Tag Archives: Harvard University

Next to ‘I love you,’ ‘I don’t know’ is the best three-word sentence of all

OK, so I probably have been guilty of this myself to some degree, but there is an epidemic in the nation of individuals asserting statements of truth even after they have acknowledged that they don’t know all of the facts.

There is this from The Associated Press today:

NATICK, Mass. – A white police sergeant who arrested renowned black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. said [today] he’s disappointed President Barack Obama said officers acted “stupidly,” despite acknowledging he didn’t know all the facts.

Sgt. James Crowley responded to Gates’ home near Harvard University last week to investigate a report of a burglary and demanded Gates show him identification. Police say Gates at first refused and accused the officer of racism.

Gates was charged with disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped Tuesday, and Gates has since demanded an apology from Crowley.

Obama was asked about the arrest of Gates, who is his friend, at the end of a nationally televised news conference on health care [last] night.

“I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry,” Obama said. “Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three — what I think we know separate and apart from this incident — is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately, and that’s just a fact.”

In radio interviews [this] morning, Crowley maintained he had done nothing wrong in arresting Gates.

“I support the president of the United States 110 percent. I think he was way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts as he himself stated before he made that comment,” Crowley told WBZ-AM….

I don’t watch corporately owned and operated television, since it’s mostly just corporate brainwashing, but I happened to catch the end of Obama’s press conference at a friend’s house last night, and I was flabbergasted that Obama indeed first admitted that he didn’t know what happened between Gates and Crowley but then proceeded to assert that Gates indeed had produced his identification to Crowley as Crowley had asked him to do.

Fact is, this is a he-said, he-said situation. Gates says he produced identification when he was asked for it. The cops say that Gates refused to produce identification. While I tend to suspect that Gates indeed refused to show ID, at least initially, because he wanted to make the whole thing into a “racist” incident, I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure what happened; I can’t say who is telling the truth and who apparently is prevaricating.

When asked about Gatesgate last night, Obama should have simply stated that he wasn’t there, so he can’t take sides. That he took a side, Gates’ side, was irresponsible. It was piss-poor leadership on Obama’s part and only could serve to further stoke the flames of interracial hatred, the flames that Gates and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk seem to want to stoke.

Remaining neutral in the Gates case wouldn’t have been pussy of Obama — it would have been wise, given his admitted lack of knowledge of the facts.

And then there is Rachel Maddow. I love Rachel. She perhaps is my favorite lesbian on the planet.

But I was astounded to hear Maddow, in a clip that I recently watched on the Internet, state that of course every statement that Bowe Bergdahl, the 23-year-old American soldier being held captive by the Taliban, made in the half-hour video that the Taliban recently released was coerced.

WTF?

Fact is, we just can’t know what is in Bowe Bergdahl’s head. Yes, it’s certainly possible that everything that he said in the half-hour Taliban video, with the probable exception of the sentiments that he expressed for his family at home and his wish to go home, were coerced to at least some degree.

However, I don’t rule out that he truly believes at least some, or maybe even most of, the statements that he made. (I at least find it at least a little hard to believe that Bergdahl truly is as interested in finding out more about Islam as he states he is in the video.)

Hopefully Bergdahl will make it home safely and we will find out from him what is in his head.

Until then, each of us needs to humble herself or himself and acknowledge:

I.

Don’t.

Know.

Those are three refreshing, liberating words that we just don’t hear enough.

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Racial profiling or yet another media op for Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson?

In this photo taken by a neighbor Thursday July 16, 2009 Henry ...

Associated Press photo

In this photo taken by a neighbor of his, Henry Louis Gates Jr., the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, is arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass., on July 16. Police say they were responding to a call of a break-in at Gates’ home, while Gates reports that his front door was stuck and that he had problems opening it. Police say that Gates was uncooperative with them (to put it mildly) and that they arrested him for disorderly conduct.

So a famous black scholar apparently was arrested when he was uncooperative with police who were responding to a call that his house was being burglarized by a couple of black men. (Gates says that his front door was stuck shut and that he asked a driver to help him get it open.)

Was it racial profiling or not?

Gates says it was.

Now, I’m a white guy. If my front door were stuck and I had to force my way into my own house, and someone had called the cops to report that he or she had seen someone breaking into my house, I might not be happy to see the cops arrive; after all, I’m no burglar and it’s my own house.

But you know, I probably would cooperate with the cops, realizing (duh!) that if they’d received a report of a break-in and found me inside, they wouldn’t know whether I were the rightful occupant of the home or whether I were a burglar. I wouldn’t attribute it to my race.

If I refused to cooperate with the cops, yelling at them and demanding to see their identification and calling them names, as Gates reportedly did, I would expect to be arrested.

Of course, the cops can’t win, can they? If they had ignored the call that Gates’ home was being broken into, wouldn’t they also have been labeled as racist?: Those racist cops just let the black guy’s house get burglarized!

“It never would have happened [to a white person] — imagine a white professor, a distinguished white professor at Harvard, walking around with a cane, going into his own house, being harassed or stopped by the police. It would never happen,” Gates huffed.

The cops “harassed” Gates? Asking him to show identification because they’ve been called to a possible burglary at his home is “harassment”?

I don’t know Gates, but my guess is that he’s a perpetual “victim,” looking to pull the race card out at every fucking opportunity.

People who cry wolf, like Gates appears to have done, make it more difficult for actual victims of racial profiling and other forms of racism and discrimination.

P.S. Of course Al Sharpton has injected himself into this; it’s what he does:  “victimhood” by proxy. But more interestingly, the Boston Herald’s website gives more details of Gates’ arrest:

A witness, 40-year-old Lucia Whalen of Malden, had alerted the cops that a man was “wedging his shoulder into the front door” at Gates’ house “as to pry the door open,” police reported.

A law enforcement source said Gates apparently had locked himself out. When Sgt. James Crowley arrived, he said Gates already was inside. But when he was asked to provide identification, Gates allegedly snapped, “No, I will not!”

Police said Gates’ front-porch tirade about racism “alarmed” passers-by drawn to the uproar outside his Cambridge home.

As Crowley tried to question him, police said Gates bellowed, “This is what happens to black men in America!”

Crowley claimed in his report he tried to calm Gates, but wrote that Gates “shouted, ‘You don’t know who [you’re] messing with!”

After calling Crowley “a racist,” according to police reports, the professor was charged with disorderly conduct and released for a $40 fee….

The 58-year-old Gates sounds like a real piece of work. Clearly, baby-boomer assholism crosses racial lines.

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