Friday, July 24, 2009

Dammit, I Just Can't Stop

I'm so tired of talking about the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates, but every time I think I've moved on, it drags me right back in.

I saw something today that just infuriated me. It was a story from several police organizations telling Obama to get the "facts" before he criticized one of their "own."

First and foremost, this attitude among police officers that they are somehow separate and set apart from the general population is dangerous. These people have guns and other weapons that can kill people. If they think they are a set apart group, they likely think they are a superior group, and it won't be long before they start taking even more serious action to keep the inferior folks in line. And all us who aren't police officers qualify as inferior.

But, what really pisses me off, is that these cats have the nerve to have a press conference chastising the president and telling him to get the facts.


We have too vastly different accounts of what happened in that home. How is anybody supposed to have the facts since the two people giving those accounts were the only two people at the damn home? Besides, when police officers say, "get the facts" what they really mean is "shut up you uppity nigger and listen to us."

Dammit, I'm so angry right now I want to punch somebody. The arrogance displayed by these officers, who just so happen to be mostly white, makes my blood boil in a way that I thought was impossible thanks to my new breathing regimen and prayer. But, nope, it hasn't happened.

Arrogance is what made that officer arrest Professor Gates. Arrogance is what's preventing people from admitting that Gates was wronged in him home. Pure, unadulterated arrogance is the problem here.

And I'm pissed that I still have more articles to write about this stupid incident.



MacDaddy said...

I'm fed up with it too. But I have to give The Prez props for saying how he felt about what happened to his friend and a black man.

History says black men have been brutalized physically and emotionally in this country since their inception here. History says police, to African Americans, are nothing more than caretakers of the political system run by whites.

Experience tells me to believe Gates and The Prez. After the white guy defends himself and refused to apologize, most whites are going to believe one of their own. But any black man with sense at all will not only believe Gates; he'll realize that what happend to Gates could happen to him at any time, if it hasn't happened already.

Lisa J said...

It is sickening and I agree with Deacon and with you Big Man. It kills me that the cop refuses to apologize, thus exacerbating the situation and increasing the likelihood that he will be punished, even if it is just speaking to the press which I doubt he was authorized to do. It also kills me that the cops have the nerve to tell the President of the United States what he can and can't say based on the so-called "facts." The whole situation is irritating. I'm even a little miffed at Gates for fawning over the neighbor and saying he will buy her flowers. That will not make the people, many of whom are white, who think Gates was playing the "race card" back down at all. And as for the race card, I was thinking about that the other day and really, except for Clarence THomas calling the Senate questioning that resulted from Antia Helm's revalations about his skanky, sexually harrasing behavior a "high-tech lynching," I can't think of any instance when "playing the race card" has done much good for black folks or where the "race card" was played with the approval of the mainstream of white thought. The "race card" as it were was not created by blacks and has been used primarily as a tool of white supremacy. One last thing, I keep thinking of what my main man and favorite white-anti-racist pointed out in an essay once, that more often than not when black folks bring up racism or point it out they are more likey to be dismissed, called paranoid, or excused of playing the "race card" and that this can be traced back to the Jim Crow era. I really hate Robert Shapiro for coining that phrase after the OJ trial. The "race card" didn't even help OJ that much in the long-run b/c it gave him the neverending hatred of the majority of the white community (I even had someone tell me that MJ being acquited was bogus b/c OJ was acquited) and eventually landed him in jail for something totally stupid.

Sorry for the rant, I just needed to get that all off my chest.

macon d said...

What did you think of obama's explanation today?

He didn't exactly apologize, but it still basically sounded like one to me. Imagine Bush striking a tone like this. Reminds me of how so much of the country thinks that Dems are wimps and Repubs are tough guys more able to "protect us." He SAYS a lot that makes sense to me, but what will probably matter to most people is how it SOUNDS -- like a black man who "falsely" accused a white cop and his whole department of racism, got "called on it," and backed down, "like he should have, after playing the race card like that!" etc.

I dunno, my thoughts on it are still a bit muddled, but for now, I wish Obama had stood more firmly by his initial response.

Big Man said...


I think that America is still 60+ percent white and Barack Obama wants to get some stuff done and get re-elected.

macon d said...

Yeah, thanks, probably so. I guess that's part of that "political brilliance" we always hear about. He's the prez, not a civil rights leader. Too bad he can't be both. But maybe I'm not seeing it right, and he actually is both -- I hope so.


(btw, I think it's actually still 70% white, though I'm too Friday-lazy to look it up. Which, if correct, only furthers your point.)

Darth Whitey said...

I agree completely, I think the cops have way too much power, I'm scared to death of them (and I'm white!!)

They can arrest you just for looking at them the wrong way and then say you assaulted them or something. This cop arrested the professor just for having the nerve to talk back to him, preposterous. I myself would be way too scared to ever mouth off at a police officer but really this is exactly why. Stupid five-oh.

Esquire said...

Big Man - something very major happened with this whole thing that has flown under the radar and that's the whole swapping of the police report over on the or whatever website. I'm sure Gates has access to the original and more than enough people commented on it that it can't be completely swept away, but I think that was a pretty big (and scary) example of just how easy it is for cops to fudge facts and change things on the fly. As soon as they realized no one was buying that crap they buried it.

I'm with you big time on this one Big Man. As soon as I think about it for a second or two I get angry.

Big Man said...


I heard about the police report thing. I was not surprised. I know from personal experience how "fluid" the "facts" are in a police report.

That's what makes all this faux outrage crazy. The original police report described a ridiculously unbelievable incident, and now they've changed it to be more believable. So, somebody was lying.

older_not_wiser said...

Some of you may remember the televised conclusion of a recent car chase in SoCal where the driver jumped from his car and ran into a yard. Finding himself with nowhere to go, he lay face-down on the ground, arms and legs spread (no doubt working from long experience). A few seconds later, the first police officer on the scene appears, runs up to the motionless, proned-out man and delivers a nasty kick to his head.

Just today I read an attorney for the El Monte Police Officers Association describe that kick as a within-procedure "distraction blow".

It's barely exaggeration to say that any resemblance between the "facts" and the contents of a typical police report is accidental.

Imhotep said...

Allow me to plagiarize some eloquence from N.W.A "Fuck da Police!” Why is it when the police fuck with us, WE have to apologize?

I sure hope the president don't apologize to those racist fucks. And where the hell is the Black Police Association to speak on racial profiling and discrimination within the department?

Inspector Clouseau said...

We have three observations about the Harvard professor incident:

1. We find it interesting that the fact that this was the professor's home was evidently not established early on way before the dispute escalated;

2. We find it fascinating that the versions of two members of society, who most would ordinarily view as responsible and honest citizens (this obviously does not include politicians), would vary so dramatically from a factual point of view.

3. Finally, considering that the reading and viewing public were not present at the scene (and thus have no first hand knowledge), and that there is no video tape to our knowledge of the sequence of events and what was said, how so many have formed conclusions, and made assumptions, about who did what and who was wrong.

There are some things which Professor Gates might have considered upon the arrival of the police, no matter how incensed he may have been.

Anonymous said...

Ge over it you whiners...

Deacon Blue said...

@ Inspector...

All valid points, but it WAS established it was his home before he was hauled away, and being snippy with someone on your porch, police or otherwise, is hardly a crime, now is it? Arrested people for having attitude is an abuse of power.

Raving Black Lunatic