July 30, 2009

"The national conversation over the past week about my arrest has been rowdy, not to say tumultuous and unruly."

"But we’ve learned that we can have our differences without demonizing one another. There’s reason to hope that many people have emerged with greater sympathy for the daily perils of policing, on the one hand, and for the genuine fears about racial profiling, on the other hand. Having spent my academic career trying to bridge differences and promote understanding among Americans, I can report that it is far more comfortable being the commentator than being commented upon. At this point, I am hopeful that we can all move on, and that this experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination."

Professor Gates, nicely put. I especially like the phrase "genuine fears about racial profiling," which — perhaps — gracefully concedes that his own fears made him interpret the incident as something that it was not, while at the same time asking us to feel real sympathy for those fears.

Gates also acknowledges the police officer's fear. Both men had fears, and, quite apart from whether the yelling or the arrest was justified, it is good for us to understand these different fears that come from different places. I would guess that the disjunction between the stories the 2 men told may be accounted for by the different nature of the fears that filtered their perceptions.

If that is so, and if we want to move forward, then more important than figuring out what really happened is for us all to see how way things look through another person's fears. Maybe we can see that in time to avert the next ugly confrontation.

93 comments:

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

If that is so, and if we want to move forward, then more important than figuring out what really happened is for us all to see how way things look through another person's fears.

Enter the wise latina... Heeeeere is Sonia ;)

Person of little or no color said...

You must realize that Gates is mocking the Cambridge police by using the words tumultuous and unruly which they used in the police report to describe his own behavior.

Joe said...

His comment reminds me of when we were kids and how the guilty party was usually the first to insist we all move on and get over it.

Beth said...

I liked Christopher Hitchens' read on this in Slate recently. I'll stick with that.

Seven Machos said...

Is our long national nightmare finally over?

amba said...

A related story and similar comments here.

Chip Ahoy said...

from down there ↓ ... Crowley gives a press conference in which he mainly says that the discussion was, upon agreement among the men, private.

How to Control the Dialogue 101.

step 1) Agree with your interlocutor not to bring up the subject again.

step 2) Continue banging on your point of view.

Jay Vogt said...

Fisking this comment ~

1.It’s not clear at all if both parties were engaged in demonization. Apparently one shouted invective and the other responded with handcuffs.

2.What part did racial profiling play in the incident? The cops were called to a specific address and interviewed the only people there.

3.In addition to being less comfortable it’s also more difficult to be objective. In fact, it is precisely the diminishment of comfort that degrades the objectivity.

4.Technically recrimination is not possible w/o an initial crimination, which did not occur. But more importantly, who is it suggested should be the educator and who the educatee.

rcocean said...

Nothing to see here, just move along folks.

Nice damage control by Barry and Co. Of course, it helps when the MSM all want jobs at the White House.

Dudley Do-right said...

This leaves me thirsty for a beer. What did Obama have again?

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

A couple of notes:

1) I agree that it's high time that we "move on" from the Gates-Crowley incident as a matter of discussion. It's been analyzed, re-analyzed, over-analyzed far too many times over the past week for an incident in which ultimately no one was physically injured.

2) Crowley did both Gates and Obama a tremendous favor in showing up. I understand that he's an Obama supporter, so I've little doubt that he wanted to do his part to help Obama dig himself out from the hole he dug. Obama got lucky there. Crowley didn't need to show up to salvage his reputation - thanks to his colleagues, it had already been rescued. Gates and Obama, on the other hand, both desperately needed it.

3) I highly doubt that Gates will ever "move on." He's spent the last week talking about how he's planning on turning this into a documentary, etc. He hasn't retracted a single thing he's said about the incident or Crowley, and he evidently has no intention of doing so. He's talking about conciliation today, but I'll bet money that a year from now his tune will be entirely different. He'll remake himself as the innocent and pure victim of a vicious cop. He's not done with his 15 minutes by any means.

4) Taking #2 and #3 together, Crowley is a far better supporter of Obama than Gates ever will be.

5) The damage that Obama did to himself is done and over with, and it is likely permanent. Today's little get-together is highly unlikely to return his approval ratings even to where they were before he decided to weigh in on the incident. I believe that a significant number of people who voted for him were disillusioned by his very non-post-racial response, and I doubt he'll ever get them back. People don't like to be wrong, but they absolutely hate feeling like they were deceived.

Ralph L said...

I understand that he's an Obama supporter
He said early on that he didn't vote for Obama.
I suspect you're right about Gates. Pressure will be brought to keep him off the stage before the next election.

PrestoPundit said...

Gates' biggest fear obviously is that people won't bend over and kiss his privileged and high status Harvard boots ("you'll be sorry when you find out who you're dealing with .. ) -- and won't respect the massive privilege, power and "get out of jail free" pass that playing the race card has always given him.

Ever read Shelby Steele? Ever been a freshman dealing with a jerk professor?

William said...

No one said anything to make the situation worse. In racial conflicts that's a species of victory. None of the people involved in this incident are bad people; nor did any of them suffer any real damage. It was a banal misunderstanding. It was the Paris Hilton of racial incidents: it was famous for being famous....Prof Gates is such an important man that it is impossible for him to be involved in a pointless quarrel. He here shows how a Harvard professor can see the overarching significance of a pointless quarrel involving a Harvard professor.

