Friday, 31 July 2009
The Beer Summit Was Apparently A Success Perhaps Because No Arrogant Bastard Ale Was Served To Any Of Its Participants
YouTube video about The Beer Summit courtesy of Associated Press
By all accounts the meeting between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge MA police officer Sgt. James Crowley with U.S. President Barack Obama serving as "bartender" and Vice President Joe Biden present as "bouncer" (just kidding) ;-) was successful and productive. If Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley can sit down together and work towards reconciliation in a civil and mutually respectful manner all I can say is more power to them. If this "Beer Summit" can serve as a "springboard" toward a national dialogue on race relations in the U.S.A. that would be great too. If Sgt. James Crowley can comfortably work together with Henry Louis Gates Jr. in the production of the documentary film that he wants to do on racial profiling, as I have previously suggested, without being co-opted that would be a good thing too. If these two men genuinely want to reconcile and constructively and productively work together to improve race relations in the U.S.A. then I think that the American public should allow them to do just that.
According to the National Post/Reuters report President Barack Obama said that he hoped that the "Beer Summit" would give the people involved in the dispute a chance to listen to each other, instead of "ginning up anger and hyperbole," and reflect upon the fact that they all had different points of view. Sounds fair enough to me but I think that it needs to be pointed out once again, hopefully for a final time. . . that the person most responsible for "ginning up anger and hyperbole" in this matter is Henry Louis Gates Jr., not Sgt. James Crowley and not President Barack Obama even if he did gin up *some* anger with his poorly calibrated words. One only needs to read Henry Louis Gates' self-serving "interview" in The Root entitled 'Skip Gates Speaks' to see plenty of ginning up of anger and over-the-top hyperbole that I have already pointed out in previous blog posts here.
So what did each participant in the "Beer Summit" imbibe you ask?
Well it seems that Stone Brewing Co. of Escondido, California never shipped up that complimentary case of their Arrogant Bastard Ale that I waggishly suggested that they might want to provide on the White House as it were.
National Post/Reuters reports - Bud Light for Obama, Blue Moon for Crowley and Red Stripe for Gates. Vice President Joe Biden was also at the table.
Daily Enquirer reports - The four men ate peanuts as they chatted over their favorite beers. Obama drank a Bud Light, Crowley a Blue Moon, Gates a Sam Adams Light, and Biden a non-alcoholic Buckler.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an article titled 'Beer Summit: Prosit' which discusses the choice of beers and concludes with this parting shot - The tripartite summit and the "brewhaha" preceding it reminded us of the time a rabbi, a priest, and a minister walked into a saloon, prompting the bartender to ask, "What is this, a joke?"
The Baltimore Sun has an article titled 'Rating the brews served at the beer summit' which apparently rates all of the beers served as second rate swill. I would have to concur. . .
Here is the comment I submitted to the article -
I would go with the Blue Moon too, and might even have two or three if it was a half-decent wheat beer which I have some reason to doubt.
Prompted by a waggish commenter elsewhere I had emailed the Stone Brewing Co. suggesting that it might want to ship a complimentary case of its Arrogant Bastard Ale to be served on the White House as it were. :-)
The Washington Post has an interesting article titled 'The Racial Politics of Beer' by one by Maureen Ogle which was apparently written two days in the future since it is dated Sunday, August 2, 2009. . .
Maureen Ogle's first paragraph says -
It was never going to be just a round of beers -- not when it was being served at the White House to a black (and part Irish) Harvard professor, a white police officer (also boasting Irish roots) and the mixed-race president of the United States.
I can't help but wonder if Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Irish roots are of the Protestant Orangemen variety which might explain a lot about what happened between the two men, seeing that Sgt. James Crowley's Irish background seems to be on the Catholic side of *that* divide. . . Oh dear am I engaging in racial profiling? ;-)
Well it *is* Marching Season you know. . .
