Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama Sparks Controversy with his Comments on Arrested Harvard Professor

While reading a little news today, I came across a story that had me shaking my head; it's a shame some of the things that still happen in our country today.

According to CNN, President Obama made a comment about the Cambridge police department "acting stupidly" in their arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent African American Harvard professor. As we know, being arrested for doing nothing wrong is every black man's nightmare and it happened to Gates in his own home! The big debate is whether President Obama should have expressed his opinion about an incident where he admits he did not know all the facts.
"Arresting officer Sgt. James Crowley -- who handcuffed Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. last week --said he was dismayed that the president....would opine on the issue without all the details".
Gates is a personal friend of Obama , so Obama did admit that he was biased. According to the news article:

"Crowley, in the police report about the incident, said Gates refused to cooperate with him and repeatedly accusing him of racism when he went to Gates' home following a report of a possible break-in July 16.

Crowley said he tried to determine whether there was someone else at the home and wanted to ensure Gates' safety.

Gates, however, told him "that I had no idea who I was 'messing' with" and was being so loud that he could not give pertinent information to the department when he was calling in, the sergeant said.

Authorities have said they may release tapes of the officer calling in, in which Gates is heard in the background

Crowley's report said that when he asked to speak with Gates outside, the professor at one point responded, "I'll speak with your mama outside."

Gates' attorney, Charles Ogletree, said the professor never made such a remark.

The full story will show that Gates did nothing wrong -- and that Crowley did not identify himself at first, Ogletree said."

Lol at "I'll speak with your mama outside". From a Harvard professor?!

President Obama was surprised by the controversy surrounding his comments, and frankly, I am too. I know he is the President of the United States , hence all public comments will be criticized more harshly, but it seems as though this public outrage is a little much. President Obama was simply commenting on a friend's unfortunate and disgraceful ordeal at the hands of Cambridge police.

The professor was arrested after he had already proven that he was indeed in his own home. Police need to keep their anger in check when dealing with the public and stop always trying to cover up their racial prejudice. There is NO way this man would have been arrested in his home if he had been white. The police officer would have approached him in a different way and the outcome certainly would have been different. It's like Kim Coleman, a Washington radio host said, "There's a reason we don't here about prominent white people arrested in their homes: it doesn't happen".

If a department has not had a racially motivated incident in some time, it does not mean racism has been abolished(as much as we would all like that), it could simply signify that police officers are doing a better job of suppressing their prejudices. The problem with suppression is that those instincts and prejudices almost always bubble to the surface and explode.

Cambridge Police Department needs to check itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment