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  1. #1 My Thoughts – The ‘Gates” Affair 
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    You know me, never at a lost when it comes to having an opinion on the zeitgeist. The last few days, it has all been about race and race relations, sparked by ‘The Gates Affair’. For those who are unaware, here is the back story.

    Harvard University Professor, Henry (Skip) Louis Gates Jr., returns home from a trip and finds that his door will not open. He and his black driver try to force the door which is witnessed by a resident in the neighborhood. The neighbor dutifully calls the police because it looks like two men are trying to break into a house.

    Once the police arrive, Prof. Skip Gates has found his way into his home, and answers their knock on the door. From there it’s all downhill and a matter of whose story you choose to believe. You can read the newspaper accounts of the incident by visiting here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32077998...and_ethnicity/.

    President Obama during his press conference commented on the situation with a reckless choice of words. It was almost as though the visceral reaction churning in the pit of his stomach found their way to his mouth before his brain could coordinate with his mouth to deliver his thoughts in polispeak. Instead he chose to say that the police “acted stupidly.” That you can read about by visiting here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32122967...and_ethnicity/.

    I am writing this though not to regurgitate facts or figure out fiction but to let you know what I think, so here it is.

    I think that everyone started off right and ended up wrong. Prof. Gates was not wrong to try to enter his own home, the neighbor was not wrong in calling the police, the police were not wrong to investigate. Where everyone went wrong was with the events that led up to the arrest of Prof. Gates.

    If the neighbor had not called to report a possible break in, and it was, then this would have been framed as a racist neighbor not caring because they knew it was the home of a Black Professor.

    If the police had not shown up to investigate, and there was a break in, this would have been framed as the racist police department not caring that the home of a black intellectual was being broken into.

    If the police had not insisted on making sure that there was no one else in the house because they had a credible report that there were two men trying to force open a door, then this would have been framed differently had there been people in the house that the professor was not aware of. The police had to make sure that the story fit all the facts in front of them.

    The Prof. Gates could have been more cordial with the men and women in blue who were looking out for his best interest when they showed up to investigate a report of a break and enter at his home.

    Now here is where it gets tricky, maybe he was. Maybe he was cordial and tried to explain the situation about the door being jammed, but the police needed to be sure he lived there…or did they? It is possible that they did ask him for the one thing that they would not have asked of anyone who was not black…absolute proof that he belonged in that house.

    By “absolute” I don’t mean show me your driver’s license with your address on it, but show me that you are the legal owner of this house. I can see that happening and it would easily explain the Professor’s rage, if indeed that did occur. There is thorough, and then there is thorough! But I have no proof that did happen so it is a thought that I am just callously tossing out there.

    What we do know is that Prof. Gates was arrested in his home. This is the real tricky part of the scenario. How do you get arrested in your own home without having committed any crime? And this is where the police were wrong in their actions and to what the President might have been referring to as acting stupidly.

    Before I explain, let me just say that I believe the police officer, Sgt. James Crowley. I believe he is an honest man, a good man, a decent man. I believe he believes he had every right to arrest Prof. Gates, and the facts, of the case, prove that he did. The only problem, I have, is with the discretion used in making this particular arrest.

    The police finally figured out that this middle aged, walking with a cane, 155 pound, unarmed man really was the owner and they arrested him for being verbally abusive? I mean, he didn’t threaten them, in his home, in any way except with his tongue. That you can be arrested in your home for being verbally abusive to strangers in your home- notwithstanding the badges- is outrageous! Where was the cause for this arrest? He was mean to me…so I arrested him?

    All of this brings me back to the question, what do I think? I think this was not a black and white issue. This was a pure intellectual brute power struggle. This was Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley engaged in a battle to exert futile intellectual control, one over the other. It was UFC Battle of the Brains part 1.
    Prof. Gates never believed he was being picked on for being black, he just felt he was being picked on and chose the tools/words which he felt were appropriate to defend himself. The Officer was never threatened but felt that his stature as an office of the law was being maligned and he used the tools and remedies at his disposal.

    At the end of the day both were right in their actions and both were so very wrong. That these two good men could allow a clear misunderstanding to lead the President to make his unfortunate comments is inexcusable. They really all should just meet up in the White House, have that beer that the President offered and have a good laugh at how silly they all were.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Troll's Avatar
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    This is a scandal - I'm actually surprised that every liberal who gets paid to have an opinion in this country haven't started calling this 'Gatesgate' yet.

    I don't know anything about police protocol, but I do know that if Gates were a white man, the only people who would have heard about this would have been his students. Shame on him. Shame on the media. Shame on the sycophants who lap up whatever double-standard the media feeds them.
    Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome.

