Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Racism

The ignorance of racism is alive and well at one of the highest institutions of learning in the United States.  It makes me want to puke!  Henry Louis Gates Jr. should be ashamed of his display of racism!!!  Oh, did you think I was going to say Sgt. James Crowley…I don’t think so.  The racist is usually the one who immediately cries “Racism” without any regard for the actual facts in the case.  Those who are not racist don’t calculate the color of ones skin into the equation to begin with.  If you can’t see that Gates is the racist in this situation, you need to open your eyes! And this man is teaching our youth?   Look at the facts that are being presented and don’t seem to be denied by Gates himself.  Gates returned from a trip and had lost his keys, so he physically had to break into his house.  Someone witnessed him breaking into the house and called the police.  Yes, it happened to be two black individuals she reported breaking in…because that’s what they were  (it could just have easily been two white individuals but white individuals weren’t breaking into the house, now were they?)  You don’t think people report white people breaking into houses too?…give me a break.  In all fairness, it is possible the person who reported the potential break-in was racist and wouldn’t have bothered to report white people breaking into the home, but that has nothing to do with the cops obligation to do their job and follow up on the report.

So the officers are doing their jobs, and respond to a potential burglary.  When they arrive, they find  individuals in the house which exactly match the description of potential suspects of the reported potential break in, because..well…it WAS them.   Where is the actual racism so far?  Nowhere!  Then, according to the reports, the cops inform Gates they are responding to a potential break in and ask for ID.  Gates refuses to provide identification which would have immediately resolved the whole matter and instead insists he’s being racially profiled, and voila, there it is!  What benefit did Gates get by choosing this course of action?  What in the cops response would have been racially motivated?  Do you think if the observer had reported two white individuals breaking into the house they wouldn’t have bothered to respond, assuming it must have just been the homeowner breaking into their own home?  A sensible human being of any race, color, religion or sexual preference would have realized they had been witnessed breaking into their own house, fully understood the cops arrival and most likely been grateful for the cops response to try and protect their home and would have been happy to provide ID to resolve the issue…but not Gates.  Now what in any of these facts would have pre-disposed Gates to think this particular situation was the result of racism…unless HE is the racist, was looking for racism and sees things from a racist point of view?  If this had been a white guy breaking into his own house, we’d say he was a dumbass for losing his keys, we’d say he was acting like an asshole towards the cops and we’d assume he was drunk or had a past criminal record when he refused to provide his ID. We’d have a million reasons why the cops were correct in doing their job in this situation and why the white guy was out of line for not complying and probably needed his ass beat.   Let me stress this again…the reported  initial interaction was that Gates, who had been seen forcefully breaking into the house would not provide ID to prove he was the owner of the residence and instead claimed he was being racially profiled and started a verbal confrontation with the police.   Now isn’t that exactly what a criminal would do who was caught in the act (if running was no longer a viable option)?  A criminal would claim they are not breaking the law, and then try to counter with something that makes you feel threatened in some way if you pursue your initial course of questioning.   Gates chose to act suspiciously.  If he had provided ID, the situation would have been immediately resolved, but instead Gates apparently chose to behave like a racist asshole!  If it had been a black cop, do you think he would have gladly provided his ID or still claimed it was racial profiling?  If a guy (white, black or even green) was seen breaking into your house with the possible intent of raping your wife, or molesting your child…would you want the cops to take the guy for his word that he owns the house, or would you want the cops to make damn sure they saw some ID before they left and let the suspect remain in the house?  Obviously that is a rhetorical question…we all know the answer.

