Obama's accidental gift on race (8)

hopeandchange_thumbLess than a month after being confirmed as the nation’s attorney General, Eric H. Holder Jr. called out the American people as “essentially a nation of cowards” for refusing to talk openly about race.

So, thank you, professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and President Obama, for starting the long-awaited national discussion on black and white identity – while averting our attention from the cockamamie scheme to nationalize health care.

And kudos to the professor and the president for choosing Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department as the representative of the Caucasian-American side of this difficult and much-needed historic debate.

Poetry was at work as the archetypal racist white cop who, according to the admittedly fact-challenged president, “stupidly” arrested his “friend.” Sgt. Crowley waged a swift and effective public relations campaign that quashed the racism meme that Mr. Gates was recklessly pushing.

Sgt. Crowley, as it happens, is the Cambridge police force’s hand-picked racial profiling expert and was selected by a former black police commissioner. He also performed CPR on black basketball star Reggie Lewis, whose widow praised the public servant for doing everything he could to save her husband. Sgt. Crowley’s own police department immediately jumped to his defense in a picture-perfect multiracial photo op and press conference.

Even though Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley are poised to put their individual grievances to rest – over a beer negotiated by the president of the United States – the scope of the problem that brought them international attention lingers, underscoring the need for continued robust public dialogue.

We’re finally talking, Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama. Why stop now?



Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Watcha Gonna Do…?

911 caller in Gates arrest never referred to ‘black suspects’

Gates 911 call released

Shock video: Professor Gates goes on N-word rant

Five Reasons Why ‘Gates-Gate’ Matters

Lose, Lose When You Talk About Race


For the record —  there is not any part of this debate that I like and it should never have happened but it did.  Now it is up to cooler heads to prevail and put the matter to bed before it completely destroys President Obama’s credibility if it hasn’t already.  Those insignificant matters of health care and climate change?  For the time being you can forget all about them because they’ll now be on the back burner.  This situation is sucking up all the oxygen in the room. 

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  • Mac

    So nice of Professor Gates to come along and exemplify exactly what I was saying all along…

  • UV

    I wonder if Mr. G. is wearing a white pointy hat and rob while writing the above comments?

  • Cynapse

    And what % of the black community commits crimes, Mr. G?
    What % are reoffenders?
    What % of these crimes are drug related crimes?  What is the arrest/jail rate for crack vs Crystal meth?
    Why don’t you ever talk about those stats?
    Do you even know them?

    Take your time with these ones. I, a law-abiding citizen like many, am right here on earth in a sea of Mr. G’s that will twist and anecdote or statistic to fit their pre-conclusions and we know all the dirty tricks. Moreover, if you’re ok with randomly attacking anyone who shares DNA with a specific criminal class, then you may as well throw the law in the garbage, along with any notion of individuality because it’s all B.S.

  • Mr.g

    Cynapse says:

    “Most of the time, it’s law-abiding blacks being treated like criminals”
    You know what Cynapse?
    Get back to earth.
    How many times does it have to be explained to you that Blacks commit criminal acts at a catagory rate of 2 to 10 times that of any other race of peoples.

    Hell,here in Toronto Blacks commit murder at a rate 15 times that of White people.
    FIFTEEN  TIMES that of Whitey!

  • Pragmatist

    re: I also know if I had students in Gate’s class, I would pull them.

    If my kids where in Professor Gates class, I would expect them to make their own decisions.

  • Cynapse

    What do you base any of these charges on, Mary? You assume that if a black man gets a good job and is aware of discrimination that the first thing he’s going to do is give black kids better marks? Or is it that he must have needed a quota to get a good position because no one who acknowledges discrimination is also capable of objective thought in a discipline? Or does it even matter whether he acknowledges it?

    Your post is a buffet of potential insults, but I don’t want to be presumptuous. Spell out which one you applying. Take your time.

  • MaryT

    Blacks are not the only ones “profiled”.  A few years ago my daughter and g/son were returning to a small town in Sask, from Saskatoon.  When they got out of traffic on onto the back roads she let her son drive, a late model Lincoln.  She went to sleep in the back.  G/son noticed flashing lights behind and checked his speed.  Cruise control was on and he was 5 mph under. He stopped,  and wondered what he had done.  Produced licence, proof of insurance etc.  Daughter woke up and verified it was her son, she was not kidnapped.  Police said, sorry, but when we see this make of car, on the backroads, after midnight, with a teenager driving, we have to check.  No hard feelings, and he let them go.  There had been a rash of breakins and car thefts.  However, the g/son did not take that car anywhere by himself at night. And he had no hard feeling for the police. 
    I also know if I had students in Gate’s class, I would pull them.  Who could trust the marks he would give white kids over blacks.
    If he is an example of affirmative action, no wonder so many unqualifed people have jobs they shouldn’t. 

