear to have done so) without seeing this as a case of cop ego run amok.

former law student said...

See what happens when Obama goes off-script? I hope all you people who criticized his reading off the Teleprompter have learned the error of your ways.

But I am mightily impressed by the collective mastery of the facts of the Gates-Cambridge PD confrontation, the more so because no one here was there.

PatHMV said...

As for the limousine, you want to go on record as saying that if the police see a limousine parked in front of a house, they should assume that there is no burglary occurring and leave without verifying whether the guy inside the house is indeed the owner? Seriously? Are you claiming that if the police had seen a white man inside the house, they would have left immediately, without asking for ID?

Jeremy said...

There's not a single wing nut here today that wouldn't raise hell, just like the professor, if a cop treated them in this manner.

The professor arrived at the house in a limousine and was assisted in getting into the house by hid driver.

Rather unusual transportation for a couple of burglars breaking into a house...in broad daylight.

(Copyright 2009 by Jay B Gaskill - Out-Lawyer's Blog/CBS48 Hours)

Professor Gates had ”returned from a trip to China on Thursday with a driver, when he found his front door jammed. He went through the back door into the home — which he leases from Harvard — shut off an alarm and worked with the driver to get the door open. The driver left, and Gates was on the phone with the property's management company when police first arrived.”

“Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home near campus after a woman reported seeing 'two black males with backpacks on the porch,' with one 'wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry.'”

“By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside. Police say he refused to come outside to speak with an officer, who told him he was investigating a report of a break-in.”

("By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside...")

Not outside, trying to break in, not climbing through a window...inside his own house.

This is just another day of the local Ann Althouse racists showing their stripes.

White stripes.

William said...

Teachable moment: Gates and Crowley have a private meet. Discuss their mutual intemperance and discover their mutual humanity. Have a joint news conference where they acknowledge each others' culpabilities and sensitivities. Obama invites them both to a White House luncheon where thanksgiving is celebrated for a new post-racial America. We all sprout gossamer wings and fly to the moon.

PatHMV said...

qwerty... I indicated that exact fact in my summary of the report. He did show ID, but only after he started ranting at the officer and accusing him of racism. If he had not shown ID, I imagine the officer would have arrested him for trespassing or burglary. That he did show ID, eventually, does not mean that the officer was wrong to ask for it or that the officer in any way abused his authority or was on an ego trip. We weren't there to see exactly how out of control Prof. Gates was acting, if at all. Perhaps the officer was out of line, perhaps he was merely unwise to arrest Gates for disorderly conduct in those particular circumstances. I do know that it is always very unwise to scream at an officer "do you know who you're messing with?" because most officers, quite properly, want to demonstrate that they act the same to everybody, regardless of their "importance."

Florida said...

GOod commentary Pat.

It's so true. When the cops show up to investigate a reported crime, it is a crime NOT to cooperate with them.

If you want to be an asshole, you'll get treated like the asshole you are and hauled down to the cooler to sweat it off.

That's true whether you're a white redneck with an attitude or a black Harvard "perpetual victim" like Louey "Do You Know Who I Am" Gates.

Of course the grievance mongers are now out in spades now that they know Obama's willing to stoke the fires for them.

If this faux controversy represents the extent of racism in this country, I'm proud of us as a people.

I don't want to live in a country where a good cop can't crack an arrogant asshole over the noggin when he's being a raging butthead.

PatHMV said...

Jeremy... go back to your last comment and scrub it of all information which was not known to the police officers at the time they show up. For example, they did not know that this was Prof. Gates. They did know that he had just gotten back from China. They did not know that he was on the phone with the maintenance department.

Had they asked for ID, Prof. Gates shown it while explaining why he and his driver were breaking down the door, and THEN the officers had done anything else but say "have a nice day" and drive off, I would be castigating the officers.

Many people reacting to police officers assume that the officers should know more than they do. They don't. All these officers knew at the time was that one of the neighbors (and we generally presume that neighbors know each other) thought somebody was breaking into the house. That's it. Based on that knowledge, the officer knocked on the door and asked the person inside to identify themselves.

And that's when Prof. Gates went off. Not later, but right from the initial question. If in fact he hadn't so clearly overreacted, why would he have so quickly agreed to that joint statement yesterday?

kathleen said...

