I have refrained from commenting on the Crowley-Gates-Obama affair until today.
Why? Because I didn’t know how I really viewed the incident and if I considered race the main motivating factor behind the officer’s actions. And when I’m suffering an intellectual dilemma or an internal conflict I keep my mouth shut and blogging about the incident wouldn’t have allowed me to reach a resolution.
I think I’m now seeing things a bit more clearly.
You see, while I do believe that Gates should never have been arrested and if the situation had been reversed, I would have supported a White or Latino man in this circumstance as well, I don’t know if Professor Gates really was a victim of racial profiling.
On one hand I believe Gates was arrested because he was being mouthy to Sergeant Crowley and while I agree that’s not a justifiable reason to be arrested, the cop exercised his discretion to the fullest by conducting the arrest when he should have walked away. BUT cops arrest mouthy people all the time-in some instances it’s to prove they can. However, these arrests don’t typically occur in the person’s own home! But I don’t know if he wanted to arrest a mouthy, black man or if he just wanted to arrest a man that was giving him lip.
Look, I’ve never been mouthy with a cop and the times I have been caught breaking the law, i.e speeding I have been polite and courteous and most often or not the cop gave me a ticket for another minor traffic offense instead of the speeding ticket. Once, I even dared to tell the truth when asked the dreaded question, “Do you know why I stopped you?” I replied, “Yes. I was speeding and I know I shouldn’t be.” The cop smiled, looked at me, said something which I can’t remember right now, talked with me for a few more minutes, checked my ID and registration and then he let me go with a warning. And this was in a small town, in Upstate New York where you can count the number of black people on one hand! LOL
But I can also tell you that I believe my husband and I have been victims of racial profiling in Arizona. And that we’ve been pulled over more times in that state than in any other state we’ve lived or travelled too in the United States.
So I can see both sides of the issue.
Anyway,President Obama, James Crowley and Louis Gates have all decided to have a beer together at the White House. What a great photo op! The three peace makers should break into song-Kumbaya would be perfect..LOL. Until the next incident involving race confronts and divides us. But I believe the Crowley-Gates incident had more to do with class than it did about race and that is something we have not even begin to honestly confront in America.