I like this bit too -
Of course, nothing says "humanity" better than fermented grain. For 10,000 years, from Mesopotamia to medieval Europe, from Asia to Africa, human beings have prayed, haggled, and waged war and peace while sipping the stuff. In Europe circa 3,000 B.C., beer-drinking played such a vital role in political and religious rituals that chieftains and warriors outfitted themselves with ornate cups and ewers, objects of precious stone and metal so symbolically powerful that they were buried with their owners.
It's well worth a full read.
Here is U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement following the "Beer Summit" courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:
"I am thankful to Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley for joining me at the White House this evening for a friendly, thoughtful conversation. Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them. I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
"It's an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you loose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself, all of whom are imperfect," Mr. Obama said.
Well not quite. It does occur to me that Sgt. James Crowley might have been trying to send a subtle message by choosing the Blue Moon. I expect that he hopes that the kind of incident that led to the Beer Summit only occurs once in a blue moon. . .
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Here are some dictionary definitions of the word "naughty" -
1. Behaving disobediently or mischievously: a naughty child.
2. Indecent; improper: a naughty wink.
3. Archaic Wicked; immoral.
Misbehaving, often in a troublesome way: bad, ill-behaved.
See control/uncontrol, good/bad.
not behaving properly; mischievous or disobedient: used esp. of children or their behavior
showing lack of decorum; improper, indelicate, or obscene
So I think that we can safely say that professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been just a tad naughty of late and can thus quite justifiably be referred to as "The Naughty Professor". I am happy to report that this Google search reveals that I am probably the very first person to "name-call" Henry Louis Gates Jr. "The Naughty Professor" on the internet with the possible exception of one RuthACod who had a Grumpy Day yesterday.
Update Tuesday 28.07.2009 23:22pm: After tracking down my comment where I first use the term "The Naughty Professor" it is now clear that RuthACod beat me to the punchline by a few hours.
News of Professor Gates’s arrest did not emerge until four days later, when the Harvard Crimson posted a story on its Web site based on the police report.
Here is the Harvard Crimson story by Peter F. Zhu that "broke" the news of the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to not only Harvard but much of the free world. . .
Renowned Af-Am Professor Gates Arrested for Disorderly Conduct
It is well worth reading. Take note that it is dated July 20, 2009 6:42 PM
Here are some interesting quotes from it -
:The two then moved to the front porch, the report said, where Gates continued to shout that the sergeant was racist, catching the attention of roughly seven "surprised and alarmed" onlookers.
:"I think that the charges should be dropped because Professor Gates was a suspect for being a burglar in his own home," Ogletree said in an interview with The Crimson. "This was precipitated on a false assumption that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time." He added that Gates has been "traumatized" by the entire affair and is now resting comfortably in his summer home in Martha's Vineyard.
:Ogletree declined to comment on whether he believes Gates was racially profiled, as some media reports have suggested, instead saying that his statement of events "speaks for itself." But other prominent black Harvard professors, including medical school professor S. Allen Counter and social sciences professor Lawrence D. Bobo, have suggested that race influenced the police actions. According to the Associated Press, the Reverend Al Sharpton has vowed to attend Gates' arraignment.
Editor's note: I guess that *the* Rev. Al Sharpton is off *that* hook now since the charges have been dropped. . .
:"This arrest is indicative of at best police abuse of power or at worst the highest example of racial profiling I have seen," Sharpton said. "I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs."
Editor's note: But *the* Rev. Al Sharpton is not off *that* hook since Henry Louis Gates was not racially profiled, or even arrested. . . simply for going to (his) own home.
:Ogletree said that he and Gates believe the professor did not violate any laws and are hoping the matter will be resolved promptly. According to the police report, disorderly conduct carries a maximum penalty of a $150 fine.