Apparently, Gates then went on a verbal rampage worthy of a Jerry Springer episode but did finally produce his ID.  Keep in mind that he wasn’t arrested for breaking and entering, he was arrested for disorderly conduct due to his behavior.  A human being always has a choice in how they behave, and even if Gates was in a situation where he truly was being racially profiled, it still doesn’t justify the choice of behavior with which he chose to address the officers.  It certainly gives the distinct impression that Gates would choose to behave like an asshole and cry racism in most any situation of potential disagreement or conflict that might arise which is not going in his favor or in which he feels inconvenienced.  He was using race as a tool to try to gain leverage over the officers in order to get his way.  What’s worse is that his behavior was exactly how a white racist would expect a black man to behave…reinforcing the foundation of their racist beliefs.  If you don’t want to be stereotyped, your behavior has to be different than that of the stereotype you are trying to avoid being classified under.  Otherwise, its not a stereotype…its just a fact.  A 5 year old can figure that out, why can’t a Harvard professor?

And it gets worse:  Enter President Barack Obama, who until recently was about as black as a bright summer day in the eyes of most American citizens.  I mean that as a complement, not as an insult in that a large portion of the world was finally able to look past the color of a man’s skin and listen to the man’s words from a non-biased point of view.  His comments that “Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home”  and then following with statements about racial profiling giving credence to Gate’s claims, suggesting that Obama might be giving higher priority to the color of his own skin than he is giving to the concept of logic in this particular situation.  I guess its understandable, but I would expect more from him.  Even though Obama mentioned that the cops were initially just doing their job when they arrived,  later comments seem to leave you with the impression that the President is suggesting that the officers stopped just doing their job and racial profiling became involved.  Again, Gates wasn’t arrested for breaking into his own home, he was arrested for disorderly conduct due to his behavior while initially refusing to provide identification!  If I force my way into my own home and beat my wife, should I not be arrested for domestic violence because I’ve shown proof that I’m in my own home?  We didn’t have to have a black Mr. President election or a United Negro Presidential fund which provides blacks an extra 30 electoral college votes in order for Obama to win…he did it from an equal footing with his adversary and won by a larger majority than many others have.  It just goes to show that manyAmericans have moved beyond their once racist views.  My point with Obama, I guess, is that he does seem to hold himself to higher standards as a human being but I think some of his comments about continued racism after the Gates incident only reinforces Gates claims that he was racially profiled and exacerbates what appears to be a non issue.  Again, I think I would have expected a bit more from him, friend of Gates or not.  If Barack Obama had lost the presidential election, I seriously doubt you would have ever once heard the man say he lost because he was black.  Obama’s comments, however, have obviously highlighted racism in an act that honestly doesn’t appear to have involved any racism from anyone other than the claimed victim himself.

The point here is that prejudice goes both ways.  If you’re black and you falsely assume that I’m prejudice, and do so for no other reason than the fact that I’m white…well, that makes YOU the racist! Think about that for a minute, because I don’t think many people do.   It isn’t just the majority stereotyping the minority for no reason which promotes prejudice, sometimes it is the minority screaming prejudice when it has nothing to do with the present situation.   Somewhere along the line we seem to have adopted the concept that majority prejudice is wrong, but minority prejudice is always justified.  Prejudice from either point of view, will lead to more prejudice from parties of both points of view…action leads to reaction!   Sometimes the black man did rob the liquor store,  sometimes the latino did sell the drugs, sometimes the female was unqualified for the job,  sometimes the openly gay individual wasn’t the best political candidate for office, sometimes the recovering drug addict really did steal your money and sometimes the Harvard professor really is JUST BEING AN ASSHOLE.    The assumption that there is a corrolation between minority status and a disappointment in one’s expectations  is sometimes fallacious.  I see the events concerning Henry Louis Gates Jr. kind of like Peter and the Wolf.  If you constantly scream out racism when its irrelevant, you are behaving exactly like people would stereotype you to behave, and the one time you might really be getting racially profiled, people are just going to look down at you as the minority who blames everything on racism with no justification. Unfortunately, you then strengthen the stereotypical perception towards others of your same minority.

Just like the idiots who put the silver “Truth” fish eating the “Darwin” fish on the back of their cars, too ignorant to realize they are actually USING Darwinism to try to dispute Darwinism…Gates has clearly displayed that he is a major proponent of the racist philosphy he aggressively claims to oppose!

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