Gates was giving them 'tude while they were there to protect HIS house and HIS property. So I guess the cops are not supposed to care if a black man's house is being robbed, huh.

damned if they do, damned if they don't.

traditionalguy said...

The irritability of Gates from Jet Lag and airport security lines in foreign countries obviously made him act like an angry child in need of adult guidance. He is now covering up to protect his reputation as a Great Philosopher. Another day and another race card successfully played and approved of by the Best Card Player around.

kathleen said...

Gates also seems to labor under the misimpression that whites never get understandably ticked off at cops.

Kirby Olson said...

Just let the inhabitants of Cambridge go without the police for a month and see how they like it.

The police can make mistakes.

They can misread a situation.

It's not like they killed him or anything. They were just trying to protect his house.

There's a neat P.G. Wodehouse novel in which Bertie gets into blackface, and is denied entry into his own house by the butler.

It's called Code of the Woosters. Henry Gates probably knows it. It's such a funny novel! the situation in the novel is too complicated to describe, though, so sorry.

chickenlittle said...

People should read the police report for themselves. Gates sounds like a beligerent drunk.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

("By the time police arrived, Gates was already inside...")

Not outside, trying to break in, not climbing through a window...inside his own house.


This is significant, y'all. Really. Because if a burglary in progress is being reported, and the police show up after the burglar is inside the house, then the police should do nothing. Therefore, they were wrong to question Gates, ask him for ID, or anything else - once you get inside it doesn't matter if you belong or not. You are home free, either way.

qwerty said...

It is amusing to me to think that many of the same regular posters here who think Gates should have been more "submissive" and who give the officer remarkably wide latitude would, if they were involved in a similar situation inside their own home, be screaming loudly about their eroding freedoms and making wild-eyed assertions about what the 2nd Amendment might entitle them to do.

I would be laughing if it were slightly less pathetic.

Jeremy said...

PatHMV - Dig me up an article relating to burglars arriving in limousines to conduct their business.

Get fucking real.

The entire affair was the result of one woman calling the police, in the middle of the day:

When the cop showed up, the professor was already INSIDE. When asked if anyone else was in the house, the professor said it was none of his business (which is true.)

The cop entered, was given the professor's university I.D., called it in, then wanted the professor to follow him outside, if he wanted to continue the discussion...(because of the "accoustics" inside the house - yeah).

The professor followed him outside and berated him for being treated like a criminal in his own home.

The he was cuffed and arrested.

I grew up in a city where this type of things happened every day of the week, and still happens, and every time a black man or anyone of color complained, they were shouted down, and the cops always touted as being "justified," just as you are doing here.

Anybody here who thinks a white person (a professor no less), after providing I.D. in his or her own home, regardless of their demeanor or even yelling at the cop, would be cuffed and arrested is full of shit...and they know it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"The professor arrived at the house in a limousine and was assisted in getting into the house by hid driver."

Limousine!! I think the professor is way overpaid. Does he have one on retainer? Or is he just to special and important to take a taxi?

Note to self: hire a limo for a B/E job and you are home free.

While his limo driver tried to help him, a woman called police to say that "two black males with backpacks" were trying to break in.

Ha ha. I bet she won't call the next time if someone tries to break into his house. I would break out the lawn chairs and watch with glee while the burglars (in a limousine) empty the house.

Jeremy said...

qwerty - The people here are also the same people who think everybody should be able to carry a loaded and concealed weapon on their person, rant and rave about "state's rights," government interference in their daily lives, and of course, bitch about literally anything relating to President Obama.

If this had happened to Ann Althouse (or any of them of course) the high-pitched whine could shatter a plate glass window.

MadisonMan said...

according to the police report

See, I'm not certain that the police report contains the truth. It may contain the truth as viewed by the Policeman (men) there, but that's not the entire truth.

But I'm a cynic.

Michael said...

As everyone should know by now, since cop shows abound on realism television, one does not give lip to cops. Period. One does not give lip when pulled over for a minor infraction, even if driving while Hispanic, nor does one give lip to an officer of the law standing in one's own living room whilst standing while black. Never, ever, give lip to a man in uniform even if one is white.

I should think that Professor Gates' home would now be the perfect place to burgle while any color at all.

Dave said...

"I don't want to live in a country where a good cop can't crack an arrogant asshole over the noggin when he's being a raging butthead."

I do.

Alex said...