I expect that at this point in time, more than a week after the arrest, the whole "Land of the Free", and a good chunk of the rest of the Free World, is hoping the matter will be resolved promptly. . . If Henry Louis Gates Jr. gets off his high horse and acknowledges his own "mistakes" in this regrettable, yet in some ways fortuitous, matter perhaps it will be satisfactorily resolved over a few Arrogant Bastard Ales at the White House later this week. Personally I would like to see this matter promptly resolved by both parties responsibly acknowledging any and all mistakes that they may have made and agreeing to work together to improve race relations in the U.S.A., to say nothing of the rest of the free world, but I am probably just dreaming in Technicolor as it were.
I Couldn't Agree More. . . With Chuck Wexler, Executive Director Of The Police Executive Research Forum
Source: 2 Cambridge Worlds Collide in Unlikely Meeting
New York Times
Update 28.07.2009: I decided to add a couple more visitor's maps
Monday, 27 July 2009
What DOES President Barack Obama's "I Could Have Calibrated Those Words Differently" Back-Tracking Non-Retraction *Really* Mean?
Somebody was just asking. . .
Here is how I responded to that question -
Good question. . .
I'm guessing it means shooting himself in the foot with a bullet from a 2mm Kolibri instead of a police issue 45 caliber service pistol. :-)
Perhaps I should have calibrated my words differently. . . ;-)
All in good fun!
Hopefully the Secret Service will not "act stupidly" by interpreting this humorous poke at the unfortunate fact that U.S. President Barack Obama acted stupidly in publicly proclaiming that the Cambridge Police Force acted stupidly in arresting Harvard University scholar (but no gentleman. . .) Henry Louis Gates Jr. for disorderly conduct aka disturbing the peace as some kind of actual threat against President Barack Obama. On the off chance they do. . . hopefully President Obama will have the good sense not to assert that the Secret Service acted stupidly in interpreting this satirical blog post as a real threat. After all, I am only talking about President Obama shooting *himself* in the foot in purely figurative terms and kindly suggesting that he do so with a much smaller caliber, and thus hopefully less damaging, metaphorical "gun" aka firearm the next time that he acts stupidly and shoots himself in the foot. . . ;-)
Disclaimer: I have absolutely no intention whatsoever to doing the slightest physical harm to U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, or anybody else for that matter, and would be happy to sit down and have a beer with him to discuss the CrowleyGates scandal. Not that I am expecting an invitation to the White House any time soon. . . ;-)
Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. May Be A Scholar But He's No Gentleman. . . *Some* Of The 911 Recordings Have Been Released. . .
I take note of the fact that Cambridge policeman Sgt. James Crowley refers to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "the gentleman" at the 4:28-31 mark or so of this YouTube video of some of the police recordings that the Cambridge Chronicle has posted to the internet, and calmly notes that Gates "will not cooperate". Referring to an uncooperative African American "suspect" as a "gentleman" is hardly the kind of description that one would expect from the kind of racist "rogue policeman" that Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. has publicly, and indeed *nationally*, slandered Sgt James Crowley as being. . . Henry Louis Gates Jr. may be a scholar but he's no *gentleman*.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
An Open Letter To Prof. Henry Louis Gates From Another "Person Of Color" With African Roots By The Name Of Maximo A. Gomez
Dear Dr. Gates,
A nightmare for every African American man? I suppose it would be if you are a felon or you behave like one when a police officer is trying to establish who a person is inside a residence that may be in the process of being burglarized.
As I wrote the president in an e-mail, I wasn’t born in the United States, which gives me a unique perspective on what seems to be perpetual polarization of the races in this country. No thanks to his own ignorant comments about the situation.
By the time my country (Cuba) was making its first effort at freedom from the Spanish in 1868, our rebel forces had three Afro-Cuban general officers in the struggle commanding both black and white troops that were fighting side by side; a phenomenon that did not take place in the United States until almost a century later. Surely, we had our own racial problems, but my family and I had never known this level of racial animosity until we reached American shores.