The Crack Emcee said...

I find it fascinating that as people keep using phrases out of the NewAge handbook - some of the most easily recognizable ones are "move on", "love of my life", or calling someone their "soulmate" - nobody seems to pick up on the cult's limiting of the people's imagination, the controlling of our dialogue, or the submission of our culture. When someone (usually the guilty party) tells others it's "time to move on", they are saying to drop what they've done, ignore their act's ramifications (or potential ramifications) on others, and allow them to walk free to do it again - without shame. Such a person is assuming a role they haven't earned and, thus, shouldn't be allowed to assume - and, yet, many let them get away with it. It's wrong on so many levels it's maddening.

The Macho Response

Chase said...

I agree with Beth.

As a white man, I can only imagine what it must be like to grow up black. Every black person born and raised in the US has experienced some form of racism or ostracism first hand - not one black American - even in this new Century - has escaped it.

I know that is hard to hear for many white people, who are not racists themselves but are so very tired of hearing about racism. Most white people have no intention of ever doing anything that might be considered unfair or prejudiced towards black Americans - they feel that they should not be held responsible for the bigoted and wrong attitudes and actions of past racists. All of that is admirable and correct.

But it does not change the fact that black Americans have had a racist experience happen to them while 95 % of white Americans never have. And that's just sad.

Donna B. said...

I'll probably regret this comment.

Race has been a factor in my life since I was 15 and my father would not allow me to date a nice Hispanic boy I met.

When I was 16, we moved 'back' to the South soon after integration of schools took effect. The small town in Texas where we ended up integrated peacefully, but it was expected from the "townfolk" that no actual interaction beyond the classroom would take place.

Well... my first day at this new school, two people spoke to me. One was a socialite type white girl and the other was a black girl that I came to consider my best friend.

The socialite white girl also became a very good friend. She suggested me for membership in the socialite clubs, but I was never accepted and I'm quite sure it was because of my friendship with the black girl.

My Dad didn't have any problems with any of my friends and he didn't care what color people I associated with as long as I wasn't going to "date" one that wasn't white.

It didn't matter much that I didn't get to join the socialite type clubs, as I ended up being invited to most of their parties anyway. I did not truly socially suffer for being friends with a black girl.

But she did... my black friend. She suffered. While my family welcomed her into our house, her family could not quite do the same for me. Her mother was sweet as could be and told me she hoped I understood why I shouldn't come around their house too often.

Frankly, I didn't understand, but I also didn't want any trouble. I lost contact with both friends after college, though I know where my white friend lives now (same town, that's easy) but I have no idea where my black friend is.

This was all 30+ years ago. Many things have changed, especially my Dad's opinion about "mixed-race" marriages. He's not about to let prejudice stand in the way of enjoying his great-grandchildren.

So... things change.

LoafingOaf said...

Hitchens has it right (bold print added):

Moreover, whatever he said to the cop was in the privacy of his own home. It is monstrous in the extreme that he should in that home be handcuffed, and then taken downtown, after it had been plainly established that he was indeed the householder. The president should certainly have kept his mouth closed about the whole business—he is a senior law officer with a duty of impartiality, not the micro-manager of our domestic disputes—but once he had said that the police conduct was "stupid," he ought to have stuck to it, quite regardless of the rainbow of shades that was so pathetically and opportunistically deployed by the Cambridge Police Department. It is the U.S. Constitution, and not some competitive agglomeration of communities or constituencies, that makes a citizen the sovereign of his own home and privacy. There is absolutely no legal requirement to be polite in the defense of this right. And such rights cannot be negotiated away over beer.

How sad that, in all the posts law prof Althouse has made about this, she didn't make this point herself. The bad influence of her right wing boyfriend? Or, perhaps, she's sheltered and doesn't understand how out of control many cops are in this country?

Donna B. said...

continued because I exceeded the maximum characters....

I've lived in the South for many years now. Shreveport is about 50/50 black/white. There are certainly racial problems here -- but from my day-to-day experience, those problems come from 10% or less of the population, whether it be black or white.

The people I deal with daily, whether black or white, are pretty nice people. They smile at me, I smile back... or vice versa.

What's happened, I think, is that the 10% on both sides have hardened their prejudices and their response to them. This is unfortunate. These people are very unhappy people and that really has little to do with their race, but race is a convenient tool, is it not?

The one unfortunate thing that has survived is within the black culture. It's a desire to be separate and that hurts them, just as it hurt my black friend years ago. She could be accepted into my culture, but she would be ostracized for being a friend to a white person.

That's one of those things that has "hardened" in some circles and it is unfortunate that many, perhaps, most of those circles are black.

While it doesn't really change my attitude or actions, I realize that whenever, wherever there is a question of racial "equality" I will automatically lose because I am white.

The only thing that keeps me from becoming bitter about that realization is that most of the black people I know and deal with don't subscribe to it.

But those few who do... I'd like to strangle them.

Al Sharpton comes to mind first. From Dallas to Shreveport, all flights are on small planes. I happened to be on a flight with Al Sharpton and his entourage one evening.

The first thing I noticed was how all of them refused to make eye contact with, to acknowledge in any way, any white person on the plane, including the stewardess.

