Friday, July 24, 2009

Obama-Gates: racial paranoia and profiling

White cop, Sgt Crowley, arrests black Harvard prof (and Obama pal), Henry Louis Gates, Obama sticks both feet in mouth.

By now this is old news but here’s some interesting commentary on the subject:

An LAPD police officer:

... let us examine the issue of racial profiling as it pertains — or doesn’t — to Mr. Gates’s arrest. As I wrote on Wednesday, the suggestion that Gates was "profiled" is ludicrous. Gates was not simply driving or walking along and into the awareness of some racist cop looking to exert authority over him.

... if Crowley’s account is accurate, it was Gates who profiled him, imputing racial animus as the reason for the sergeant’s presence on the front porch.

Victor Davis Hanson:
Somehow the president in the last few hours, in his now characteristic stereotyping, has managed to insult the nation's police with his "stupidly" comment, the nation's surgeons with his reference to greedy tonsil-cutting, and the nation's elderly with his aspirin quip — all reminiscent of the "typical white person" castoff, Pennsylvania clingers speech, and the Special Olympics one-liner. Given his propensity to apologize abroad for the purported sins of other earlier Americans, can we expect some "I'm sorry"s for his own clumsy generalizations?
Charles Krauthammer:
He should have said, "I am a friend of Gates, and therefore I'm inclined to believe his story. But since there's no way I can know what actually happened, I'll decline a comment."
... Instead, he developed the Gates' narrative of racism, and I think in a situation in which it was at least, as of now, entirely unwarranted.

Heather MacDonald :

... whereas Gates’s rantings about police bias might ultimately be dismissed as standard ivory-tower posturing, Obama has now put the presidential imprimatur on a set of untruths that will only fuel disrespect for the law and impede the police in their efforts to protect inner-city residents from crime.

Hope and change in Obama’s "post-racial America".

Update: Mark Steyn:

... The photograph of the arrest shows a bullet-headed black cop – Sgt. Leon Lashley, I believe – standing in front of the porch while behind him a handcuffed Gates yells accusations of racism. This is the pitiful state the Bull Connors of the 21st century are reduced to, forced to take along a squad recruited from the nearest Benetton ad when they go out to whup some uppity Negro boy.

As professor Gates jeered at the officers, "You don't know who you're messin' with." Did Sgt. Crowley have to arrest him? Probably not. Did he allow himself to be provoked by an obnoxious buffoon? Maybe. I dunno. I wasn't there. Neither was the president of the United States, or the governor of Massachusetts or the mayor of Cambridge. All of whom have declared themselves firmly on the side of the Ivy League bigshot. And all of whom, as it happens, are African American. A black president, a black governor and a black mayor all agree with a black Harvard professor that he was racially profiled by a white-Latino-black police team, headed by a cop who teaches courses in how to avoid racial profiling. The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism suggests that the "post-racial America" will be living with blowhard grievance-mongers like professor Gates unto the end of time.

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