Monday, July 27, 2009

Who Is the Racist in the Gates Case?

Suppose two men wearing backpacks are seen forcing themselves into a home which has been empty of late, regardless of whether they were black, white or purple. If you were a neighbor, would you call the police? And if you were the responding officer, would you approach the situation with caution? After all, how many police officers are gunned down each year responding to similar scenarios?

Let's look at the situation from a different perspective:

Suppose you were in Gates' shoes. Only, suppose you were white. You locked yourself out of your house, and after being away for a while, you were breaking in. A neighbor sees you, and not recognize you as the owner, calls the police. The police respond, find you in the house and ask you some questions. Would you assume you are being profiled because of your race? Would you say, "What's your problem, haven't you seen a white man before?" And if you had become belligerent, and created a hostile situation, do you think the police officer is at fault?

No, this incident wasn't about race, until Gates, who "teaches" race relations, made it about race.

And that's really what this comes down to. "Professor" Gates pulled race into the issue and created a situation out of nothing. He has a stereotype of white policemen. He thinks they are all "out to get" black people.

Now, isn't that what defines racism?

It seems to me that Professor Gates (and Obama) have set race relations back many years. But as a professor of race relations, you would think Gates should know this.

Maybe he did.

After all, it's difficult to continually preach how the white man is keeping the black man down following an election in which "white America" elected a black president, while living in a state with a black governor and a town with a black mayor.

Which gives us something else to consider: Could Gates have staged the entire event? Would he have provoked the officer in order to gain publicity and to advance his stature as a victimized black man?

If so, I wouldn't be surprised if Gates writes a book on race relations and his "victimization" before this issue is off the front pages of the blogs.


James' Muse July 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Gates isn't planning a book.

He's planning a documentary, and you can be sure he isn't going to give Sgt. Crowley a chance to give his side of the story.

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