Wednesday, July 29, 2009

beer summit....

seriously? SERIOUSLY? No matter who's side you are on - you have to admit - there are bigger fish to fry in this Country.

If you don't know - Prof. Gates of HAHHHHVAHHHD and Officer Crowley of the Cambridge Coppers got into a tif and the Presi decided to comment on it. And really - if you didn't know - how much is the rent on the rock you live under?

That said: here was my thought process:

Report: b&e reported in Cambridge - white cop shows, verbal exchange with black resident, racial issues erupt, cop arrests professor.

My initial take: Cop is on testosterone high on his way to take down a criminal - resident is insulted about officer questioning his resident status and cries racism. Cop gets aggravated. BUT - and this is a HUGE BUT - I wasn't there. There were rumors and old lady neighbor called in about "2 black guys" was this her fault for not knowing her neighbors? Was the cop a hot-head? Was the professor frustrated from being locked out of his house and was taking it out on the cop?

So I started off thinking it could go both, or either way. SOMEONE overreacted. There is obviously more to this story.

THEN - Mr O said the police "acted stupidly" well - ummm - were you there? I wasn't - to my knowledge - 5 people were there and a few others were involved via radio transmission. Why is the president commenting on this? OH - he's friends with Gates - I get it now.

THEN we hear tapes of Gates talking about profiling and racial issues and all that jazz - he even breaks down his heritage for us... why? He is deep in it. He talks about this stuff all the time - it's on the tip of his tongue - if you expect something - isn't it possible that expectation may tinge the situation a little?

THEN the Governor of Mass and the Mayor of Cambridge pipe up all leaning toward the alleged "racist cop" How quick we are to judge? Because this Country has a history of racism found in white police officers - or white people with power in general, it is almost easy to think it's the truth of the case - right? Profiling right? white + cop = racist. hmmmm is THIS profiling? Is this reverse-racism? NEWSFLASH: racism is racism people - "reverse" means you don't know the definition of racism.

THEN we find out Crowley is a highly respected officer who trains rookies and other officers in racial sensitivity... hmmmm... so he's considered his racist undertones and covered it up by teaching sensitivity to hide his true self???? WHY THAT MUST BE IT!

THEN we hear the tapes. The tapes of the 911 call not mentioning race until asked, and even then it wasn't given as "black" anyone. The tapes of a calm police officer keeping record of the incident. Tapes of the officer saying the suspect is not cooperative (still calm) and then stating Gates name as the resident. (which came first? Must be the egg...)

THEN things transpire not on record, not on tape. A photo of calm officer taking a screaming Gates out of his home. But we don't know, and will never know what happened off the "record"

Did they NEED to arrest him? Was it justified? Was it excessive? possibly. Again, I wasn't there - but for all they know Gates had just been fired and broke in to burn the place down (it is owned by Harvard) So many variables... we just don't know.

My OPINION: I think if he was being belligerent - in his home or not - him arguing with officers who were called for a B&E was him acting STUPIDLY. (yes I said it) What if 2 men broke in, had his friend in the other room with a gun to his head while Gates flashes his ID to get rid of the cops? Who's fault would it have been had they left that situation and Gates was murdered? Hmmm....???? Yes this wasn't the case - but the police are trained to follow through - and that was what they were TRYING to do and Gates got in their way. This had nothing to do with the color of a person's skin, hair, car, house, or dog. This had to do with a man not wanting to be bothered in his home and the police trying to investigate a call. SIMPLY that.

Unfortunately, in our Country and others - more often than not, this is not the case. The stereotype of the black man assumed criminal being set aside by the police while they prove him innocent - that is, if they take the time to do that - we see it all the time. But just because this happens, doesn't mean it happened on this particular day.

NOW - Obama. Dude... be careful what you start - it doesn't take much to flip the switch on racial tension. And BOY did your comment do that. And trying to get your photo op with beer in hand is just ridiculous - this should have been handled in-house - in CAMBRIDGE.

People started choosing sides based on whatever profile they believed in. Admit it - anyone who heard this made assumptions before knowing all the facts - basing it on what they know about police/professors/Cambridge/friends/experiences and that my friends, is PROFILING. We STILL don't know all of the details - and as I type I could be off base too. this is just my opinion. I will admit I have seen/heard gates before and thought "oh boy here comes a "don't you know who I am" moment" when i heard it was him involved. I still believe that is part of the situation. If you are MOTHER THERESA you would have to give ID and wait for the Police to search your house. They Id'd me when I thought someone was in my house... stood right next to me near the sleeping kids while officer #2 searched the house - and I was glad.

What did we learn? Be respectful of people, be calm when dealing with difficult situations - and carry a tape recorder at all times - maybe a camera crew too.

Go ahead - let me have it - what's your opinion? I'm cool with listening to yours... you just read mine!



  1. Hi there. I am Mark, you know of me from Kimber.

    I am a small "l" libertarian. I want pot to be legal though I would rather eat broken glass then smoke it. I want Canadians and Mexicans to be able to work here and therefore pay into social security, medicare, and income taxes. I want less public sector spending and more private sector charity.

    I think the cop got his feelings hurt. I think professor Gates acted indignantly in his own home, which is his right. I think the President should have parsed his words more tacitly.

    I think this is one big mess, and I am betting police officers around the country who in fact ARE racists are thinking twice when they see a black man driving a Cadillac.

    Seriously, of all the people to arrest on a power trip, a Harvard professor who is friends with the President is a seriously bad choice.

  2. Hey Mark! I'm a closet Lib too!!! oops - put of the closet...

    Who Gate's friends are, and who Gates IS should have nothing to do with any of it - just as race should have nothing to do with it.

    Living in Boston - it has been a constant surge of info on this topic. Knowing life in Cambridge, having met Gates personally on one occasion, knowing how police officers respond to calls I can tell you - this was a hot mess from the get go - a total pool of oil and water - and the color of the 5 poeple involved (gates, his driver, Crowley and the other 2 Officers) had nothing to do with it.

    Gates had just returned from a long and tiring trip - and Crowley was responding to a break in call - they both were in a "state" of their own which did not mix well.

    Gates may have been in his own home (actually - it is owned by Harvard) but his overtired over reaction to the police was what ignigthed the issue.

    Again - what transpired after that I don't know, but Police officers can arrest anyone who is disorderly when they are standing in the way of an investigation and that is what gates did. Yes, they could have said "OK Sir - allow us to check out your home" and he could have said "thanks for responding" (and protecting the neighborhood) but that wasn't the case. They all had their irons in this fire and the fact that citizens of this Country took sides without knowing the full situation (which as far as I'm concerned none of us know) is the saddest part of this whole situation.

    And it's based on historical truths - which is far sadder.