But the most horrifying thing was how this group treated the porters upon arrival in Shreveport. I was sitting on a bench waiting for my husband and watched a somewhat elderly porter empty and re-arrange the trunk of a car to fit all the baggage in it. During his efforts, the Sharpton entourage was almost willfully ignorant of his labors.

Mr. Sharpton himself arrived soon after and gave the porter a tip. I was close enough to see that it was only $5.

The porter was black and he made no effort to hide his indignation at being offered such a small tip for the effort he'd just made.

I'd have been embarrassed to have opened such a junk-filled trunk to any porter. Really, it was a huge mess...

I felt so frickin' bad for the porter that I made my husband let him load my one suitcase into our trunk and I tipped him $20.

This was not a racial thing, it was a class thing.

Sharpton and his entourage behaved in the worst low class way possible, IMHO.

LoafingOaf said...

I am younger than a lot of you, and yet I can see how much closer to a "police state" we have become than from when I was a child. This was a a more free country ten years ago, and a much more free country 20 years ago. Why are you right wingers not worried about this?!?! Why are you not even NOTICING this?

You really approve of PRof. Gates being handcuffed and taken downtown? For what? Cite me the law he violated. It couldn't be you js approve of the arrest because Gates is a liberal and a friend of Obama, could it? Scary!

Methadras said...

Ah yes, the lefty lifting of the lexicon continues. Backhanded perpetuation of victimhood through trying to illicit compassion for policing while decrying the racial profiling that policing conducts. Fuck this diminutive little black racist and his perpetual victimhood black liberal theological bent. No wonder he and the fraud-in-chief are friends, they liken each others struggles along the same lines of Jeremiah Wright. Running in the same circles and promoting the same bullshit. I hate these people, they produce nothing but misery.

Aaron said...

Hmm, can disagree without demonization?

Yes, we can, but when exactly has Gates done that? Or his supporters?

Seriously, the more I think about it, the more I think Gates is an utter fool. Why should it surprise anyone that when they break into a house—even their own—that the police might show up? Imagine if a theif was breaking into the house and no one called it in. then gates would be screaming about how his neighbors didn’t care about the property of a black man or something.

Sorry given gates disingenuousness and all the information I see two scenarios.

The first is that gates is so ramped up with racial animosity that any encounter with the police is likely to turn out this way. He just can’t imagine the cops were there to help.

The second is that when gates saw the cops show up, he thought “oh good, here is a chance for me to create a racial incident, to help my career.” I am sure he didn’t quite anticipate the firestorm but I wouldn’t put it past him that he hoped to have a story that he can cite to claim racism is alive and well. Remember folks, in some circles, being arrested is a badge of honor.

I’m not sure which is worse.

As for those who say it is legal to be rude to the police, well, gee I don’t know. Should it be legal to refuse to give them basic information to help them figure out if there is a crime? Wouldn’t we call that normally obstruction of justice?

Seven Machos said...

Oaf -- The law Gates violated was the one about not being a total fucking ass clown in the face of another ass clown when that other ass clown is a cop. And if you insist on ass clownery, expect trouble and thuggery until cooler heads (not yours) prevail.

Cops aren't going to enforce your constitutional rights against cops. I've told you this before.

And people, it's just not a race issue. If anything, it's a class issue and a power issue. White people have plenty of problems with authority figures when they choose the ass clown route.

Revenant said...

I am younger than a lot of you, and yet I can see how much closer to a "police state" we have become than from when I was a child.

And yet we're much further away from a police state than we were from the 1930s to the 1960s. Age a bit and get an education; you'll recognize that what you saw as a trend is just one swing of the pendulum.

This was a a more free country ten years ago, and a much more free country 20 years ago. Why are you right wingers not worried about this?!?! Why are you not even NOTICING this?

You voted for Barack Obama, who has in six months done harm to American freedom than any President since Richard Nixon. It is a little hypocritical for you to whine about lost freedoms at this point, don't you think? You helped lose them. :)

Ralph L said...

This was a a more free country ten years ago, and a much more free country 20 years ago.
There's a much bigger police presence now because crime was rampant then. Many, if not most, of the victims were black (some not innocent), as were the perps.

Police are much more restrained, better trained, and evenhanded now than before the big increases in violent crime than began about 1965. Video cameras have helped. There's probably less deferrence to the privileged, as Gates discovered.

The spread of SWAT stuff is kinda scary, but it's designed to save cops and the public from the worst case scenarios by overwhelming perps quickly. As in all bureaucracies, they have to justify their existence, so they get used more than hindsight proves they're needed. If you don't know what you're going into, your life is worth having excess firepower.

Chase, many white people have been victimized in one way or another by black people because they were "rich" and white. It is far worse when the apparatus of the state is aligned against you, however.

Revenant said...

It couldn't be you js approve of the arrest because Gates is a liberal and a friend of Obama, could it? Scary!

I don't dislike Gates for being a liberal. I dislike him because he's a racist with shit for brains.

Now, personally I think the arrest was justified legally, but even if it wasn't I wouldn't be able to stir myself to care that some ignorant asshole was inconvenienced for a couple of hours. Not exactly material for an Orwell novel, there. Maybe next time he'll know better than to threaten police who are performing a legitimate and necessary job.

Quixotic said...

