No doubt many MoB readers read the coverage this week on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, a prominent black scholar at Harvard University.   

Harvard Scholar Disorderly crowley 

To summarize, Gates was trying to get into his own Cambridge home through a broken door when the neighbors called the cops thinking the home was being burglarized.  When the police arrived, Gates showed identification and then made accusations about racial profiling to the officers.  The officers arrested Gates for disorderly conduct.  The sh-t hit the fan.  The news stations were called.  The charges were dropped.  Even the President weighed in saying that the police acted “stupidly.” 

Based on what I have heard, I think maybe EVERYONE acted stupidly, including our President (who I love more than oatmeal.)

MAYBE…. Professor Gates acted stupidly for getting so bent out of shape at the officers responding to the call.  It sounds like he chose to be a first class a-hole rather than say, “Hey you are doing your job and thanks for looking out for my home.”  Had he been a little nicer, none of this would have happened.

MAYBE… Sgt. James Crowley acted stupidly for loosing his cool and arresting Gates for disorderly conduct.  He could have walked away from the screaming old man with a cane but chose to exercise his power.  I’m not sure he wouldn’t have done the same thing if Gates was white as rice. (Gates is half black and half white BTW).  I have heard that there are police officers who take power trips.  I don’t think Crowley is a racist; he may be a little bit of a hot head though.

MAYBE.. President Obama acted stupidly for commenting on something for which he didn’t have all the facts, kinda like I am doing right now.  The difference is that MoB has maybe 100 readers a day and the President, well, let’s just say his reach is a bit longer.  Stick to health care and the economy.  You have no business weighing in here.

I truly feel sorry for all of the fallible humans in this story. I feel badly for Gates who was troubled and humiliated.  I feel badly for the Cambridge police officers who are being accused of racism when it’s not clear that dynamic was even in the mix.  I feel bad for our President who is damned if he speaks up and damned if he keeps quiet on issues such as this.  These people ALL made mistakes.

Racism has no place in our country.  Neither does abuse of power or disrespect for police officers who risk their lives so that we can be safe.  I don’t get the sense that any of the players are going to budge further from their stated positions… so how about the rest of us move on, shall we?

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