And to think I was sick of hearing about Michael Jackson...
I'm sure by now most of you have heard about the arrest of a black Harvard scholar by a white Cambridge police officer that happened...oh I don't know...last week? For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a little article about the ever-continuing coverage on this story.
I am so sick of hearing about this story that I've started changing the television station if I hear any mention of it. (Although here I am blogging about it...go figure.)
I personally don't think racial profiling played any part whatsoever in this arrest. Do I think it happens in America? Yes. Do I agree with it? No way. But I definitely do not think it was the case with this situation. I do think both men overreacted big time, but I also believe that had it been a white man ranting and raving the way this man was, the same outcome would have occurred. And it surprises me that Henry Louis Gates Jr., this Harvard scholar with fifty-something honorary degrees from various universities, was so quick to jump to the conclusion that he was being questioned merely because he was black, not because a conscientious neighbor called about suspicious activity going on at his house. He should be grateful that he has people watching his house, and are concerned enough about his well-being to call the cops if something doesn't look right. And let's face it, seeing two men trying to open a door without a key is suspicious, whether you are white, black, Asian, or any other race. And instead of looking at it from this angle, Henry Louis Gates Jr. had to turn this into this incredibly over-played ridiculous story that even the president felt the need to weigh in on. (Do not get me started on that.)
My opinion...let it go. I understand that it is embarrassing and annoying (to say the least) to be questioned in your own home about breaking in, but had Gates reacted with the respect that any police man that is just trying to do his job deserves, none of this would have happened. The situation could have been chalked up to a misunderstanding, and it would not be dominating the news the way it is now. But Gates is the one who flew off the handle and took it to this level, and I say shame on him.
However, I'm sure there are some of you out there who don't agree with me, and I'd like to know your opinions. How do you feel about this story? Do you think this was a case of racial profiling, or do you think the police officer was well within his duty to arrest this man for disorderly conduct?