By looking at me, you would say that I am white, but my grandmother was darker than you and as a term of endearment, my mother referred to my older brother as, “my little negro”. I can trace my slave roots better than most African Americans, I know which tribe I came from and the names of my distant slave relatives. So, I am not some crazy white man and I am not writing this letter to you from some higher delusional perception of myself. I know who I am and where I come from.
I wasn’t there, so at this point, it’s your word against Sergeant Crowley, the other officers and whatever civilians were standing around when you were allegedly making a public nuisance of yourself. I’m sure that eventually, the truth will come to light, especially if there was audio or video rolling. If you are right, you will be vindicated; if you are wrong, then you should have the moral courage to admit it.
This case aside, surely you must understand that racism in this country crosses all lines and that the African American community is just as guilty of it as everyone else. Are you willing to say that racism or racial profiling do not exist within the African American community? Are you going to tell me that, in many instances, darker blacks don’t regard light-skinned blacks with greater favor when considering romantic attachments, marriage or even professional interaction?
I think that the African American community needs to be honest with itself and recognize the dynamics that drive human nature on both sides of the issue. Given the fact, the wondrous fact, that this country has elected a black president, the ball is now in your corner, Sir. What is going to be your continued attitude as a respected university professor in such a wonderful and prestigious university? Do you choose to continue to stoke the fires of hatred and resentment among your impressionable students? Shall America be able to say in future generations that we overcame our racial hurdles to develop a stronger and more prosperous union? Or, as some desire, shall we continue to drag each other down to our most basic and deprived instincts by inflaming deplorable passions than should have been abandoned long ago?
If ever there was a time when African Americans can understand the vision that our founders had for their country, it is now. Yes, they may not have been able to experience it in their time, but they laid the groundwork for the dream to eventually come to fruition. Yes, some of them had slaves, but they recognized that if their country was to survive, slavery, its hatred and its abasement of human beings would have to end some day.
We stand today at the crossroads, where democracy and this republic is facing a new danger. Shall we abandon the mission simply because some of our founders where faulted human beings, or shall we look beyond our faults to the greater glory of what we see as the true purpose of America in a turbulent world? The answer to these questions can only be achieved if we look beyond our personal and petty concerns to the greater good, which in this case happens to be the continued practice of democracy and liberty in an ever expanding, ever growing and ever wiser America.
Its time to abandoned the “Am I black enough for ya” mentality of the Rev. Deke O’Malleys of this country. Its time to reach deep within ourselves and grasp the greater courage, the greater nobility and the greater sense of love that makes of us what we were intended to be—men of vision and righteousness.
Maximo A. Gomez
The world would be a better place if Henry Louis Gates Jr. could (have) overcome *his* irrational fears of white police officers, and whites more generally, and Stand On The Side Of Love for an Irish American cop who was trying to do his job. Yes, there is such a thing as racial profiling, but what happened in this particular case cannot be properly described as racial profiling. Henry Louis Gates had virtually no grounds to play the race card in the manner that he played it starting almost immediately after Sgt. Crowley appeared on his porch. Read Gates' self-serving "interview" in The Root webzine, of which he is the editor-in-chief, and I expect that you will see a deeply insecure man who overcompensates for his insecurity with arrogance and self-importance. At least that's what I saw. . . Feel free to enter into a free and responsible search for the truth and meaning of what *really* happened by reading, watching, and listening to both sides of the story. All things considered Sgt. James Crowley comes across as a stand-up guy who handled an unnecessarily difficult situation quite professionally, while professor Gates comes across as what we both call an idiot, and a pompous self-important idiot at that. . .
Believe me I have not made this judgment call lightly, and would have been very happy if Occam's Zweihänder had come down in favor of professor Gates, but it didn't. This incident is about privilege and class every bit as much as much as racism, indeed significantly more so AFAIAC, and the main way racism is involved, as far as I can see, is Henry Louis Gates' own internalized assumptions and prejudices that are too quick to jump to the conclusion that white people are acting out of racist motivations. This is very clear from Gates' own testimony following this incident, if not things that he has said and written prior to it. Please enter into a free and responsible search for the full truth and meaning of what happened here by comparing Gates' version of events with Crowleys's version of events and you will see that it was Gates, not Crowley, who was "so shocked" that a Cambridge policeman would show up to responsibly investigate a reported break-in within minutes of him trying to force an entry into his rented home with the help of his limo driver.