    Your comment is interesting.

    To me, there are many people with a built in response to this incident depending on whether their pre-existing and typical opinion is pro/con the role of the police in general, and/or pro/con as to the existence and practice of racial profiling in general.

    I doubt that the contrary parties will do anything but disagree.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
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  4. #4  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Snip

    "Harvard University Professor, Henry (Skip) Louis Gates Jr., returns home from a trip and finds that his door will not open. He and his black driver try to force the door which is witnessed by a resident in the neighborhood. The neighbor dutifully calls the police because it looks like two men are trying to break into a house.

    'Skip',now where did you get that ? He is a full Harvard professor and department head .Nobody would call him 'skip' in public !
    .......................
    Once the police arrive, Prof. Skip Gates has found his way into his home, and answers their knock on the door. From there it’s all downhill and a matter of whose story you choose to believe. You can read the newspaper accounts of the incident by visiting here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32077998...and_ethnicity/.
    ..............................
    President Obama during his press conference commented on the situation with a reckless choice of words. It was almost as though the visceral reaction churning in the pit of his stomach found their way to his mouth before his brain could coordinate with his mouth to deliver his thoughts in polispeak. Instead he chose to say that the police “acted stupidly.” That you can read about by visiting here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32122967...and_ethnicity/.

    I am writing this though not to regurgitate facts or figure out fiction but to let you know what I think, so here it is.
    ...............................
    I think that everyone started off right and ended up wrong. Prof. Gates was not wrong to try to enter his own home, the neighbor was not wrong in calling the police, the police were not wrong to investigate. Where everyone went wrong was with the events that led up to the arrest of Prof. Gates.
    ........................
    If the neighbor had not called to report a possible break in, and it was, then this would have been framed as a racist neighbor not caring because they knew it was the home of a Black Professor.
    ..........................
    If the police had not shown up to investigate, and there was a break in, this would have been framed as the racist police department not caring that the home of a black intellectual was being broken into.
    ..................................
    If the police had not insisted on making sure that there was no one else in the house because they had a credible report that there were two men trying to force open a door, then this would have been framed differently had there been people in the house that the professor was not aware of. The police had to make sure that the story fit all the facts in front of them.
    ............................
    The Prof. Gates could have been more cordial with the men and women in blue who were looking out for his best interest when they showed up to investigate a report of a break and enter at his home.

    "Cordial.?.The police didn't know who these guys were and they refused to identify themselves !
    ..............................
    Now here is where it gets tricky, maybe he was. Maybe he was cordial and tried to explain the situation about the door being jammed, but the police needed to be sure he lived there…or did they? It is possible that they did ask him for the one thing that they would not have asked of anyone who was not black…absolute proof that he belonged in that house.

    "If he identified himself none of this would have happened but in his arrogance he refused to !"
    ....................................
    By “absolute” I don’t mean show me your driver’s license with your address on it, but show me that you are the legal owner of this house. I can see that happening and it would easily explain the Professor’s rage, if indeed that did occur. There is thorough, and then there is thorough! But I have no proof that did happen so it is a thought that I am just callously tossing out there.

    "You're being pretty slick but it doesn't stick !"
    ............................
    ......................
    What we do know is that Prof. Gates was arrested in his home. This is the real tricky part of the scenario. How do you get arrested in your own home without having committed any crime? And this is where the police were wrong in their actions and to what the President might have been referring to as acting stupidly.
    ..................................
    Before I explain, let me just say that I believe the police officer, Sgt. James Crowley. I believe he is an honest man, a good man, a decent man. I believe he believes he had every right to arrest Prof. Gates, and the facts, of the case, prove that he did. The only problem, I have, is with the discretion used in making this particular arrest.
    ............................
    The police finally figured out that this middle aged, walking with a cane, 155 pound, unarmed man really was the owner and they arrested him for being verbally abusive? I mean, he didn't threaten them, in his home, in any way except with his tongue. That you can be arrested in your home for being verbally abusive to strangers in your home- notwithstanding the badges- is outrageous! Where was the cause for this arrest? He was mean to me…so I arrested him?
    ................................
    All of this brings me back to the question, what do I think? I think this was not a black and white issue. This was a pure intellectual brute power struggle. This was Prof. Gates and Sgt. Crowley engaged in a battle to exert futile intellectual control, one over the other. It was UFC Battle of the Brains part 1.
    Prof. Gates never believed he was being picked on for being black, he just felt he was being picked on and chose the tools/words which he felt were appropriate to defend himself. The Officer was never threatened but felt that his stature as an office of the law was being maligned and he used the tools and remedies at his disposal.
    ...............................
    At the end of the day both were right in their actions and both were so very wrong. That these two good men could allow a clear misunderstanding to lead the President to make his unfortunate comments is inexcusable. They really all should just meet up in the White House, have that beer that the President
    offered and have a good laugh at how silly they all were.[/QUOTE]

    Your take on all of this is very interesting but let me guess . you are a black liberal correct ?.
    .
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  5. #5  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    meowmeow's an old timer here at CU, one of the first members in fact. Garfield, let me know what to bump your post count to if you remember and if you care. :D

    Good OP. The cop should have beaten the black prof with his cane after he dissed him.:mad:

    JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!:D

    I think it was a local issue that might have made the big time...maybe. When the Prez opened his big mouth about it...front page gold.