.

Quixotic said...

Step 1: Engage in jerk-like "Do you know who I am?" behavior, and scream racist against a cop investigating a crime at your own residence.

Step 2: Slander the police officer as a racist after the incident (thereby threatening his professional career), accuse him of falsifying his police report, and indulge in pompous public pronouncements about what the cop must learn.

Step 3: When it emerges that the larger American community is quite different than the Harvard community, and that a jerk is still recognized as a jerk, issue a public pronouncement to the effect that it's not about me, and let's move on.

Best analysis Gates-gate - from Iowahawk.

rhhardin said...

A documentary on white people no longer caring what black people are angry about now is needed.

John Kindley said...

"Fear" didn't have anything to do with either Gates' or Crowley's reactions to the other during the incident. They were both pissed at the perceived disrespect shown by the other. The difference between them is that Crowley was able to abuse his power to jail the guy who was pissing him off.

TRO said...

"I am younger than a lot of you, and yet I can see how much closer to a "police state" we have become than from when I was a child. This was a a more free country ten years ago, and a much more free country 20 years ago. Why are you right wingers not worried about this?!?! Why are you not even NOTICING this?"

Can you give us a few specific examples of this? I've seen five decades of America and don't see much in the way of lost freedoms unless I count those freedoms I am losing due to leftist nanny state activities.

Tibore said...

"At this point, I am hopeful that we can all move on, and that this experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination."

Shorter Gates: Let's all ignore the fact I was an ass whose mouth landed me in jail and made me look stupid.

AllenS said...

LoafingOaf said...
"I am younger than a lot of you, and yet I can see how much closer to a "police state" we have become than from when I was a child. This was a a more free country ten years ago, and a much more free country 20 years ago. Why are you right wingers not worried about this?!?! Why are you not even NOTICING this?"

Nonsense. I'm almost 63 years old, and I remember when the police would, and could, kick the crap out of people who gave them any kind of lip.

traditionalguy said...

Donna B... You have expressed yourself well, and your experiences are true to my own experiences and that of other southern whites we live among. The "prejudice industry" lives off of stereotypes that southern whites hate blacks, and it is a false stereotype, no matter how much people outside the south enjoy using it. Hatred among humans is wherever you find it, and you usually find it where power is unchecked and abused anywhere because of false stories that another "people" are inferior from education levels (Skip Gates' problem) or from monetary power( a universal problem), or from Religious power( Muslims' problem). So let us applaud any attempt to show human kindness to others including sharing meals or beers together. It is always refreshing.

gaywrites said...

This is why I read this blog. So nicely put, Ann.

Shanna said...

Shreveport is about 50/50 black/white. There are certainly racial problems here -- but from my day-to-day experience, those problems come from 10% or less of the population, whether it be black or white.

Little Rock is similar, Donna. I think the main thing that still comes up is in the dating realm, but it works both ways. I had a friend who's boyfriend was black and she said she would often get nasty comments from black women.

You really approve of PRof. Gates being handcuffed and taken downtown?

I certainly don't, but I also think it's dumb to yell at a cop. I'm glad that was kind of acknowledged in his statement. Alot of conservatives have concerns about police overstepping (if you read Glenn Reynolds you'll see stories about this all the time, particularly SWAT raids on phony drug info and cops arresting people for taking photo's, which is less disruptive than yelling at a cop).

Pogo said...

I thought the whole thing was overblown race-card throwing, when it should have been about my-home-is-my-castle.

Lessons?
1) Obama blew it.

2) The beers were awkward, a stilted way of trying to undo (1).

3) Cops can be assholes and push their weight around when it ain't needed. What's the point of arresting someone on no real charges except to bully them with your irrefutable power? Want compliance? Videorecord it, blatantly. Fine him $1000, repeatedly, until he shuts the hell up. Everyone wins.

4) Gates is an insufferable racialist privileged prick. Being 1/16th Irish or whatever, he and I share a genetic predisposition to volatile assholery, and he seems to have filled both alleles.

5) Last night's local paper had a huge article about how our little town aims to handle racial profiling. Just 4 columns to the left, a very brief article on the 3rd shooting involving a known drug house in my neighborhood, this one a drive-by. Oh, the horrors of profiling.

6) Does anyone else now fear Obama being involved with negotiations with other nations that mean us harm?

Shanna said...

Oh, and thanks for pointing out the Hitchens article, beth. Hadn't seen it.

Rich B said...

Crowley would have looked like a jerk if he hadn't gone. He went into the enemy's camp, was polite and stood his ground. Gates continued to be a pompous jerk, and Obama continued to be Zero.

hdhouse said...

Since when is it out of place to sit down and talk about issues and events and happenings. I would expect Gates and Crowly to hold their respective grounds and Obama did a service to get them at the table and for the nation to see.

There can be reasonable or irrational disagreements on matters and we should embrace that with the caveat that they have a chance to at least come to the point of mutual respect which appears to have happened.

As to the segment on here so full of piss and vinegar that they loose the forest for the trees....

oh well. god help you.

Pogo said...

When we loose the forest, the trees run wild, staying out late, drinking at clubs, wrecking their hotel rooms, and generally leaving twigs and leaves and splinters everywhere.

God help us, best keep the forest corralled.

