Disclaimer: Political-esque post to follow…you’ve been warned.

Remember the good ‘ol days when people, particularly those in Power, let’s say politicians, would have to be very careful what they say?

Welcome to Change, my friends.
Our President had to do some pretty decent backpedaling this past week after wildly over-stepping his bounds in regards to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr, a Harvard professor and apparent friend of President Obama. I’m sure by now the majority of you are familiar with the incident that occurred on July 17th of this year in Cambridge, MA. Here’s the report generated by Sgt. Crowley along with the supplemental report by Ofr. Figueroa.
Here is the audio (via YouTube) of the 911 call….and by the way, you dispatchers out there, is it just me or does this dispatcher suck?

Here’s the question posed by a reporter and President Obama’s remarks. Pay particular attention to the actual question…

What does that say about race relations in America? Well, Ms Sweet, exactly nothing. This incident wasn’t remotely racial until Professor Gates made it one. What the public is either not privy to or doesn’t really care to know is that there are a procedures in place for the police with regard to how to properly handle a call of this type. Identifying all involved parties is at or near the top of the list. Refusal to identify yourself and having an attitude is a huge red flag for us. I don’t care what color you are, how old you are, what your socioeconomic status is. I just want to know your name.

What has this world come to? Well, folks, it’s the same old world it always was. If society tries to move past racism, someone or other will pull us right back in. It runs the gamut. Insert race here. Every race is guilty of it. Yes, even Canadians. (I’m aware that’s not a race, but it’s been awhile since I gave America’s Hat a hard time…much love, Canada!)
Here’s what really sticks in my craw, though. First, how are we as police officers supposed to respond now to what, by all accounts, appeared to be a possible in progress residential burglary? Do we need to staff our departments with every shade under the rainbow in case the possible suspects in a call are of Inuit descent? What’s that, you say? Irish suspect? Get O’Shaugnessey over here. But make sure to check the Irish suspect’s religion first! Wouldn’t want a Catholic suspect meeting up with a Protestant copper!
Secondly, what the hell was President Obama thinking? He had little knowledge of the facts of the incident; however, since “Skip” Gates is a friend, the stupidity lies solely in the lap of Sgt. Crowley? This is the man that makes Decisions. Note the upper case…we’re talking globally impacting Decisions. In this case, he, in my opinion, went off half cocked without taking the time to look into the incident first.
Thirdly (and this has been a bone of contention around the PD this week), would I (or you) agree to a meeting at the White House over a beer? Um….hell no. If I were in Sgt. Crowley’s position, the only way I’d go is if I was ordered. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to visit the White House and meet the President. What a great honor! However, under these circumstances, you wouldn’t catch me dead there. Here’s why. I don’t know if Professor Gates is pursuing any litigious activity. Ain’t no way in hell I’m making any statements to the man. Also, if I were in Sgt. Crowley’s shoes, I would be of the opinion that I would only be giving validity to claims of racism where none existed.
The bottom line is President Obama, in my opinion, had no business saying anything about this incident until he was more properly educated. And honestly, even after that, I’m not so sure his commentary would be beneficial. How’s about a nice political “the matter is being looked into.”
I find the entire issue distasteful and f’n irritating. Having read the report, it appears to me that Professor Gates vastly over-reacted and haphazardly (at best) threw out the race card. Unfortunately, everyone, racism exists. It always will. I’m not saying it’s justified/proper/appropriate and I’m not saying I advocate it by any stretch. I think it’s naive to think we can alter the thinking of every man, woman, and child with regard to this issue.
All I can do to combat it in my backyard is to treat everyone the same, regardless of whatever label and/or category you want to ascribe to a given individual.
Shame on you, Professor Gates. And you, President Obama. Both of you should have known better. At least knee jerk reactions are color blind.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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24 thoughts on “Disclaimer: Political-esque post to follow…you’ve been warned.

  1. Wow… yeah, that dispatcher sucked… talk about not listening to ur caller. and for the rest of your opinion, AMEN!!!

  2. Daily Show had a nice bit about how this is the best thing that could have happened to the Professor. For years he teaches about oppression and the plight of a class, then suddenly has the opportunity to exploit his teachings.

    All the while some honest civil servants try to do their job and the feds step in. Reminds me a bit of the Schiavo case, when politicians went nuts trying to get seen on one side or another.

    Racism exists for sure, always will. How we deal with it is what makes us part of the problem or the solution, right?
    Great post MC, thank you.

  3. 1. The dispatcher SUCKED! Really? Is that how you handle what could be a possible in progress residential burglary call? Glad I don't work with them cause my boot would be so far up their arse everyday!

    2. Your opinion couldn't coincide with mine more. I'm sorry that this happened to be case where he knew the president but you know, when you don't provide information to the police, you're gonna draw some red flags. If it was his house that was being broken into, wouldn't he expect the officers to do everything to get to the bottom of it?

    Awesome way of putting out there again!

  4. I bet that was onnnne uncomfortable beer and peanut session.

    I don't think the Sgt. had any choice but to attend because if he didn't go, the same idiots would be screaming that he wouldn't share a beer with the professor because he's a racist.

  5. Excellent post, well written!
    What if it was a white President making those remarks with an African American police officer making the arrest?
    An African American officer from Sgt. Crowley's department stood up for how the incident was handled. Now he is being called a "sell out" to his race.
    Racism or the claim of racism always throws common sense and objectivity out the door, with politicians and activists all too ready to condemn before making an EDUCATED decision or statement.

  6. The sad part is, it's usually the "minority" who ascribes said label upon him or herself. And, it's usually the same "minority" who is the first to mention race, then accuse the other of being the racist.

    I have never in my career called anyone by any name that could be even remotely construed as racist. Yet I often hear "That's right. Gotta arrest the nigga!" uttered by the person I'm arresting.

