By now we have all heard, ad nauseum about the recent arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates. We have heard, also ad nauseum, about President Obama's thoughts on the arrest, in response to a question asked of him at a Press conference... and God knows how sick and tired I am of Sgt. Crowley, the arresting officer, and a host of other cops, Union Bosses, and Right-wing/birther/crackpots on television all bleeding day, today.
It's time to stop, now, folks. Really.
Let me first state that I know as much about the case as anyone who wasn't there... which means just about everyone except for Gates, Crowley, and maybe a few others.
The right wing fruitcakes are all like "The Commander-in-Chief was disrespectful of all police officers! Waaaaah!"
The lefties are all like "Racial profiling is keeping the black man down! Waaaaaaaah!"
The television news scandal pimps are all like "Will Sgt. Crowley apologize?, Will The President apologize?, are there any apologies to make? Watch Black in America2, with Soledad O'Brien!" Ka-ching!
HEY! Are you listening? Anyone who is paying even a little attention should know this by now, but in case you weren't let me hip you to the closest thing to the truth you are going to get on this stupid distraction piece:
The cops showed up because they were called. This wasn't "profiling", they simply responded to a call for service (that's what we call it in the biz). The cops encountered Gates, Identification flew, words flew, and house-sized, professorial egos flared (A celebrity Harvard professor no-less), house-sized police egos flew and an arrest was made.
OK. The local DA or Commonwealth's Attorney, or whatever they have in Cambridge decided not to charge Gates... which was smart of them... there wasn't much of a case to make. Sergeant Crowley, by all accounts a decent bloke, keeps his dignity by not being punked by an asshole professor, Gates gets some serious air time... which all celebrities love.
Still with me?
Then during a Press conference, a reporter asks President his opinon on the arrest, and the President gives his opinion that the officers acted stupidly. Then all of this nonsense well and truly goes into orbit!
Last night, I had a facebook exchange with a Republican echo chamber member who was all nuts about this issue... and today, reading the Huffington post, all of the lefties were huffing, puffing, and snorting righteous outrage about cops being "bullies" and "power mad" and claims that "cops control the country" etcetera.
What a load of nonsense.
Let me explain a few things. Academics have egos... huge ones. Don't believe me? ask Mrs Gunfighter, she is an academic who works among academics (in her world, the undereducated have Masters degrees), in her office there are approx. 65 people, and all but about 5 have Ph.D's... she'll tell you. Let me explain further, Cops have huge egos. I know this, having been a lawman, myself for the past twelve years. In my world, you have to be prepared to back your own play, and anyone not strong enough to do that isn't worth the money that he or she is being paid.
This whole incident has become about race.
It isn't about race.
It's about class and ego.
Harvard professors aren't used to being challenged. In their world, there is them, and the people that are deferential to them... which is to say, everyone else. Gates wasn't going to be pushed around by some asshole cop, especially in his own home... who can blame him? On the other side of this is the fact that Cops don't like being challenged. In our world, there are the good guys (us), the bad guys, and the people who call us for help. The Sergeant, a blue collar man, and no doubt proud of his chosen profession, wasn't about to be pushed around by anybody, asshole professor from Harvard or not.
Gates should have kept his cool. He didn't.
Crowley should have kept his cool. He didn't.
A legitimate, but totally unnecessary arrest was made.
We see the result.
The President? Well, he gave his opinion when he was asked a question. Was he wrong for saying the police acted stupidly in this case? Not really, because if they hadn't acted stupidly, we wouldn't still be talking about this bullshit story a week or more later.
There is nothing to see here, folks.
Disperse. Go home.
Don't be distracted from the real issue of the day, which is getting health care reform enacted. Don't be put off by stupid "birther" stories. Don't be put off by the echo chamber and spin machine.
Go in peace.