Jeremy - go eat shit you racist bastard. You can go do it with that other shiteater Titus.

kathleen said...

Is there anything whiter than the nickname "Skip"?

qwerty said...

Jeremy - you are right. I was stating the obvious. I used to be a regular reader, and I tend to like the right-ward leaning of the blog. But sometime a year or so ago (maybe more) the collective weight of the self-righteous, terribly uninformed, and often very crude (in completely unfunny ways) commentary here cause me to read elsewhere.

But when you see a messy car wreck sometimes you just have to gawk despite yourself.

chickenlittle said...

See, I'm not certain that the police report contains the truth. It may contain the truth as viewed by the Policeman (men) there, but that's not the entire truth.

@MM: That's stunning coming from you. Do you think that way about Madison cops? I can only imagine what you must think of non-college town cops. Sheesh.

Could it be that you just don't want it to be true?

Robert said...

Thank you Prof Gates! New MO for burglars from the 'hood, in Cambridge: Roll up in a limo, fake ID in hand and steal whatever you want after breaking in. When confronted, show the fake ID, claim you were locked out and are now outraged at being profiled!

Sweet! Oh yeah, you,Gates, act like an ass, get treated like an ass, has NOTHING to do with race! Ass-cism---we all hate asses!)

Alex said...

qwerty - any of us who started sassing a cop would end up arrested. To make this a racial thing is EVIL!!!

kathleen said...

If there's someone who could be called racist here, it's the neighbor, who given her neighborhood I'm sure is a raving liberal. That's who Gates should be ticked off at, not the cops. SHE called THEM.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Obama : Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here

Yes, Obama's friends blow people up with bombs, are crazy racists, try selling Senate seats, and don't pay their taxes, so we know when he says someone is his friend that they can't possibly be in the wrong.

qwerty said...

Alex - so . . . you live a world in which "sassing" cops is an arrestable offense, and one which all sensible people fall in line behind the poor cop who had to endure the "sassing." Good for you, I guess. But keep your drivel to yourself.

MadisonMan said...

ChickenLittle: No one except the Police and Skipper know what happened. The written account given by either will not be the whole truth. That's what I'm saying. That doesn't seem that stunning to me.

Alex said...

qwerty - anyone who has been here for an extended period knows I will not keep my drivel to myself. You'll just have to learn to put up with it, I'm afraid.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If there's someone who could be called racist here, it's the neighbor, who given her neighborhood I'm sure is a raving liberal. That's who Gates should be ticked off at, not the cops. SHE called THEM.

Are you serious? She reported two people breaking into a neighbor's house. Are you saying that if it was two white guys she wouldn't have reported the possible burglary?

So reporting a potential crime, IF the perps are black, latino, chinese or anything other than white makes you a racist?

Sheesh. No wonder I own a Mossberg 500 Persuader. If I have to wait for the neighbors to decide if they are going to be branded as racists or not while my home is being invaded or burlarized, it will be too late for the police to protect me. Actually, it would be too late anyway since response time is over 30 minutes here.

Crimso said...

"There's not a single wing nut here today that wouldn't raise hell, just like the professor, if a cop treated them in this manner.

The professor arrived at the house in a limousine and was assisted in getting into the house by hid driver."

Thanks for finally admitting I'm not a wingnut. Because, you see, I have the common sense not to fuck with a cop no matter how right I think I am. When you are right and the cop is wrong it is still a matter of common sense to not push it. You don't have to like it, but there it is just the same. Be friendly and be courteous and say what you must in order to get the cop to be on his way. He's likely got better things to do, and so do you. You don't have to like the fact that cops have and exercise power, and that sometimes they do so when they probably shouldn't. Swallow your pride and do what you must to end the encounter. Doing anything else is simply asking for trouble, no matter how right you may be. Trust me on this.

qwerty said...

Don't worry Alex. I am just passing through. You can wallow in your own drivel all you like. It won't trouble me a bit. I am gonna go do some sassing and hope I don't get arrested by thin-skinned, jack-booted thugs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am gonna go do some sassing and hope I don't get arrested by thin-skinned, jack-booted thugs.

I hope you do. Please make a YouTube video ;-D

Laura(southernxyl) said...

qwerty said...
It is amusing to me to think that many of the same regular posters here who think Gates should have been more "submissive"


Who are you quoting here?

former law student said...