    First they ask for equality, then they do their best to separate themselves from the equality we try to exercise.

    As I have often explained to suspects, my handcuffs are equal opportunity.

  7. I really don't think what happened was racial at all. It was a Prideful Academic versus the Real World. I'm sure the Officer treated Gates with the same proper level of respect he treats anyone. But an Academic is used to being treated with reverence and almost worship at times, so to be treated with anything common like folks in the Real World experience would have been insulting and immediately resulted in the Academic's response/posture/attitude of a "don't you know who I am, how dare you treat me like this".

  8. Great post. I totally agree with you.

    About the racism issue, I feel the NAACP and Media has done nothing but keep it alive and well. Todays youth is by far the most open and free thinking generation yet. They could care less about race, religion and sexual orientation when it comes to their friends and other people.

    It seems the powers that be just want to give it to the next generation to carry on the sad legacy.

  9. I agree with everything you say except about Sgt. Crowley going to the White House. I think that was very much the right thing to do.

    Actually, he was the one who suggested the three meet for a beer. But even if he didn't, not attending would give his opponents major ammunition and make him look like an angry hothead. Instead, he looks like a level-headed hero before the camera, helping Professor Skippy down the steps at the White House (the latter was playing the cane to the hilt). Also, when they were talking, you could see the Sergeant was "in charge." He was not at all intimidated by where they were. Skippy and Barry were just listening.

    Professor Skippy has said repeatedly he will not sue, so that's not an issue.

  10. 'spatcher 911:

    "I'm sorry that this happened to be case where he knew the president"

    I am of the mind that this only happened BECAUSE he know the President. Quite coincidental that the man would spend his life teaching about oppression (as HM mentioned), and have it be a mere 7 months since his buddy ol' pal becomes the Leader of the Free World for there to be an issue like this? I think not!

    The man is a Harvard freaking Professor… I am sure he knew EXACTLY what he was doing and how the timing and players would affect the outcome.

    $10 says dude is writing a book. He just needed 1) a way to name drop Obama's name and 2) an easily recognizeable event that happened to him personally to really get the sales up.

  11. I was watching I think O'Reilly when Laura Ingraham was hosting, and Ann Coulter said if profiling is happening all this time, where is the proof of it? She cited negative proofs, statistics that blacks were stopped less for speeding, etc, than where whites, etc. I think Gates sees everything through some big colored glasses, and if you're not his color, you're automatically a racist. It seems to be the liberals dividing everyone up by race, when they scream tolerance, yet they are doing their best to divide people.

  12. I'm convinced that when an AAD (American of African Descent) throws a race card, he is SO getting arrested. The officer has two choices- let the jackass go, reinforcing his idea that he can get away with crimes if he squeals racism, or cuff his stupid ass. Even if the charges don't get pursued, our irrationally angry douche gets a tour of the pokey at the station.

    The thing that REALLY pisses me off about this Gates situation is that nobody is talking about what condition Gates was likely in. He just got off a 14 hour plane ride from China, and almost certainly sat in first class. That means FREE BOOZE. He took a cab home. Is it possible (or even likely, or even damn near certain) that he was tired, dehydrated, and borderline 647(f) (drunk in public) when Crowley hooked him up? Why does everybody have their maxipads in a knot about a cop arresting an exhausted, drunken asshole?

    Crowley HAD to arrest him. Gates might have been 11550 (stoned,) 647(f) (drunk,) or 5150 (batshit crazy) (These are California codes, BTW.) Since Sgt Crowley had no way of knowing whether Gates was one of those 3 or just being an asshole, he had no choice but to arrest him. If Crowley simply left, and Gates had a heart attack or started beating on a random passerby, what do you think would have happened? THE DEPARTMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN SUED, AND THE PLAINTIFFS WOULD HAVE CLAIMED RACE WAS A FACTOR!!!!!!

    We ask our law enforcement people to make these kind of damned if you do, fucked if you don't decisions several times a day. For the President to ignorantly weigh in and take sides is reprehensible.

  13. What I don't get is why the media keeps referring to this incident as "racial profiling." A burglary-in-progress call is not the same as pulling a guy over because he's in the "wrong" neighborhood. I think everyone involved over-reacted by the time it was over. But the officer did nothing wrong in his initial response.

  14. What if it were an old white lady trying to get into her house? I somehow suspect this gallant, blameless officer would've behaved far differently.

    He wouldn't have the nads to taze her like our TX boys do.

  15. What everyone needs to realize is that the president has hatred in his heart. You need to realize this rather quickly…

  16. Yo – last Anon – Thank you for taking notice of all the years, hard work and practice we put in to be the absolute best bastards we can possibly be. We strive for perfection and your appreciation of our efforts is duly noted. In your haste to notice our bastardly perfection, we hope that you haven't overlooked our similar quest to be the perfect 'asshole.'

    Have a great day, Citizen!

  17. I do so love the people with the courage of their convictions to post their opinions, then stand by them…oh, wait. He was anonymous.

    Never mind.

    Normally, I'd invoke the Filibuster Rule, but this pitiful little turkey is just a waste of skin and air. He wasn't even entertaining. Sad.

  18. I admire President Obama, but I was very disappointed that he opened his mouth and commented on this without knowing all the facts. It was inappropriate.

    Peggy

  19. I have to say, I was very disappointed in Mr. Obama myself. I hold him in high regard, and admire his don't-take-shit-cuz-i'm-in-charge attitude. The man's in control. This totally caught me off guard, because it is a prime example of classism. This professor believes himself "high class" and thinks he should be treated differently. I almost hope on his next trip, somebody does break into his house, and nobody calls the cops and the cops don't do shit about it. And I hope just a little bit that the theif is black.