Pogo said...

Piss and vinegar is no match for oil and vinegar, where salads are concerned.

Jim said...

"But it does not change the fact that black Americans have had a racist experience happen to them while 95 % of white Americans never have."

I have to beg to differ with that 95% number because if you live anywhere near a significantly-sized minority population and you are white, then you have experienced racism.

Living near Baltimore and DC, I can't even begin to count the number of whites who have been assaulted, raped and/or killed for the crime of being white in a black neighborhood after dark. Just recently there was an incident on a bus where the driver was set upon by a group of black youths for being white, beaten within an inch of her life while being called racial epithets and yet they somehow ruled that it wasn't racially motivated.

Speaking as someone who is multi-lingual, I can also tell you that when those who speak other languages suddenly begin speaking in that other language in the presence of white people, it isn't because they are sharing a family story. It's usually to say something nasty about the person who that they believe doesn't understand that language. Many times I have let Hispanics talk badly about me, completed my business, and told them off - in Spanish - as I left while reminding them they never know who speaks Spanish, so they should watch themselves when openly disrespecting people to their faces.

Yes, we have a long way to go in this country on race. But pretending that, in any way, this is a one-way street or even a mostly one-way street is to either walking through your life willfully wearing blindfolds or to be so steeped in political correctness as to require cult deprogramming.

Der Hahn said...

Hitchens has it right (bold print added):

Moreover, whatever he said to the cop was in the privacy of his own home. It is monstrous in the extreme that he should in that home be handcuffed, and then taken downtown, after it had been plainly established that he was indeed the householder.


No, he has this completely wrong.

It really irks me that people continue to misrepresent that Crowley arrested Gates because he thought Gates was a burglar.

I think this misrepresentation is deliberate because if you accurately portray that Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct, you can disguise that fact that your argument would allow an abusive spouse to interfere with a police response to a domestic violence dispute.

Pogo said...

Only whites have the original sin of racism, while others are pure and blameless, expressing only their understandable distaste for that pale spawn of Satan. (**spit**)

If only the world were to be rid of that menace, all would be right again.

Bart DePalma said...

Please.

1) Crowley was not acting out of fear. Gates was yelling, acting belligerently, attracting a crowd and would thus have been arrested for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace in nearly every state in the Union, including under the Bay State's rather low threshold statute.

2) Gates was not acting out of fear. He was acting like a privileged racist jerk and giving a white police officer a hard time without any provocation. It would have been interesting to see if Gates would have reacted the same way of the officer was black.

3) Gates has no history at all of bridging differences and promoting understanding between the races, and was certainly not doing so here. Rather, Gates is a racist who has made a career out of playing the race victim. That was again the case before the arrest.

Bissage said...

Genuine fears about racial profiling?

Look, I used to know a guy who was afraid of dropping his keys down a sewer grate. I used to work with a woman who was afraid of birds. Me? I’m afraid of suffocating and I’m not real crazy about burning to death.

If we mouth the words “racial profiling,” does it magically appear in the room the way a crazy lady can sit on a pentagram and burn some candles and can get it on with Satan?

Apparently so.

And by the way, I wish these crazy ladies would get their stories straight. Does the Prince of Darkness have a burning hot big one with barbs on it or is he packing a giant icicle that’ll teach a proud girl a valuable lesson about old-time religion?

I mean, really.

What are we supposed to believe?

Jim said...

Der Hahn -

I agree. Those misrepresentations are purposeful. As are the representations that Gates was arrested for mouthing off to Crowley. He wasn't.

He was arrested because he decided to try to incite the gathering crowd against the polic officer by screaming at the top of his lungs "This how a black man in America gets treated."

I have repeatedly suggested to those who claim that Gates was profiled - or abused or whatever -that they should try an experiment.

1) Go out on your front porch and begin screaming at the top of your lungs. It doesn't even matter what it's about. Scream about the weather if you want.
2) Keep doing so until one of your neighbors gets annoyed enough to call the cops.
3) When the cops arrive, refuse to stop or cooperate. You don't have to call them a racist. Just keep on yelling about the weather at the top of your lungs. After all, it's your property and you can yell if you want to, right?
4) Find out how quickly you wind up handcuffed for disturbing the peace and/or disorderly conduct.

Funny enough, not a single one of them has taken me up on my suggestion. It's not too hard to see why: they know full well that what Gates did is a chargeable offense, and it's going to get you locked up anywhere you repeat his behavior. Being on your own property is no defense, and they know it.

This isn't rocket science. It's common sense. It's too bad that so many evidently lack it, or are arguing in the bad faith belief that we do.

Shanna said...

It's usually to say something nasty about the person who that they believe doesn't understand that language.

We had some Spanish speaking workers in my college dorm and my roommate said they were always making sexual comments about the girls.

Pogo said...

I usually make sexual comments about girls in pig latin.

Ooooay aby-bay, ake-shay at-thay ing-thay.

Pogo said...

Never works, BTW.

Shanna said...

Ooooay aby-bay, ake-shay at-thay ing-thay.

Heh.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Did I miss the part where Gates apologized to Crowley for calling Crowley a racist? No? Hmmm..

Gates, who acted like a jerk, will likely get a PBS or CNN special on racism in America, racial profiling, etc, for which he will be paid handsomely.

