tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Of all of the comments I've read on the intertubes about the Gates arrest, this one more or less summarizes it:

there is a non-trivial possibility that the situation was not racist. [at the end of a six-paragraph comment where the author was trying their hardest to find evidence that arresting a black man for calling a cop a racist isn't racist]

You know, I don't think of myself as an exceptionally enlightened white man. But this is bullshit. And if you are more inclined to lecture the world in a calm, detached fashion about the proper way for a black man to interact with law enforcement (from your position of expertise as, say, a white West Coaster) than to feel outrage at how your country still enforces the second-class citizenship of black and brown people, then you are not my friend.
Updates:
  • The charges against Prof. Gates have been dropped; "This incident should not be viewed as one that demeans the character and reputation of professor Gates or the character of the Cambridge Police Department..."

  • Statement from Charles Ogletree, Gates's lawyer, about the incident.

  • Jimi Izrael says it way better than me:
    "The arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis 'Skip' Gates Jr., at a minimum, quashes any talk of a post-racial America. It may not be the best example of racial injustice I've ever seen, but it's a great example of how life for black people is often complicated by class and race. If a mild-mannered, bespectacled Ivy League professor who walks with a cane can be pulled from his own home and arrested on a minor charge, the rest of us don't stand a chance.

    We all fit a description. We are all suspects."

    and

    "In most states, the parameters for disorderly conduct are set as 'any person who could cause inconvenience, alarm or annoyance to others.' Disorderly conduct could include anything from a ferocious cough, the use of profanity (at any volume, in any context) to break-dancing in your front yard or talking loudly to yourself. Normally, it's the kind of thing you get a ticket for, if that, because cops love donuts, but they hate paperwork. Mostly, you'll get a warning. But the rub is that it falls to the discretion of the responding officer to decide whether or not to throw you in the car. Depending on the officer's mood, you could get a warning, a ticket or a night in jail. According to the police officer's report, Gates 'exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior.' That's a pretty subjective assessment, by any definition. But it never seems to take much provocation for the rollers to put a man of color in handcuffs, no matter who he is."
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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

May 2017

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