Is there anything whiter than the nickname "Skip"?

FWIW, the only person I know who goes by "Skip" is a black man built like a linebacker. He's part of our extended fishing group.

Obama's friends ... try selling Senate seats

Without rehashing everything, I just wanted to point out that Blagojevich was nobody's friend except his clout-heavy father-in-law. Lakefront liberals like Douglas and Mikva ran as Democrats (their philosophical home) but kept their pants hems lifted free of the Machine's muck and mud.

For those not familiar with the corruption of Illinois politics, half of all governors elected since the sixties have been indicted.

Floridan said...

DBQ: "Limousine!! I think the professor is way overpaid. Does he have one on retainer? Or is he just to special and important to take a taxi?"

Have you ever taken a limousine home from the airport? In most cases "limousine" is a euphemism for "van."

former law student said...

DBQ: for me a cab ride to the airport would cost far more than the flat rate of a limo, especially if we got stuck in traffic. So limo customers are not necessarily more elitist.

Kirby Olson said...

They are now having a tape-loop on CNN which is a five-minute interview with the white police-officer who arrested Gates. He sounds very reasonable and well-spoken. He says that Gates refused to show ID until he saw the officer's ID. the officer says that Obama was out of place to get involved with a local incident and IMPLIES that the president has stepped beyond his jurisdiction and was not fully informed about the incident to call the Cambridge police stupid without knowing all the facts on the ground.

Obama says that Gates was a personal friend, and so he sided with him on the matter, without knowing anything about the viewpoint from the other side (the officer's side) before he jumped in to judge the situation.

Jeremy said...

Kathleen - "...given her neighborhood I'm sure is a raving liberal."

Duh.

Jeremy said...

Kirby - "They are now having a tape-loop on CNN which is a five-minute interview with the white police-officer who arrested Gates. He sounds very reasonable and well-spoken."

They always sound "reasonable and well-spoken" after a few days of cooling down and rehearsing exactly how and what to say.

BJM said...

Bissage

If I break into my own house because I misplaced my key and the cops show up, I’m going to feel like a gigantic asshole and apologize like there’s no tomorrow.


Exactly. I've never understood why people think it's a good idea to get up in a cop's face.

LarsPorsena said...

MM:
"No one except the Police and Skipper know what happened. The written account given by either will not be the whole truth. That's what I'm saying."

Too many viewings of Rashomon?

Jeremy said...

Floridan - "Have you ever taken a limousine home from the airport?"

Good lord...are yu living in a fucking cave?

Ever actually been to an airport?

Kirby Olson said...

Also, the officer said that day-time home invasions are quite frequent in that area of Cambridge, and he said he just wasn't sure what he was dealing with, and responded to the incident without backup, and Gates was right from the git-go confrontational and non-cooperative. Also, the officer first encountered Gates on the front porch, but then Gates went back into his house and wouldn't step out to speak with the officer. The officer felt unsafe in the house because he didn't know if this was a break-in and whether they might be a second armed suspect inside the house. He kept asking Gates if he was alone, and Gates wouldn't respond.

I'm sure that police will be a lot slower to respond from now on in that area if they want to keep their jobs. Maybe it will be a no-go area.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Have you ever taken a limousine home from the airport? In most cases "limousine" is a euphemism for "van."


Right... and Lamborghini is a euphemism for my Chevy Blazer.

"A euphemism is a substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener,[1] or in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker."

Limousine is much less offensive than Van. I see.

Either he was in a Limo or he was in a Van. If the two people breaking into the house were in a "VAN" instead of a "limousine" I think that changes the picture entirely. Don't you.

chickenlittle said...

Obama will make that cop the next Joe the Plumber--here's hoping!

traditionalguy said...

To be honest, we have all gotten stressed out and said ugly things when it was only self destructive to do so. The restraint we need at these times is not accessed when the chances are that we will get away with it because the other person is powerless. I bet Gates has never done this to a policeman in another country. Gates let lose on this Cambridge policeman because he felt that he held all the power in this Harvard neighborhood. That was the mistake on Gates' part. This officer was a frontline policeman, not a public relations diplomat. Gates got what anybody else would have gotten in these circumstances Proves again that no one really likes going from powerlessness to equality...Everyone wants all the power over on their side.

Jeremy said...