Crowley, who did nothing wrong, will be hounded by haters for the rest of his life.

Pogo said...

But Crowley did get one sweeeet brewski outta the deal, so he's got that going for him.

AJ Lynch said...

I am afraid of being hit by a falling tree. And burning to death too- of course everyone has that fear.

paul a'barge said...

Gates was trying to crucify the career of the police officer.

Read This.

Gates is no clever gentleman. He's a raging race monger. Shame on everyone who does not call this mutt on his vile behavior.

Shanna said...

But Crowley did get one sweeeet brewski outta the deal, so he's got that going for him.

Did they even have food at this shindig? Obama is a terrible hostess. He should have invited them over for a game or something.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Plus, few things are more comfy than sitting in a suit in the DC summer sun, so comfortable at 89° and just a little muggy, while Prez and Veep are in their shirtsleeves, surrounded by cameras.

What a party they had!

Invisible Man said...

Crowley, who did nothing wrong, will be hounded by haters for the rest of his life

Let's see, we have proof that he lied about the comments of the neighbor and the charges were dropped immediately. He did some wrong. Just as Gates did some wrong, but I'm a little more honest than the cheap shot artists on this board. It would be great if you used your "Blog Queen" as an example of perspective, but that's why Ann is leading and the leemings follow.

It's funny how the "reverse-racism" greviance crowd can't just move on. I guess that many of you have some pyschological need to prove that racism's never really existed and that it's WHITES who are the true victims of racism. This thread should be fun, as you discount the fact that Gates and Crowley showed some dignity by looking at a bad situation with hindsight and trying to move on. But not this crowd, you'll hopefully stoke the "racial wars" as it was put the other day by one of your own.

Instead of having a conversation as Crowley and Gates were able to have, you will continue to make ridiculous shots at Gates and Obama. But don't fool yourself that you actually give a shit about improving absolutely anything. Your just focused on making yourself feel good in your perpetually whining little bubble.

Shanna said...

It's funny how the "reverse-racism" greviance crowd can't just move on.

Who is it that brought race into this issue? Maybe the guy who starting screaming racism. Hint, it wasn't a bunch of people online.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Your just focused on making yourself feel good in your perpetually whining little bubble.

And you're doing what, exactly? Seems like the whining is all coming from your side, the facts from the other side.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm black, have experienced racism (both here, and in a more extreme form, while living in Europe) and still think the post-civil rights rage for racism against white people is disgusting. Once again this country has let it's obsession with race take it off the rails - but, this time, in the other direction.

All of you who are using racism against blacks to prop up your defense of "reverse-racism" are as misguided as the racists of old:

You should be trying to end this phenomena, not perpetuate it further, against anyone.

That would be The Macho Response.

PatCA said...

I don't know...I think he was the one who demonized Crowley. I see it as a craven walkback because he knows he's guilty.

Original Mike said...

But it does not change the fact that black Americans have had a racist experience happen to them while 95 % of white Americans never have.

Yes, but Officer Crowley is in the remaining 5%.

Roger J. said...

Am I only the person that believes yesterday's beer call was nothing more than political theater? And bad theater at that?

Ralph L said...

Obama is a terrible hostess.
He offers a little something extra.

Jim said...

Crack Emcee -

"You should be trying to end this phenomena, not perpetuate it further, against anyone."

Which is exactly the point. Until we have an honest conversation about racism on all sides, then we're not having an honest conversation.

It's funny that the people who most want us to have a "national conversation" or have "teachable moments" are only interested in that conversation or teaching so long as it's completely one-sided.

As soon as you point out that the presumed teachers and lecturers need to do some listening too, you get responses like that one from Invisible.

I've explicitly said that racism exists and that it's a problem. The only difference is that I pointed out that whites aren't the only ones guilty of it. Evidently Invisible is so caught up in his own grievances that he supposes himself to be one of the teachers and lecturers rather than just another participant in a roundtable conversation.

It's both instructive and illustrative of the problem.

OneSTDV said...

I don't like wishy-washy, in the middle interpretations of events.

If two people both have an intense argument from opposing sides, the correct position is not necessarily in the middle.

Gates was entirely wrong. And Crowley was entirely right. Pretty simple.

rhhardin said...

Kinky Friedman on Gates real audio.

"Skip Gates is what gives Harvard a bad name."

tim maguire said...

Professor Gates, nicely put.

Prof. I was surprised to see these words right after reading a, perhaps nicely put, but, self-aggrandizing disingenuous pile of crap.

I have to conclude that you read his statement with the same part of your brain that pulled the lever for Obama. There is a part of you that actively wants to be lied to.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"...I thank God that I live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I’ve come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf."

Upon reflection, I'm guessing Obama leaned on Gates pretty hard.

Kirby Olson said...

Chase said that 95% of whites have never experienced racism.

If you go into a neighborhood that's got a different color to it, then you will, of course, experience racism. But it doesn't mean that the whole neighborhood is racist. All it takes is one person in a thousand to be racist, and you have issues.

I think most whites, most blacks, are not racist. But all it takes is one violent racist in a group of a thousand people, and you have an issue.

It's almost certainly far easier for a black person to be in a largely white neighborhood, than for a white person to be in a largely black area.

Try strolling through Harlem after dark and test the theory.