  • http://www.jacksnewswatch.com Jack

    “but if it means me becoming a second class citizen and getting stopped every 2 blocks for DWB or being in a nice neighbourhood”…

    I don’t think that would happen if the cop was the least bit alert.  As soon as you opened your mouth nobody would mistake you for a “gang banger”.

    Short story…escorting a black woman to jail from court one day and she had this Jamaican accent.  Then she mentioned that she was born in Canada.  I asked why, if she was born here, she talked “so funny”. Immediately the accent disappeared and she explained that she was trying to fit in (whatever that means).

    It turned out that she had been busted for driving without a license and tryed to pull a cop’s leg.  Into the slammer she went.  So I asked…”What do you do for a living?” It turned out that she was a teacher who worked with deaf kids and taught them sign language.

    My response?

    “You don’t belong here.  Plead and get it over with if you did it.  Then get back to your kids.  They need you.”

    They did and so she did.

    She was on her way very shortly.  Never heard any more about her but I liked her and expect she is doing well.

    The biggest problem I see is people with a chip on their shoulder.  It’s time for them to lose it.

  • Cynapse

    Maybe the cops are trying to stop the violence and maybe they’re trying to keep people “in their place”. When talking about gang-bangers most people would be willing to assume the former, if for no reason out of fears for their own personal safety. When it’s a Henry Louis Gates Junior who as distinguished himself as an upstanding citizen (regardless of controversial opinions) then some expect him not to be accosted like a common criminal. When it happens, those who could have been in the same position will assume police intimidation.

    Honestly, I don’t know which it is. Gates could have reacted a lot better, granted, but even VDH validates the negative stereotypes that would cause a police officer to accost Gates no matter what. If he can get this then anyone can. I want safety as much as anyone else, but if it means me becoming a second class citizen and getting stopped every 2 blocks for DWB or being in a nice neighbourhood …

  • http://www.jacksnewswatch.com Jack

    Cynapse…most of the murders in Toronto are comitted by black gangs.  You know that and have commented here frequently about it.  So what’s the problem here if cops stop a lot more blacks than whites?  Aren’t we trying to stop the violence?

    Regarding that white cop.  He asked for ID at the door and when this unknown person went into his house to get it the cop supposedly followed.  Why would he not?

    Had he stood at the door he was asking to get blown away.  No cop I know would have done that. 

  • Cynapse

    Re: the last article, VDH manages to sneak some clever insights into his cookie-cutter right wing ranting. Shocking he understands the class divide where street cred is concerned (#5). I never saw so many “gangstas” in one place as when I went to University. I knew one kid who bragged about pushing crack and living in a $400 apt to survive. I asked why he’d need to do that, given both his parents were doctors. He bristled at me and muttered something about “keeping it real”.

  • Cynapse

    LOL. Crying racism. As if it doesn’t exist. Sorry, but it’s not all about white hoods and burning crosses – that’s Hollywood racism. Most of the time, it’s law-abiding blacks being treated like criminals because X saw some crime stats on some nationalist website or watched Boyz n the Hood too many times. That’s potentially what happened here, unless you think a bleached version of Gates cuts an equally imposing figure on the porch of a house.

  • http://www.jacksnewswatch.com Jack

    “Did Gates set this whole thing up.”

    No idea but the hounds are on the trail.  We’ll know soon.

  • MaryT

    Question, did Gates get into Yale because of affirmative action, instead of qualifications.  Did he earn his professorship on merit or race.  Someone will come up with his scores, and his marks.  Already the video has surfaced and more anti Gates stuff will come out. He and O might wish they had kept their mouth shut.   Who planted the question for O, it would not be the first time.  Did Gates set this whole thing up.

  • http://www.jacksnewswatch.com Jack

    Agreed.  Gates has set a very bad example as has his friend Obama who was dragged into this mess by his “friend” and a very stupid question from the media.

    Some friend.

    Some mess.

  • MaryT

    I agree that racial profiling took place, but it was by Gates, seeing a white officer, jumped to conclusions.  The professor should have thanked them  for responding to a report of a break-in.   Gates sent a message to crooks, break into my house and no one will report it, or investigate.  IMHO, it is blacks who do the most racial profiling as they have got away with it for years, crying racism.