Yes, we do have a long way to go David, but it is people like Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. who cry "racist" at the top of their lungs, when there is little or no reason to do so, who make the way towards healing and wholeness all that much longer. I am hoping that Gates will come to realize and more importantly, responsibly acknowledge, the major role that his own insecurities, fears, and prejudices played in creating this situation. If he does so, considerable progress towards national healing may be made by working together with Sgt. Crowley, who teaches classes about racial profiling after all. . . If however Henry Gates continues to insist that Sgt. Crowley's actions were motivated by racism, when there is little or no evidence supporting that accusation, then he will not be helping to heal the national wound that *he* largely contributed to unceremoniously ripping the scab off. So I sincerely hope that Henry Louis Gates really meant it when he said -
"I'm deeply resolved to do and say the right things so that this cannot happen again."
and I call upon him to say and do the right thing by taking full responsibility for his own role in this national scandal and apologizing to Sgt. James Crowley for smearing him as a racist "rogue policeman".
Henry Louis Gates Jr. Promises To Be Civil And Respectful Towards Sgt. James Crowley And Any Other Police Officer Regardless Of Race, Creed, Or Color
"I'm deeply resolved to do and say the right things
so that this cannot happen again."
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Chicago Mayors Eugene Sawyer And Richard J. Daley Provide Some Belated Wise Advice To U.S. President Barack Obama And Henry Louis Gates
Former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley provides the following good advice to Chicago politician U.S. President Barack Obama and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., by way of former Chicago mayor the late Eugene Sawyer and conservative U*U blogger Bill Baar.
The Disorderly Conduct Law Of The Commonwealth Of Massachussetts That Henry Louis Gates Jr. Was Arrested For Violating Says The Following. . .
Chapter 272: Section 53. Penalty for certain offenses
Section 53. Common night walkers, common street walkers, both male and female, common railers and brawlers, persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons in speech or behavior, idle and disorderly persons, disturbers of the peace, keepers of noisy and disorderly houses, and persons guilty of indecent exposure may be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Based on the police report description of Henry Louis Gates' behavior on Tuesday July 16, 2009, and independent witness reports of his "loud and tumultuous" behavior, it seems to me that Sgt. James Crowley was within the letter if not spirit of this Massachusetts law when he arrested Henry Louis Gates for engaging in loud and tumultuous behavior. Those people who are arguing that the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. was unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment and other parts of the U.S. constitution might want to ask themselves if this Massachusetts law, and similar "disorderly conduct" laws in other states, are constitutional. . .
Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I will continue to believe that Sgt' James Crowley legitimately enforced the letter of this Massachusetts state law when he arrested Henry Gates whether the law is constitutional or not. It seems quite clear that Henry Louis Gates was a "common railer" if not "brawler" who with offensive and disorderly language accosted or annoyed persons (whether of the opposite sex or not. . .), and was disturbing the peace. AFAIAC this Massachusetts state law is somewhat problematic if only because it seems to allow people to accost or annoy persons with offensive and disorderly acts or language as long as their victims are not of the opposite sex. . . If Massachusetts can have marriage equality why can't it have equality under the law when it comes to being accosted or annoyed by persons who engage in disorderly acts or language, to say nothing of lewd, wanton and lascivious speech or behavior?
