Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama's 'Stupid' Remark Heats Up Police Organizations Nationwide

President Obama's defense of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Harvard black studies professor now at the center of a national debate on race and criminal justice, has enraged police departments across the country.

ABC News leads reporting with, "
Cop Who Arrested Gates Not Ruling Out Defamation Lawsuit: Case Heats Up as Police Organizations Criticize Obama for Jumping Into the Controversy." (Via Memeorandum.)

Also, at the Los Angeles Times, "
Police Debate Obama's Remark: One Former Chief Says it Could Prompt Some Self-Examination. Another Calls it a Big Mistake." And at the New York Post, "Bam in a Racial Uproar: Cops Across the Nation Lash Out at 'Stupid' Label."

Also, from the Boston Herald, "911, Police Tapes Key in Gates Case: Officials Mull Release of Recorded Evidence":
Mounting pressure to get to the bottom of the controversial arrest of black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. is centering on recorded police tapes that may offer a dose of reality amid all the media and political noise.

Cambridge police brass and lawyers are weighing making the tapes public, which could include the 911 call reporting a break-in at Gates’ home and radio transmissions by the cop who busted him July 16 for disorderly conduct.

“It’s powerful evidence because the (people involved) have not had a chance to reflect and you are getting their state of mind captured on tape,” said former prosecutor and New York City police officer Eugene O’Donnell, who is now a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan.
Plus, on the larger implications, see the New York Times, "Professor’s Arrest Tests Beliefs on Racial Progress":
“No matter how much education you have as a person of color, you still can’t escape institutional racism,” said Keith E. Horton, a sports and entertainment lawyer in Chicago who is black. “That’s what the issue is to me.”
Really? Check William Jacobson, "Race and Class in Harvard Square":
A simple request to step outside is viewed by Professor Gates as an affront to his dignity and the fulfillment of academic theories. The same request likely was viewed by Sgt. Crowley as a cautious step so as not to be caught alone inside a house possibly occupied not only by Professor Gates but also by a second unaccounted-for person (what did happen to the taxi driver?).

While there may be aspects of the case which
reflect a "national Rohrsach test on race," this may be more of a national Rohrsach test on class. A member of Cambridge's intellectual elite viewing the scene from the perch of academic smarts, and a police sergeant viewing the same events from the perch of street smarts. A real class divide hidden behind the rhetoric of race.
In Gates' case, his academic standing gave him an entitlement mentality. The cops were beneath his station, and he refused to show the appropriate respect to law enforcement. Some "white sensitivity" might have helped as well (that is, knowing how tone and demeanor can make or break as situation like this).

See, for example, Michael Meyers, "
Henry Louis Gates should Skip the Racial Histrionics: Instead, Teach Kids to Cooperate with Cops":
The most famous black professor at Harvard lives in a very safe neighborhood because, in part, residents look out for and report suspicious activities, and because cops respond quickly to reports of possible break-ins. Yet that's not how Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, took it when cops showed up at his door after a neighbor reported two black men (Gates and his driver) seemingly pushing into a vacant residence, which turned out to be Gates' home.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct, and the rest is now histrionic history. (The charges have since been dropped, but the incident is not going away.)

Gates was returning from a trip to China, and he couldn't get in through a jammed front door, so he apparently went around the back, shut off an alarm and worked with his driver to get the door open.

In any neighborhood - especially one of the safest in America - that kind of behavior would be cause for suspicion and a call to the cops, no matter the color of the guys "breaking" in.

But when police showed up, the "he said, he said" has Gates indignant and, according to the cop, refusing to present himself and his ID, then complying and at some point getting loud - with Gates saying, according to the police report, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?"

Had I been the cop, I would have probably gotten suspended for saying to Gates: "No, stupid, because I need you to step outside so that I may do my job. I need to know that you are who you say you are."

The cop's job is not the most famous black professor at Harvard's concern. Yet Gates' automatic reflex was racial - that of a victim rather than a property lessee. The man with all the brains did not have the common sense of the average citizen who appreciates good and effective police work.
Read the whole thing, here.

Also, from Gateway Pundit, "President of International Brotherhood of Police Officers Slams Obama! ...Update: Cop Considers Lawsuit Against Gates."

Also Blogging:
Althouse, American Thinker, JustOneMinute, Macsmind, PrairiePundit Riehl World View, Don Surber,, and Wizbang .

More at


Dave said...

I am so glad to see this reaction on the part of our nation's law enforcement community, as I have become tired of seeing people constantly cower in front of professional race-baiters and race pimps like Jesse and Al.

As for Obama, you can take the community agitator out of the community,but you can't take the agitator out of the community agitator.

This man has a major racial chip on his shoulder, and proved it for all the world to see when he made his ill-informed comments about the arrest of one of his fellow community agitators.

When pressed, he instantly and reflexively reverted to form and "ran home to momma."

I believe that Barack Hussein Obama doesn't like white people at all, and likes his country even less.

-If this even is his country.


LFC said...

The preceding comment is somewhat bizarre (Gates is not a "community agitator," he is a scholar), and its last line is ridiculous.

Glancing at DD's comments on this blog about the Gates incident, the only even halfway sensible thing is the quote from John McWhorter in an earlier post, the implications of which which DD, despite having quoted it, appears not to grasp, since he follows it w/ a defense of racial profiling. About what I expected.

Rich Casebolt said...

In a post-9/11 world, you don't diss the police like this and expect to garner people's respect.

Especially here in the NYC metro area (Al Sharpton notwithstanding).

Add this to the doctor-dissing ... about how the profit motive corrupts the decisions doctors make ... and methinks a whole lot of people now owe the previous President an apology themselves, for deriding him for his lack of public-speaking expertise as they supported the current Prez.

Of course ... this could be a diversion ... so keep your eyes on the Congress over the next few days, in case they try to push Obamascare and the new Enron (Cap & Trade) a little further towards reality.

shoprat said...

You can't heal the racial divide by agitating it. That's a lesson lost on Obama, Gates and others.