Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crying Race at the drop of a hat

William F. Buckley once said that he'd rather be ruled by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard University. After the events of this last week, I'm inclined to agree with him.
Remember the incident? A black university professor was returning to his home, had a hard time with the door, and because of a neighbor's 911 call, the cops came and confronted him. The professor wouldn't give them boo. And, he was within his rights. In your house, you don't have to have anything to do with cops unless they have probably cause or a warrant. And they had neither. Trouble was, the cops didn't know it.
So the professor ranted, and he yelled, and he called people racist, and finally they cuffed him.
The irony here is that the police were there specifically to protect the home of the professor. They didn't cuff him because he was a n***** but because they thought he was a burglar.
Now, while the professor had the right of it legally, he did two things wrong: First, he lost his cool and started shouting. Second, he called "Race, Race." Think about it for a minute. Here's a clear case of mistaken identity. Wouldn't it have been better for this supposedly smart person to simply say, "I live here. Here's my ID"? But nooooo, he had to thrash around like a schoolboy caught with a cigarette out behind the gym.
The cops don't come away much better, of course. What they should have done is leave the house, stake it out, and wait for developments.
From the things I read, however, I'm beginning to think it's cops 1, professor 0, President Obama -1.


Bee's Blog said...

He 'over reacted'!

Hope the beer was cold!

bekkieann said...

But isn't it nice to have a president who admits to being human and making mistakes, and then doing something to try to make it right? So much better than adamantly insisting you were right when the whole world can see otherwise.

I give Obama credit for doing the right thing in the end and helping to cool feelings all around.

On both your houses said...

I'm not too sure what you mean by "The right thing." He met with both parties, but I get the idea it was simply to smooth things over and be presidential. In the end, nothing was settled, was it?

bekkieann said...

By the right thing, I mean he acknowledged his own error. But yes, he did the diplomatic thing and soothed hurt feelings. Though human nature being what it is, I suspect the prof and the cop will nurse their wounds for some time yet.

I understand the cops were just doing their job. But I also understand the reality of racial profiling. I personally know well-educated, intelligent, professionally-successful African Americans who are stopped regularly by cops and UHP for absolutely no reason. And they know to be very respectful when it happens.

Sort of like when you get the audit letter from the IRS and you can't kiss that guy's butt enough before it's all over. You know he has that much power over you.