It seems to me that this Massachusetts law *could* be misused and abused in ways that violate the First Amendment to suppress legitimate peaceful public protest by defining protesters as "common street walkers" much like that idiotic Totalitarian Unitarian "Citizens' Police Officer" Peter Kohl tried to pretend that I was "loitering" in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal. Okay that's admittedly a bit of a stretch but I am trying to make a point, and part of that point is that the letter and spirit of any law can be stretched by police, prosecutors and judges. What about protesters who shout loudly or use megaphones or other voice amplifiers during a legitimate peaceful public protests? It would appear that they *could* quite easily be construed to be "common railers". There is very little to stretch there is there?
Who gets to define what constitutes "offensive and disorderly acts or language"? Doesn't legislation that prohibits or otherwise *abridges* "offensive language" or even "lewd, wanton and lascivious speech" violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as so many people are asserting? If this Massachusetts law is in fact unconstitutional then maybe it wasn't Sgt. Crowley and the Cambridge police force who "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates but the negligent state legislators of Massachusetts who enacted and have so far failed to repeal a law that violates the First Amendment. . . If however this state law is not actually unconstitutional then it seems to me that the arrest of Henry Louis Gates was a quite legal one albeit not necessarily a very politically correct one.
President Barack Obama Invites Sgt. James Crowley And Henry Louis Gates Jr. To The White House For A Beer. . .
Let's see now. What might some of the advertising slogans be. . .
Amstel Beer: Cause strife. Pure Unfiltered.
Bass Ale: Reach for Notoriety.
Bavaria: And now, for a tantrum.
Bud Light: Be yourself and make it a sad sight.
Budweiser: Where there's strife, there's Gates.
Busch Beer: Head for the porch.
Carlsberg: Gates. Probably the best boor from Harvard.
Coors Light: The Boldest Lambasting Boor In Cambridge.
Corona: Miles Away From Ornery?
Dos Equis Mexican beer: Sooner or later you'll regret it.
Guinness Irish Stout: Politeness is good for you.
Bad things come to those who bait.
Harp Irish Lager: Who puts out the fire?
Heineken: A bitter boor deserves a beer with Obama.
Miller: Everything you always wanted in a boor. And more.
If you've got the crime, we've got the boor.
Labatt Blue: A whole lot can happen, Out of the Blue.*
Another Labatt Blue slogan is/was -
If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.
which "translates" to -
If I wanted Crowley, I would have asked for Crowley.
Michelob Ultra: Lose the barbs. Not the face. . .
Michelob AmberBock: Rich and _______ (fill in the blank yourself)
St. Pauli Girl: Put him on a pedestal, or in an Ivory Tower
or You never forget your worst nightmare.
Schaefer: America's Boldest Harvard Boor.
Sagres: Spot the differences
Samuel Adams: Harvard's World Class Boor.
The original beer advertising slogans may be found here.
*No need to tweak the actual Labatt Blue advertising slogan at all but I like -
A "rogue cop" can happen, Out of the Blue. . .
even though I don't believe that Sgt. James Crowley is really a rogue cop.
Is Henry Louis Gates Jr. A Liar Or Delusional When He Claims That He Doesn't Go Around Calling White People Racists?
Then again maybe he's just dreaming in Technicolor or something. . .
According to this Soundbytes Of The Week audio timeline, courtesy of WBZ News Radio 1030 in Boston, on Tuesday (presumably Tuesday July 21, 2009) Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said -
"I don't go around calling white people racists, hell first of all I'm half-white myself."
Contrast this recorded public statement with the following quotes from the "interview" of professor Gates entitled 'Skip Gates Speaks' and sub-titled 'The Root's Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. talks about his arrest and the outrage of racial profiling in America' that was published in The Root webzine on Tuesday July 21, 2009 at 5:34 PM -
"And I love that the 911 report said that two big black men were trying to break in with backpacks on. Now that is the worst racial profiling I’ve ever heard of in my life." (Laughs.)
"Now it’s clear that he had a narrative in his head: A black man was inside someone’s house, probably a white person’s house, and this black man had broken and entered, and this black man was me."
