…on the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest in Cambridge was stupid.
Here is some actual reporting, from Bloomberg, on the incident. Note that the joint statement issued from Gates, the police, et al. clearly says the whole thing was a wash. The charges were dropped. The matter was “an unfortunate set of circumstances.â€
It looks as though the cops showed up to investigate a suspected burglary, checked to see if Gates was who he said he was, got a racialist projection rant from Gates and a couple of comments regarding “your momma,” and Gates got cuffed. I can’t imagine a place where police would be more self-effacing than Cambridge. The officer in question is himself a specialist on the mitigation of racial profiling.
Bottom line: If you want to get arrested in a situation where a simple series of polite exchanges would send the cops away, start talking about the cop’s mother. Everybody knows that.
But the big story here is that Obama’s Trinity Church instincts were set off. He was pretending to be reasonable, but he concluded that the cops were stupid while admitting that he didn’t have the facts. That is stupid. But you can’t let even the smallest “crisis” go unexploited, especially if there’s a race angle on it.
Here’s another scenario: Gate’s house is actually being broken into, someone makes a 911 call to report it, the cops show up, the kindly gentleman committing the burglary, black or white, says he lives there, the cops take his word for it and leave, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. comes home to find his momma’s priceless sterling silver tea set and other family heirlooms gone, for good.
What’s the charge then? That the cops were racists because they didn’t take a burglary at a black man’s house seriously?
The big difference in that scenario is that the burglar knew how to handle the police.
Ed Rasimus had those links.