Then get a black person to stroll through Princeton or Madison.

Repeat over a year, and we'll tally up the stab wounds, and shootings, and racial slurs.

I'll bet Crowley would have been more discriminated against in one of Gates' classes, than Gates would have been in one of Crowley's classes.

MJ said...

"Having spent my academic career trying to bridge differences and promote understanding among Americans"

I really just can't get past this statement by Gates. He's spent his career pushing Americans apart and claiming the result justifies special treatment for his favored groups.

ckirksey said...

The Crowley/Gates incident should be analyzed from the very beginning...the 911 call and not from the disorderly conduct arrest. When Crowley got the dispatcher's call of a possible BE no mention of two black men was made. When Crowley arrived on the scene both Crowley and Whalen agree that Whalen identified herself as the 911 caller.

However Crowley's police report indicates that Whalen tells him of two black men on the porch with backpacks. Whalen says she said no such thing. So we have Crowley with the 911 caller and he apparently does not say to her "What did you see?" He reacts to what? Gates appearing behind the glass door. Hmmm. A black man.

Whalen I suspect had a press conference so that she could actually refute the police report in person and not through her attorney. This is putting Crowley in a potential box.

For those legally challenged:

(“[I]f there are articulable facts supporting a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed a criminal offense, that person may be stopped in order to identify him, to question him briefly, or to detain him briefly while attempting to obtain additional information”); Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 146 (1972)

Now exactly what "articulable facts" that support "a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed a criminal offense" did Crowley have? Gates, a black man, standing behind the glass door???

BTW Gates is only required to give his name if the above facts are in play. No address, no photo, name only. Anything beyond is up to the police to obtain in an investigation.

Also I now believe that Obama has made a big mistake in having the beer party today because I suspect in a month or so Crowley will be in serious trouble.

Obama made a political miscue in saying "the police acted stupidly". Why? Because no one in the news media is really interested in just following the known facts to their logical conclusion.

Will there be an investigation into Crowley's apparent false police report? If it is false and Whalen's account is correct Crowley clearly did a very poor job of invetigation at the scene of possible BE. He reacted to perhaps his base preconceptions.

Synova said...

Oh, quite right!

If police are called for a possible break in and they speak to someone in the residence, the only thing necessary is for the burglar to give their name.

Then the police have to leave.

This is the level of protection and response that we demand of our police forces.

We will accept no less.

Seven Machos said...

Anything beyond is up to the police to obtain in an investigation.

This is just too fucking funny. An investigation? Like, asking the dude who looks like he might be breaking into a house more questions You mean that kind of investigation?

Or do you mean some other kind of investigation? Is it a scientific investigation? Is it an investigation at the library? Will the Hardy Boys be involved?

Oligonicella said...

Chase --

And that has what to do with me? I'm guilty because of some asshat white guy? That means all blacks are guilty because of some thug as well. It plays both ways.

Revenant said...

But it does not change the fact that black Americans have had a racist experience happen to them while 95 % of white Americans never have.

Approximately 50% of white Americans have attended college. Over ninety-five percent of college enrollments are at colleges that practice racial discrimination against whites. That puts the *minimum* percentage of white Americans who have been the targets of racial discrimination at around 47%, not 5%. The real figure, of course, is much higher than that.

Of the five major racial groups in the United States (black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American), whites are the least likely to possess racist attitudes towards members of other races. If a black person is more likely to experience racism from a white person than the reverse it is purely because there are so many more white people than black people. Were the numbers equal, black-on-white racism would be a far greater problem than the reverse.

Which is one of many reasons why it is silly to blame "white culture" or "white America" for racism.

hdhouse said...

ahhh Rev....I'm sure you have a legit source for all this....please supply....

Revenant said...

ahhh Rev....I'm sure you have a legit source for all this....please supply....

Which claims are you disputing?

Kirby Olson said...

You meet a lot of people in academia who have no faith in ordinary people to do the right thing, or to even know what the right thing might be to do. But I put a lot more faith in the average police officer than I would in any academic. Average people in the street have very fine ethics, and decent behavior, and almost always know what's right and wrong.

Most academics on the other hand are Nietzscheans to some degree and are "beyond good and evil," as everything is up for debate, and anything goes.

I don't know if there's any way to measure decency, but if there was, I'd put my faith in any Joe or Jane off the street above any academic, especially from one of the new victim's studies departments, where making up false accusations and fomenting hatred against normal people is the main activity.

I think it's too bad that Gates is so caught up in that activity. If you do something long enough, you start to believe it, I guess.

Seven Machos said...

When you cannot dispute the facts themselves, claim that the source of the facts is somehow tainted or disputable.

As if someone stating a fact somehow alters its condition as a fact.

But leftists don't like facts. They only get in the way of all these great ideas they have about improving everything.

Jim said...

A letter from a fellow Harvard professor to Prof. Gates.

Kirby Olson said...

The letter from the Harvard prof Ruth R. Wisse is terrific, as is her book The Shlemiel as Modern Hero.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Blogger ckirksey said...

...When Crowley arrived on the scene both Crowley and Whalen agree that Whalen identified herself as the 911 caller.