"And I said I want your name and your badge number because I want to file a complaint because of the way he had treated me at the front door. He didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’ — he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white person."
"And then I said, ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’ That’s what I said."
"A crowd had gathered, and as they were handcuffing me and walking me out to the car, I said, ‘Is this how you treat a black man in America?’"
In response to the following question - "How has this resonated within the academic community at Harvard? I know that Larry Bobo and Charles Ogletree, also black men, have expressed dismay. President Barack Obama has talked about how difficult it is to hail a cab, even as an elected official. Is there an irony to your notoriety and the incident?"
Henry Louis Gates replied - "There is such a level of outrage that’s been expressed to me. I’ve received thousands of e-mails and Facebook messages; the blogs are going crazy; my colleagues at Harvard are outraged. Allen Counter called me from the Nobel Institute in Stockholm to express his outrage. But really it’s not about me — it’s that anybody black can be treated this way, just arbitrarily arrested out of spite. And the man who arrested me did it out of spite, because he knew I was going to file a report because of his behavior.
He didn’t follow proper police procedure! You can’t just presume I’m guilty and arrest me. He’s supposed to ask me if I need help. He just presumed that I was guilty, and he presumed that I was guilty because I was black. There was no doubt about that."
In response to the question - "What do you make of the suspicious neighbor who called the police with an erroneous report of “two black men” trying to enter your apartment? Was this neighborhood watch gone wrong?"
Henry Louis Gates said -
"I don’t know this person, and I’m sure that she thought she was doing the right thing. If I was on Martha’s Vineyard like I am now and someone was trying to break into my house, I would hope that someone called the police and that they would respond."
but then went on to say -
"But I would hope that the police wouldn’t arrest the first black man that they saw — especially after that person gives them an ID — and not rely on some trumped-up charge, which is what this man was doing."
In response to the question - "The charges have been dropped. What are your plans for legal action against the city of Cambridge, its police department or the individual officer?"
Henri Louis Gates Jr. answers - "I’ll be meeting with my legal team, and we will be deciding what kind of legal action I should take. I haven’t made the decision yet. But I am determined that this experience, my experience, as horrendous as it was and as outrageous as it was, be used for the larger good of the black community. There are 1 million black men in the prison system, and on Thursday I became one of them. I would sooner have believed the sky was going to fall from the heavens than I would have believed this could happen to me. It shouldn’t have happened to me, and it shouldn’t happen to anyone. . . As a college professor, I want to make this a teaching experience. I am going to devote my considerable resources, intellectual and otherwise, to making sure this doesn’t happen again. I’m thinking about making a documentary film about racial profiling, and I’m in talks with PBS about that.
(Editor's note: Well now that Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley are drinking buddies, and Sgt. Crowley teaches a course on racial profiling, maybe they can work on that documentary film about racial profiling together!)
Friday, 24 July 2009
President Barack Obama's Unfortunate Public Statements About The Henry Louis Gates Controversy Are Discussed By A Panel On FOX News
I know that FOX News has a very bad reputation amongst liberals, and I have been less than impressed by what little I have seen of FOX News reporting and opinion programs, but I find that this particular FOX News panel discussion of U.S. President Barack Obama's "unfortunate" statements about the Henry Louis Gates race-baiting controversy and his subsequent non-apology is quite reasonable and balanced. There are a few funny snarky bits right at the beginning that I got a chuckle out of.
Sgt. James Crowley Speaks For Himself In Response To Henry Louis Gates' Slandering Of Him As A Racist And U.S. President Barack Obama's Stupid Remark
Here is a lengthy in-depth radio interview with Sgt. James Crowley as aired on The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show.
President Barack Obama Stopped Short Of Apologizing To Sgt. James Crowley And The Cambridge Police Force For Publicly Accusing Them Of Acting Stupidly
Hopefully he will get around to properly apologizing down the road a bit. . .
Here is my point-by-point response to President Barack Obama's back-tracking from his assertion that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly in arresting professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. -
:I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station.
