Friday, July 24, 2009

52 Race Card Pickup

Earlier this month Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested for disorderly conduct. Since this incident, the arresting officer's treatment has ranged from being called a racist (again) by the man he arrested to being insulted by the President of the United States. The policeman says he was just doing his job. Professor Gates says he was arrested because he was, "a black man in America."

But what are the facts? Here's what we know. A woman called 911 and reported that she saw two men, with backpacks breaking into a house. The police arrived and confronted Gates, not knowing who he was. Shortly thereafter Gates was arrested.

Gates asserts that his civil rights were violated. The officer asserts that Gates became beligerent, would not cooperate, and continually referred to the fact that he is a "black man." Based on how many times I've seen Gates on TV pointing out the obvious fact that he's a black man, I'd say he did. Gates also stated that when inside the house after telling the police officer he lived there, he said he went to get his ID and the policeman followed him.

Som let's say that you are a police officer. Let's say you get called to a potential burgularly in progress. Let's say that the first person you see on site starts screaming at you about how he's a black man and you are a racist. Are you going to be suspicious of the person? OK so now the person tells you that they live in that house. Are you just going to take their word for it? So the suspect says they are going to get their ID in just the other rooom. Are you going to think to yourself they may be running? Or getting a gun? And now the suspect gets even more agitated and demands you get out. Are you going to be suspicious?

If you are a cop worthy of your badge, sure you will be.

Keep in mind that none of this has to do with race or black men in America. It has to do with good police procedure. Cops can't afford to take peoples' word for much, or else they end up shot.

So what is it with Gates? Perhaps he believes too much of his own BS. Maybe he takes himself too seriously. Maybe had that race card burning a hole in his pocket, maybe he had a whole deck.

Regardless, Henry Gates is cheapening what the pioneers that fight the REAL civil rights fight. He is crying wolf to the detriment of those who really suffer from racism in this country. Everytime a Henry Gates surfaces playing 52 Race Card Pickup, the rest of America sighs and shakes their heads.

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