However Crowley's police report indicates that Whalen tells him of two black men on the porch with backpacks. Whalen says she said no such thing. So we have Crowley with the 911 caller and he apparently does not say to her "What did you see?"


Why is Whalen automatically believed over Crowley? This is a he said/she said. I don't necessarily believe him over her, but I see no reason to believe her over him either.

Revenant said...

Why is Whalen automatically believed over Crowley?

More importantly, why would it matter? Whalen DID see two black men -- Gates and his driver.

It would be odd to tell 911 the race of the criminals during a crime in progress. It would be even stranger NOT to tell the officer on the scene, because ethnicity is an obvious identifying feature; you don't want the cops looking for a white guy when the perp was black, or vice-versa. But let's say that Whalen, in a fit of Cambridge political correctness, decided not to mention that the two guys she'd seen were black.

Well, the fact is that they WERE two black men. They just weren't actually burglars. So it doesn't matter whether (a) Whalen told Crowley that or (b) Crowley learned it by looking at Gates and noticing he was black or even (c) Crowley assumed the burglars would be black. Whichever one of the three it was, his conclusion -- "Gates was one of the guys seen breaking in" -- was the correct conclusion to draw. So questioning Gates was the right thing to do.

ckirksey said...

For those not clearly seeing the issue that I raised let me try again.

Crowley in his police report states that the 911 caller, Whalen, told him of two black men on the porch with backpacks. Whalen has stated publically that this is false. Crowley has not refuted this personally or through a representative. Both Crowley and Whalen agree That Whalen identified herself as the 911 caller to Crowley at the scene.

So why is this important? Because apparently Crowley was unaware of the race of the two men and he did not talk to Whalen at the scene to gather more information. He was only told of possible BE, 911 caller on scene. It would seem to me that proper police procedure would have been for Crowley to ask Whalen: "What exactly did you see?".

Crowley does not do this. Why? He reacts to seeing someone behind the glass door in Gates house. On what basis does Crowley believe this person is a possible suspect? In the house? So anyone in the house that is male is a suspect of a possible BE?.

So Crowley asks (orders, stern voice of authority?) to step outside. Once outside Gates looses alot of constitutional protections. Wisely Gates refuses. Can Crowley enter the Gates house? Based on what? There is no probabe cause and there certainly is not a warrant.

Nichevo said...

ckirksey, you do realize that whalen doesn't call 911 and speak to crowley, right? there is an operator, there is a message passed along, more than a bit of "telephone" involved? this for instance is how suitcases could become knapsacks via, say, "bags." you are drilling a dry hole.

the 'wisdom' of staying in the house is questionable. wise towards achieving what end? not being arrested? lol. you really think, you really think gates thought, ...

oh forget it. if you can point out anything crowley would have done differently if he were black or gates white, speak now or forever hold your peace. anyone investigating a break-in would proceed just as crowley did, except probably not being chased out with torrents of abuse.

as for the arrest, yes, i do believe gates shoulda used that fantastic brain and shut up.

if i'm ever being burgled or home-invaded, i sure hope the cops will do what crowley did rather than acting "discreetly" as, say, with the cops who brought one of jeffrey dahmer's victims, a nakeed teen asian boy iirc, back to dahmer. real cool cats there!

Revenant said...

Crowley in his police report states that the 911 caller, Whalen, told him of two black men on the porch with backpacks. Whalen has stated publically that this is false. Crowley has not refuted this personally or through a representative.

So, to clarify:

(1): Crowley said Whalen told him the two men were black
(2): Whalen said "no I didn't".
(3): Crowley has made no further comment on the subject.

You interpret this as "Crowley is tacitly admitting he lied". A more rational person would recognize that unless Crowley has spoken up to *change* his story, the original story still stands. There is no point in his making a public statement that Whalen's story is false, because the claim that Whalen's story is false is implicit in Crowley's existing remarks. Suppose I say "I saw Fred steal $5 from the tip jar". Fred says "I didn't steal any money". Your position is that unless I actually explicitly say "Fred's lying", *I* should be assumed to have lied about the theft. That's just silly.

It would seem to me that proper police procedure would have been for Crowley to ask Whalen: "What exactly did you see?". Crowley does not do this.

Whalen said that Crowley did not do this, you mean. So your position is that Crowley not only lied on his police report, but also -- despite being a veteran policeman -- completely disregarded normal police procedure in a way that would make the investigation not only harder for him, but more dangerous as well. This is the story that you have chosen to believe -- without evidence -- is more likely than the possibilty that Whalen, when faced with widespread public suspicion from the President on down, might have altered HER story to make herself look better. Interesting.

He reacts to seeing someone behind the glass door in Gates house. On what basis does Crowley believe this person is a possible suspect? In the house? So anyone in the house that is male is a suspect of a possible BE?.

Yes, when police receive a report that men were seen breaking into a house, and then arrive on the scene and find a man inside the house, they automatically consider that man a suspect. Do you have any other incredibly stupid questions you'd like answered?

So Crowley asks (orders, stern voice of authority?) to step outside. Once outside Gates looses alot of constitutional protections.

You don't lose any constitutional protections by setting foot outside your door.

Wisely Gates refuses.

If he'd chosen to comply, he wouldn't have ended up having to spend a couple of hours in jail. Doesn't sound very wise to me. Only criminals and twits assume police are their enemies.