Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Dr. Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Incident

I didn't intend for this blog to be mainly about racial matters--and it won't be--but I want to post some brief comments about the incident with Dr. Gates.

Actually, my sentiment is expressed well by a couple of journalists--and maybe that is all that needs to be said here. Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post suggested that perhaps it was Gates' air of "highhanded superiority," rather than his skin color, that most irritated Sgt. James Crowley, a working-class police sergeant. "But does anyone seriously think that a white, equally arrogant Harvard professor would have been thrown in jail for mouthing off? Something tells me not" (This Week, 8/7/09, p. 16).

Also Vincent Carroll in The Denver Post writes that "hurting a cop's feelings is not a crime in this country. There's no excuse for the police arresting a 5-foot-8, 150-pound professor who walks with a cane, regardless of what he said or what race he might be" (ibid.).

(For the record, Robinson is African-American; Carroll is white. Robinson's op-ed piece "Pique and the Professor" was posted on WashingtonPost.com on July 28. Carroll's op-ed piece "Freedom to Yell at Police" was posted on DenverPost.com on July 25.)

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