Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Proof that there is no racism anymore

Getting arrested for breaking in to your own home, the sort of thing that only used to happen to minorities, is now a privilege being offered to Harvard professors: Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrested at Cambridge home.

Oh, wait, right, Gates is black. Never mind.

BTW, the cops arrested him for “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior”, and his version of the story is here. The two versions aren't entirely incompatible. If the cop who came to investigate refused to give him name and badge number, I could imagine Gates yelling at him. He's a Harvard prof., after all, and that often comes with a fairly outsized ego.

Personally, I grew up knowing never to yell at cops, partly because they deserve our respect, but also because they carry guns and clubs and can totally fuck up your life if you piss them off. There are people out there, however, that can get away with yelling at cops, namely, the rich, the famous, and the connected. Gates is all three, so it's not surprising if he thought he could get away with treating a cop like a freshman caught sleeping in class.

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