Crimso - "I have the common sense not to fuck with a cop no matter how right I think I am."

No matter what your "rights" are?

Alex said...

Jeremy - please Please fuck with a copy and post the youtube video. We are eager and moist for it.

The Drill SGT said...

There's not a single wing nut here today that wouldn't raise hell, just like the professor, if a cop treated them in this manner.

I dont consider myself a wingnut, but I am a big middle-aged white guy who was once a rough man.

My approach to interactions with police where they are investigating a potential crime is worthy of a West Point Plebe.

Yes Sir!
No Sir!
Won't happen again!

I find that approach to be successful in avoiding both tickets and getting shot or cuffed.

The right Gates approach should have been to thank the cop for his concern and show him out the door.

and as somebody said yesterday: This is what happens when two assholes collide.

PS: I agree with you Roger that the militarism of police forces is a problem

PPS: DBQ, your Mossberg comment reminded me of these 2 quips:

1. “When help is only minutes away…but all you have is seconds.”
2. "You never need a pistol, until you really need a pistol",

That's why Roger and I carried ours in shoulder holsters.

Jeremy said...

Dust Bunny Queen "Right... and Lamborghini is a euphemism for my Chevy Blazer."

No, there are limos available at all major airports, and sometimes they're cheaper than taxis or even vans.

You don't travel much do you?

qwerty said...

I wasn't quoting anyone. I was "highlighting" the implication of several posters who appear to think that in exchange for the public service provided by police, all citizens, especially black citizens, should (now I am quoting) "swallow their pride" or show more "decorum." I find such a perspective interesting.

Put another way, Gates talked to the cop the way many Althouse posters would like to talk to the President. And they wouldn't like the result any more than Gates did, but they would justify their actions like Gates did.

Der Hahn said...

If qwerty is still hanging around, I'd like answer to this hypothetical. It's as similar to the Gates case as possible with a significant exception.

My neighbor calls the cops and reports that I've been arguing with and hit someone outside my home. By the time the cops arrive my friend and I are now inside the house. The cops knock on the door. I allow them to enter and determine that I'm the lawful resident of this address. I then become belligerent, interfere with them questioning my friend, and start demanding that they leave. My friend refuses to answer questions, leave with the cops, or give any indication that I assaulted them.

Is it ok that I'm demanding the cops to leave? Should the cops leave? If you want to claim that they should not and I should be arrested, what distinguishes this set of facts from what we know about the situation involving Gates?

MadisonMan said...

Too many viewings of Rashomon?

Too many mystery novels read. :)

Jeremy said...

The Drill SGT - "My approach to interactions with police where they are investigating a potential crime is worthy of a West Point Plebe.

Yes Sir!
No Sir!
Won't happen again!"

Wonderful.

And if you feel your rights as a citizen were being abridged would say the same thing?

You and I both know you'd stand your ground so get off the "oh, it's a police officer so I MUST do just as I'm asked at all times" bullshit.

In Los Angeles and all major cities, there are millions and millions of dollars paid out every year, all related to handling matters in making mistakes.

Der Hahn said...

I should clarify ... you can not rely on any information that would not be available to the police officers, i.e. nobody admitted guilt and my friend doesn't show any outward sign of assault, to justify your answers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No, there are limos available at all major airports, and sometimes they're cheaper than taxis or even vans.


To quote you....DUH

I know the difference between a limousine and a van. I have ridden in both at various times in my life. Guess what? They are not exactly the same.

Either it is a limo....or it is a van. Which is it in YOUR version of the Gates saga? Because it does make a difference in perception of the events.

Joe said...

I'm still trying to figure out how a brilliant Harvard professor managed to lock himself out of his house.

Cedarford said...

Fred4Pres said...
Gates was not arrested for being black, but for being an asshole.

But I do not see how being an asshole, in your own home, justifies getting arrested. Was he violent? Completely out of control? Or was Gates just challenging the officer's integrity and being generally offensive, and the officer reacted by arresting him? Well guess what, we still have the right to be assholes in our homes.
.


Fred reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what owners or renters can do when cops, fire officials, health inspectors, and others can do when on official duty, acting under color of law.

The most obvious form of education Fred needs to consider is cops going to serve a warrant or coming to end a domestic violence situation - who end up arresting a whole family of belligerent redneck trailer trash, ghetto scum, or upstanding but quite drunk suburbanites who think they have the power to tell cops or other officials to pack sand.