I guess President Obama didn't hear yet that the Nutty Professor was not pulled out of his home at all but walked out of it under his own steam as it were to continue to berate Sgt. Crowley.
:I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.
To put it mildly. . . How about Professor Gates acted stupidly in painting Sgt. Crowley as a racist?
:My sense is you've got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved and the way they would have liked it to be resolved.
I guess that's one way of putting it. . .
:The fact that it has garnered so much attention I think is a testimony to the fact that these are issues that are still very sensitive here in America.
Of course the attention that *this* has garnered has got nothing to do with professor Henry Louis Gates crying wolf at the top of his lungs in order to gain national attention, and indeed international attention, and President Barack Obama himself pouring gasoline on the fire that the hot tempered professor Gates started by asserting that Cambridge police acted stupidly.
:So to the extent that my choice of words didn't illuminate, but rather contributed to more media frenzy, I think that was unfortunate.
Definitely more heat than light with the 'acted stupidly' remark.
:What I'd like to do then I make sure that everybody steps back for a moment, recognizes that these are two decent people, not extrapolate too much from the facts --
Such as publicly declaring that the Cambridge police force 'acted stupidly' for example? It seems to me that the person who is most guilty of extrapolating too much from the facts is none other than professor Henry Louis Gates.
:but as I said at the press conference, be mindful of the fact that because of our history, because of the difficulties of the past, you know, African Americans are sensitive to these issues.
That is fair enough, but this national scandal arose because one Henry Louis Gates Jr. is hypersensitive to these issues, if not obsessed by them. . . as is clear from his own testimony.
:And even when you've got a police officer who has a fine track record on racial sensitivity, interactions between police officers and the African American community can sometimes be fraught with misunderstanding.
This was not an interaction between Cambridge police officers (at least one of whom was African American) and the African American community. It was an interaction between Cambridge police officers and one single insecure hypersensitive African American Harvard professor who overcompensates with arrogance and hyberbole.
:My hope is, is that as a consequence of this event this ends up being what's called a 'teachable moment,'
It's a 'teachable moment' alright.
:where all of us instead of pumping up the volume spend a little more time listening to each other
Hopefully Henry Louis Gates Jr. aka Mr. Pump Up The Volume Harvard is listening here. . .
:and try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and minority communities,
Surely you mean try to focus on how we can generally improve relations between police officers and arrogant pumped up Harvard professors. . .
:and that instead of flinging accusations we can all be a little more reflective in terms of what we can do to contribute to more unity.
Flinging accusations like the Cambridge police acted stupidly? Flinging accusations like Sgt. James Crowley is a racist?
:There are some who say that as President I shouldn't have stepped into this at all because it's a local issue. I have to tell you that that part of it I disagree with. The fact that this has become such a big issue I think is indicative of the fact that race is still a troubling aspect of our society. Whether I were black or white, I think that me commenting on this and hopefully contributing to constructive -- as opposed to negative -- understandings about the issue, is part of my portfolio.
May I suggest an actual formal apology to Sgt. James Crowley and the Cambridge police force for asserting that they 'acted stupidly' would be an appropriate contribution to constructive -- as opposed to negative -- understandings about the issue Mr. President?
It occurs to me now that that this (inter)national scandal would never have happened if Henry Louis Gates Jr. had simply followed the first five pool rules for this forum in his interactions with Sgt. Crowley and his subsequent crying wolf in the media. . .
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Click your mouse on each image to view it and read its text full size.
Apparently it is possible to embed the SCRIBD document titled 'Prof. Henry Louis Gates Police Report' so I will do so here. If you place your mouse over the enlarge screen icon at the top right of the embed and click on it it will display the police report full screen making it very easy to read. If you want to embed this copy of the police report about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. into your own blog or website here is the SCRIBD page with the advanced embed code which may be easily customized. -
Prof. Henry Louis Gates Police Report