Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gatesgate: Two Male Egos

The cop who arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates has been teaching a class to cops on racial profiling for five years, according to ABC News.

Reportedly, Professor Gates called the police officer a "racist." The professor "exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior" and repeatedly shouted at the police officer.

I think it's completely outrageous for anyone to be arrested at their own home for the 'disorderly conduct' of challenging a police officer's right to be in that home. And it's a fact that blacks are disproportionately harassed and abused and arrested by cops.

Still, you don't have to be black to be arrested for sassing a cop. It happens to white people and it happens to uppity women all the time. I sassed a cop when I was a teen-ager. He arrested me. My teen-age daughter sassed a cop. He was a complete jerk who was insufferably patronizing and rude. I swallowed my pride and did some major sucking up to get him to take the handcuffs off my young daughter and let her go home with me.

I'm happy that Professor Henry Louis Gates is so privileged that he is able to freely express his anger and outrage to a cop's face. Myself, I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. Experience has taught me that if a cop is being rude to you, too bad. You better smile sweetly and appease him real quick because if you return the rudeness, you will be arrested.

The men on the cable news channels are talking a blue streak about racism, but really it sounds like the entire affair can be chalked up to the collision of two enormous male egos.

Obama said the cop behaved "stupidly." Yeah, well, so did the Professor.