News for Fred4Prez - they don't.

One of my favorites was about an employee I knew and worked with during a consult. He showed up in the police blotter with 7 other people arrested in a melee. His friend's Dad had a barbecue with much loud music and inebriation happening. Cops came to investigate noise complaints.

The father told the cops he was playing music sensibly loud, the neighbor was a jerk, and to get the hell off his property. He refused several requests to desist. They arrested him. Two drunk women in the house saw it and were abusing the cops. THey ignored orders to come out. The cops went in. To be confronted by his wife informing them they had no right to enter the home without warrant. Who then said they were fucking assholes and tried to push them out. After a struggle, *click-click*. Along with one of the initial cussers and spitters...
BY then, 3 more squad cars had arrived. The son (who BTW had a small bag of weed in his back pocket) decided he was now the Person in Charge as Peacemaker...and stepped in the middle of it. Saying to cops the music would get turned down, but they had to immediately release his parents, now in cuffs and face-down on the lawn. Cops told him to shut up. He shoved them, *click-click*. THe employee, a friend, came up with another pal to inform the cops they were jerks ruining a good time. *click-click*.
Final arrest was of a drunken fool who decided to leave and was observed by half the local police force weaving her way across the property to a car...daquiri in one hand, keys in the other.

Second bit of news.. Cops use disorderly conduct arrests as a legal way of controlling a situation. Unless eggregious, threats of violence are involved, or physical assault on officers...it is rare those charges are pursued by the DA. But just because charges are dropped doesn't mean parties, including Noted Harvard Full Professor Henry Louis Gates, are innocent of wrongdoing.

3rd big bit of news...unless there is police misconduct or the DA is pursuing serious charges..lawyers will inform clients that their 200 bucks money just purchased a great deal - just shut up, pay a small or no fine, the hassle ends.

=========================
Obama came across as dumb and lacking discipline.
He wanted the headlines about his health care "vision". He then sabotaged his own news cycle by ending it accusing cops of profiling and acting stupidly.

Playing his own race card, despite saying he didn't know the facts and saying the Noted Harvard Professor was a friend.

And by being undisciplined? Seeming to love himself TelePrompter talking more than loving the opprtunity to get a key issue across to the public? Getting overexposed in media coverage, and divisive on major social fault lines? ..He weakens himself.
(see Bidenitis, Jesse Jacksonitis, Palinitis).

Der Hahn said...

Joe said...
I'm still trying to figure out how a brilliant Harvard professor managed to lock himself out of his house.


FWIW, I've read at least one report that the lock on the front door was damaged from an attempted break-in and hadn't been repaired when Gates returned.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

qwerty said...
I wasn't quoting anyone. I was "highlighting" the implication of several posters who appear to think that in exchange for the public service provided by police, all citizens, especially black citizens, should (now I am quoting) "swallow their pride" or show more "decorum." I find such a perspective interesting.


Okay. Usually, quote marks mean you are quoting.

Your "submissive" comment came before the "swallow your pride" comment. So you weren't referring to that. As to the "decorum", it was expressed that perhaps a Harvard professor should show more decorum than to follow the police out of his house as they are leaving, hollering and accusing them of racism. Perhaps your standards of behavior are such that you think screaming like a fishwife is totally appropriate behavior. Whatever.

Richard Dolan said...

The photo of Gates' arrest shows two cops on the scene. One of them looks like Gates (just bigger, dressed in blue and not using a cane). That cop doesn't look any more impressed by Gates (who has his mouth open, evidently exercising his First Amendment rights with some vigor) than the white one.

LarsPorsena said...

"Dust Bunny Queen "Right... and Lamborghini is a euphemism for my Chevy Blazer."

No, there are limos available at all major airports, and sometimes they're cheaper than taxis or even vans.

You don't travel much do you?"

Well, we can't all be California public employees.

former law student said...

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/577/02/

Quotation Marks Beyond Quoting
Quotation marks may additionally be used to indicate words used ironically or with some reservation.

The great march of "progress" has left millions impoverished and hungry.

qwerty said...

Laura - Southern? Me too, btw. So you are the comment police? I hope you read the police report on Gates case as closely as you read comments. You will agree, I am sure, that a number of comments criticizing Gates imply that his attitude was inappropriate and that if we was submissive toward the cop, it would have worked out better. Perhaps it would have. But the USA is not a police state and it is not a crime to be uppity.

bagoh20 said...

