Much controversy has surrounded the incident involving the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. after breaking into his own house when the front door was jammed.
Within seconds, the black professor who has made a career out of making everything a racial issue was accusing the arresting officer of being a racist.
Maybe it's just having grown up in not quite the safest of neighborhoods in San Francisco that makes me appreciate residents calling in suspicious behavior (like two men of ANY color trying to pry a front door open) to the police AND the police responding to what very well COULD HAVE BEEN a residential break-in.
Mr. Gates lives in a very safe neighborhood. I think that has a LOT to do with the fact that people DO report such things. The neighborhoods where people DON'T get involved are the ones that are falling apart and ripe with crime.
As always, Mr. Gates viewed the confrontation with police from a racial angle. It couldn't POSSIBLY have been that it was highly odd that these two men were forcing a front door open. It HAD to be because they were black.
I lock myself out of my car more times than I can tell you. Once I went back inside and got a clothes hanger and twisted it into my own little skeleton key. The windows were open just enough for me to try to get into my car by popping the lock.
Well, a passerby who didn't know me from Adam asked what was going on. I explained and he smiled, relieved, and admitted he thought I was breaking into the car.
I could have thumped my chest and gotten in his face and said "Why?? Cuz I am Hispanic?!?! HUH?? Is THAT why??"
But he wasn't looking at my race. And those who know me admit I don't really LOOK like any race in particular anyway. He was looking at a guy with a coat hanger jammed down the cracked window of a car on a city street and figured I might be trying to steal the car.
Pretty good assumption, yes?
Even the President opined last night in his socialist medicine conference that the police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of Gates.
Was it stupid of Gates to get all huffed and puffed about the cop being white and him being black? Was it a BIT of an overreaction to get in the cop's face and assuming it HAD to be racial?? If Gates had remained CALM and politely said, "Thanks officer for making sure and checking the incident out. We appreciate what you do, etc." instead of reading the officer the riot act, it is doubtful that Gates would have been arrested. He did not get arrested for breaking in...he was arrested for his uncalled for behavior AFTER the fact.
Remember to always cooperate with the police in cases like this. 9 times out of 10, things escalate because people forget to sit down, shut up, and behave.
Mr. Gates was singled out because of his BEHAVIOR, not his race.
I have been pulled over before when I have done NOTHING wrong--even accused of speeding when everyone in the car KNEW I wasn't. I could have flung open the driver's side door, gotten in the cops face, and screamed injustice. I probably would have ended up with a broken nose on the asphalt if not shot repeatedly.
I have a couple of friends who have been cops for sometime now, one of them for quite a while actually. Both are Asian. They both admitted being scared to death of pulling over "too many" blacks or hispanics. In one department, the higher ups actually told the officers to be careful not to arrest too many minorities because of public perception. This is a huge thing in California.
Can you BELIEVE this?? I didn't know there was now a quota on crime, but apparently there is.
One of my police officer friends admitted turning a blind eye to some minority suspects, particularly those committing vehicular violations. He would actually let speeders go by or drivers roll through lights and stop signs if he had already stopped "his fair share" of minorities that week!!
"Wait. You are saying you would let them GO??" I asked him, dumbly.
"It wasn't worth the stress and pressure I would get. The department keeps track of the race of those stopped, cited, and arrested. I would be accused of targeting them because of their race," he answered.
Nice. So police should turn a blind eye on people breaking into homes as well, I guess. The cops should only stop non-minorities they see forcing doors open.
It had gotten so crazy that in California, you are hard pressed to hear the RACE of a suspect mentioned anymore in news reports. Can you BELIEVE that?? It's not important for the public to know if a suspect is white, black, or purple? If I am in the area where a bank robber or child molester or rapist is on the loose, I want to know if the person walking towards me MIGHT be the culprit. I think I have that RIGHT to know.
Not that it matters to Mr. Gates or President Obama, but the offiicer who acted "stupidly" Sergeant James Crowley had an encounter with a black man close to 20 years ago. Crowley performed CPR on Boston Celtic's player Reggie Lewis who had collapsed during practice. Crowley's mother admits his futile attempt at saving Lewis' life still bothers him to this day.
What is ironic is that if it really WAS an intruder breaking in and the police turned a blind eye and Mr. Gates got home to find his fancy place burglarized, the police department would be royally sued for not having acted.
And now they will probably get sued, too.
The police really do have their hands tied behind their backs. It is amazing they can get anything done, actually, with everyone watching their every step for racism, that-ism, and every-ism.
Makes me glad I am just a talk show host.