Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Get To Know the Brother That Lives Across the Street
I have seen confrontations like the one between Dr. Gates and the Cambridge police department. It happens a lot but the other men are not world renowned professors at Harvard so you don't hear about it. There is nothing more defiant than a middle aged black man that knows he's not a criminal and is being questioned by the police. It's a life experience thing that I don't even understand. Some police officers can ignore most of that and some can't. It's possible Dr. Gates went off at the idea he had to prove he was walking into his own house. He might have used one of those names older black men use to describe police or white people and the officer got upset. I wasn't there so I don't know for sure.
I want to talk about the fact that one of his neighbors called 911. I know good and well if you live in the same area with a Harvard professor who has been all over the television for helping black people find their native countries you know what he looks like. If someone is giving you a ride home and pass his house you point out of the window and say "That's where Dr. Gates live". We did it with Fats Domino. Everyone in the Lower Ninth Ward could take you to Fats Domino house. I doubt that a 58 year old black man on a cane is going to start his crime spree in Cambridge. Whoever made that phone call was just being paranoid. Please get to know your black neighbors so we don't have these kind of problems.