Any white guy acting similarly would be arrested. If you are saying people should be free to be abusive to the police for doing exactly what we ask them to, then OK, that's your view. That will get us great cops and relationships with them.

The gardener should not be treated like that let alone someone risking his life to save the crap in your house.

Just what is a cop expected to endure for doing his job, besides being shot at.

Alex said...

I notice neither Zero or Jeremy noticed there was a black cop at the scene as well. Was he racist too?

Alex said...

qwerty - so you think that an uppity white person would not have been arrested? Any stats sport?

dbp said...

If I was in that situation. I would show my ID, thank the cop for protecting my property and then probably offer him a cup of coffee.

I wonder if the dynamic was different in this case because the house is actually owned by Harvard. Maybe he felt on some level guilty for breaking down the front door when his key had already allowed him in by the back door.

BJM said...

Cedarford, LOL!

During a police call to a frat house party run amuck, my then college-aged nephew refused to show ID. He got up close and personal with the LEO and screamed those infamous last words "I don't have to show you shit, motherfucker. I know MY rights! You can't arrest me!"

His father refused to bail him out and lesson learned; don't borrow trouble.

Years ago after a few too many martinis with dinner a girlfriend staggered out to her car, plunked her handbag down on the rear fender of car next to hers and drunkenly pawed through it for her keys, got in, started the car and backed into a lightpole.

Yep, it was a police car, they were writing up a report from an earlier fender-bender at the intersection.

bagoh20 said...

The cop did what he was expected to.

Gates did what he is expected not to do.

There is one person acting correctly and one not. Simple as that.

Obama's side taking is understandable considering his judgment on Honduras, Iranian elections, Chavez, etc. Perfectly consistent. Consistently wrong. We are in good hands.

Alex said...

BTW the Dow is up because they know health care + Cap N Trade aint happening for a while at least. Basically whenever the markets sense Obama is doing badly, they go UP!

Jeremy said...

Joe said..."I'm still trying to figure out how a brilliant Harvard professor managed to lock himself out of his house."

I know.

It's almost as ridiculous as a President of the United States almost choking to death on a pretzel.

Or saying this:

"I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans." 9/19/2000

Alex said...

Is it any wonder we hate liberals? They hate mom, apple pie and cops on the beat. No wonder America hates liberals.

Jeremy said...

Alex - Do you ever actually read anything before posting your right wing drivel?

AP Business Writers Tim Paradis And Sara Lepro - 51 minutes ago"

NEW YORK – The Dow Jones industrials rose back above 9,000 for the first time since early January.

Investors snapped up a broad range of stocks Thursday, sending major indexes up more than 2 percent, after existing home sales jumped for the third straight month in June.

Another batch of corporate profit reports also helped boost the market's mood. Stronger-than-expected earnings and more optimistic forecasts have pushed stocks up more than 8 percent in less than two weeks. The jump has restarted a rally that began in early March, lifting the Dow and other market barometers up from 12-year lows.

Jeremy said...

Alex - "No wonder America hates liberals."

"America" recently elected a "liberal" as President.

Duh.

Alex said...

Jeremy - the Dow goes up because they know Obama's policies are not happening!

Jeremy said...

dbp said..."If I was in that situation. I would show my ID, thank the cop for protecting my property and then probably offer him a cup of coffee."

And then strip down and suck him off.

qwerty said...

Nice try, Alex. But the "red herring" (I know how the unexpected use of quotation marks put you in a dither) you tried won't work. It doesn't matter whether a white person or any other racial group has been arrested in the same scenario. It is not a crime to "sass" a police officer.

A little story. When I was younger, I was working on a construction crew (all white) down south. I was also attending a conservative bible college at the time. I worked with a bunch of rowdies who liked to bowl and drink. One Friday, I went to bowl with them (I didn't drink then, thank god I do now). The group of bowlers to our right were drunk and rude. Soon they began making suggestive comments about the ladies in our group. A fight ensued. It turned out that the rowdy group to our right were off duty police officers. After the scrum, two of my friends were arrested for . . . wait for it . . . assaulting a police officer. Race wasn't involved. Neither was a famous liberal Harvard prof. The point? Cops aren't automatically right in every case, and deference to them is not always correct. Moreover, the constitution grants to us certain rights, in particular when we are in our own homes (as opposed to say a bowling alley).