    I'm not sure if Obama just had a case of Teh Stupid's or realized he really blew the health care thingy and was just looking for cover...
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Whether it's pleasant, or not, the fact is that blacks commit the lion's share of these types of crimes, so for a police officer to be suspicious of a black man is profiling, but it's necessary and fact-based profiling..

    Professor Gates should be mad at those of his own race who have made it so that the police automatically suspect a black man in this country and not a white man.. The root of the problem is not only the antennae that Professor Gates had up looking for any racial incident he could latch onto to get his 15 minutes of fame, but also the stereotype that blacks in general have EARNED in this country.

    It sucks for the good ones, but it's up to them to turn things around.. They can't just keep blaming whitey when they're stopped at disproportionate rates, as Obama put it..

    From a New Century Foundation study:

    Major Findings:

    * Police and the justice system are not biased against minorities.

    Crime Rates

    * Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
    * When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
    * Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.
    * The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic.

    Interracial Crime

    * Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
    * Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.
    * Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
    * Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.

    Link
    Last edited by stsinner; 07-24-2009 at 10:35 PM.
    Obama-if you're being run out of town, get out in front and pretend that it's a parade!!!
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  7. #7  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub View Post
    meowmeow's an old timer here at CU, one of the first members in fact. Garfield, let me know what to bump your post count to if you remember and if you care. :D

    Good OP. The cop should have beaten the black prof with his cane after he dissed him.:mad:

    JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!:D

    I think it was a local issue that might have made the big time...maybe. When the Prez opened his big mouth about it...front page gold.

    I'm not sure if Obama just had a case of Teh Stupid's or realized he really blew the health care thingy and was just looking for cover...
    A much simpler explanation is that both Gates and Obama are the racists and the cop was just following police procedure !If Gates were white and he refused to identify himself he would be in the slammer now for resisting arrest and obstructing justice,a tempest in a teacup .
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  8. #8  
    Sonnabend
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    How do you get arrested in your own home without having committed any crime? And this is where the police were wrong in their actions and to what the President might have been referring to as acting stupidly.
    Because the officer decided that this man was acting irrationally, was abusing him (and thats a nono in any way shape or form) and that said behaviour gave the officer reasonable cause to believe the man may be lying.

    Probable cause: reported break in. Possible motive: Burglary

    The officer did his job and asked for ID. The man became abusive and refused. The cop then concluded that he may have a possible crime here and arrested the man.

    Given the circumstances, given the events that led up to this point, for Gates to show his ID would have been the rational and simplest way of solving this issue quickly and quietly.

    Three years ago, two cops came to my place because I had left my keys inside. I climbed in through a window. They asked for ID. I handed it to them, embarrassed. They read it, laughed kindly, commiserated and said that they too had had this happen to them, thanked me, then I thanked them for keeping an eye out.

    One of the cops was an Asian. Did I cry race? Foul?

    Nope, I knew they were doing the job they were there to do, and that they had acted on probable cause.

    None of this would have happened had Gates simply shown his ID...the cop would have apologised, reminded the guy that they had had news of a possible break in at his home.

    The only racist here is Gates
    Last edited by Sonnabend; 07-25-2009 at 08:48 AM.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Because the officer decided that this man was acting irrationally, was abusing him (and thats a nono in any way shape or form) and that said behaviour gave the officer reasonable cause to believe the man may be lying.

    Probable cause: reported break in. Possible motive: Burglary

    The officer did his job and asked for ID. The man became abusive and refused.
    Bingo...
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonnabend View Post
    Because the officer decided that this man was acting irrationally, was abusing him (and thats a nono in any way shape or form) and that said behaviour gave the officer reasonable cause to believe the man may be lying.

    Probable cause: reported break in. Possible motive: Burglary

    The officer did his job and asked for ID. The man became abusive and refused.
    Also, no one acting maturely and intelligently would EVER get arrested in their own home if a mistaken break-in was reported.. He acted like a racist asshole.
    Obama-if you're being run out of town, get out in front and pretend that it's a parade!!!
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