I just don't side with the cop in Gate's case. Especially not after reading his report. If Gate's were white, it may have come down differently, but if it didn't I would still fault the cop.

TitusABalletForMartha said...

I call cabs all the time and many times a black limousine pulls up to my house. I never know what kind of car I am getting even when calling a cab company.

Ralph L said...

The fags are in... South End ... and Back Bay
But, of course.

I've been rear-ended twice (by women) in different cities, and both times the policemen screwed up the report. The first cop had written the woman's name (Gay) as "Gary" and in court got confused by our sexes and tried to blame me for stopping in front of her.

The second cop switched the cars on the report, and didn't correct it even after I drove 60 miles to speak to him. One call to Internal Affairs later, and it was fixed in an hour. The second woman's insurance company had never heard of her.

bagoh20 said...

Who farted?

Alex said...

We need a better brand of troll then Jeremy, qwerty and Titus. They tire me.

Ralph L said...

Titus, the French-speaking blacks may be Haitian or from what used to be called French West Africa.

Jeremy said...

qwerty - You're wasting your time with Alex.

He's not very bright, and regardless of what you have to say, he's pretty much stuck on whatever ingratiates him with the local wing nuts.

Here are two of his more intellectually challenged opinions:

"Is it any wonder we hate liberals? They hate mom, apple pie and cops on the beat. No wonder America hates liberals."

And

"...the Dow goes up because they know Obama's policies are not happening!"

He can't possibly be more than 15 years old.

qwerty said...

Alex, is it the polysyllabic words?

qwerty said...

Jeremy, I think you are wrong. Alex is a girl, isn't she?

Jeremy said...

qwerty said..."Alex, is it the polysyllabic words?"

No, it's just the "words."

chickenlittle said...

...the Dow goes up because they know Obama's policies are not happening!

Don't look now but the Dow cracked 9,000 today!

I'll take that as a good omen.

Alex said...

qwerty - no it's the incessant tiring repetition of left-wing canards. I heard enough of it in college. Frankly I could do without any of you liberal douchebags.

qwerty said...

Show the "canard."

Alex said...

Hmmm I'm not buying the Fox News poll that gives Zero 54%, it oversamples Democrats. I think the Rasmussen is the gold standard poll

51-48.

Alex said...

Left wing canards:

* cops are inherently racist and must be sassed by uppity race hustlers

* private sector is inherently greedy and awful and must be regulated to death

* Obama must be given 8 full years to implement his agenda

qwerty said...

Only one of those canards come remotely close to the topic I have posted on, and even then it radically distorts my points. I never said cops are inherently anything and I never defended Gate's race politics.

Do you move your lips when you read? Who turns on your computer?

bagoh20 said...

Alex,

you're gonna get that stink all over you playing under the bridge them.

qwerty said...

Also - Alex, I am sorry you went to such a poor college, if your time there was spent as you say. It certainly doesn't represent the university faculty to which I belong, or the ones to which I formerly belonged. I think you really missed out when it comes to education.

Alex said...

bagoh20 - It's ok, I'm a big boy now and I know how to deal with the stinky trolls.

Jeremy said...

chickenlittle said..."I'll take that as a good omen."

Which part?

The Dow going up or the inane comment from Alex?

Duh.

Jeremy said...

bagoh20 - Are you and Alex back together?

Alex said...

qwerty - I had to endure you left wing types back in college and I will not hesitate to fight back now.

chickenlittle said...

Which part?

The part about Obama's policy not happening.

#epicfail #waterloo

Alex said...

while(ObamaFail)
{
KeepSpoutingBullshit();
ParyMSMBacksMeUp();
LieLieLie();
}

ABORT

qwerty said...

Ok - but you should learn to fight back better. You do a pretty poor job. If you knew me, you would know how funny and wrong the "left-wing" tag is. Oh, but you have managed to identify my politics based only on the fact I don't immediately side with a cop who took offense when he handled a situation poorly. I have news for you - conservatives don't cheer for cops like that either.

Resume your wallowing.

Alex said...

It seems to me Zero is stuck in an infinite loop of bullshit. Sad case.

qwerty said...

LOL - right on cue.

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