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Racial Profiling inthe White House?

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Grinch
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25 posted 07-29-2009 02:04 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I agree Brad, though I'd also put the President on the list for commenting at all and applying an obvious bias when he did.

.
Yoinn
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26 posted 07-29-2009 02:51 PM       View Profile for Yoinn   Email Yoinn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Yoinn's Home Page   View IP for Yoinn

Why does everyone just assume that blacks were the only race to be made slaves? I offer this reading.
http://www.revisionisthistory.org/forgottenslaves.html

Yoin
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27 posted 07-29-2009 03:07 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Grinch

But remember the president was put on the spot at the press conference to express his judgement/thoughts about it. And he did preface his comments thus:

"I should say at the outset that "Skip" Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here.  I don't know all the facts. "

(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/23/politics/main5182101.shtml)
Grinch
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28 posted 07-29-2009 03:55 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Ess,

He should have left it at that.

Denise
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29 posted 07-29-2009 04:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

He also knew ahead of time that the question was going to be asked. Gibbs acknowledged that when questioned about it.

Our 'post-racial' leader got caught playing the race card to fabricate a 'teachable' moment.

Hopefully he's the one who learned something.

And just what did the police do that was stupid, treat a black professor who is a friend of the governor and president as they would treat any citizen under the same circumstances?

Bob K
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30 posted 07-29-2009 07:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          From everything that I've seen, the police acted within policy and correctly.

     I would also say that Dr. Gates acted in an understandable fashion, though he would have done much much better to have had a longer fuse.

     There are situations that nobody does well in and in which everybody emerges feeling self-righteous.  Indeed, everybody may even be righteous.  I would fault Dr. Gates more fully here, but I can see where he might come by his reaction honestly; and why he might feel that failing to react as he did might be knuckling under to the less pleasant elements of white society.

     I don't see how the Sergeant could do other than arrest Dr. Gates once he followed the Sergeant outside and continued yelling.  A disagreement in private can often be allowed to pass as a disagreement between two people.  The same disagreement in public is a challenge to police authority and almost demands to be addressed as a police matter.  Alas.

     I would hate to feel that I had to take sides here, Denise, where I can see both sides of the story and sympathize with both sides.  Put me into the the situation on either side, and I'm afraid that I would have acted as the parties on that side acted.  As Dr. Gates, I would have felt hypocritical for not standing up for my beliefs and not expressing my outrage at being treated in a way that I felt was especially demeaning, even though I'd risen so far in the world.  As Sergeant Crowley, I'd have felt that I'd done my best to answer a potentially dangerous complaint only to have walked into a storm of what must have felt like unjustified abuse, simply for doing my job in as low key a way as I could.  When I attempted to break off the exchange without causing unneeded problems, I would have felt betrayed that Dr. Gates had not taken the chance to end the confrontation there.  A renewal of the abuse outside would have made me believe I had no choice but to deal with the man by containing him before he became violent and simply so that I could get about my business in case there were other, more potentially dangerous situations, that required my help.  Time containing Dr. Gates was time that could have been spent  with unknown other events later on my shift.  It is only with distaste and regret that I would have taken Dr. Gates into custody; it took my time away from being on patrol and visible to the citizen of Cambridge.

     They both had a good point.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Bob K
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31 posted 07-29-2009 07:50 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Yoinn,

     Blacks were not the only ones made slaves.  I'd be interested to see where your reference got his data, however.  I'd be especially interested in knowing where all those ships filled with white slaves came from.  I also believe that your author confuses the truly ugly labor practices of the times in England and other countries with slavery when they were truly ugly labor practices.  Indenture was common for children for example as part of apprenticeship programs, and the treatment the author describes was not uncommon treatment of apprentices.

     Transport was a punishment for folks convicted by the courts, many times of extraordinarily petty offenses.  It should be understood that many of these offenses were punishable by branding and death, even the petty ones, and that transport was a lesser punishment.  Debtors were also transported.  Imprisonment for debt could become a life sentence or often a death sentence, truth be told for many of these folks.  Prisons were not a well established institution at this time.

     The difference between white and black slaves is more than that, of course.  It was not impossible for a white slave to run away to another state and lose himself among the population.  It may have been possible for black slaves to do so, but  it was considerably more difficult.  And any notion of white slavery definitively ended in 1865, didn't it?  If not a hundred years before.  The discrimination against blacks continues today.  Americans have problems with lots of things, slavery being one of them.  To say that there were white slaves doesn't lessen our obligation to black slaves, does it?  You can add another chapter to the book,  you cannot erase the reality of another researched, documented, written and, unfortunately, lived.

     If that's in fact what you were trying to do.

     The 1855 story your source tells about the blacks and the Irish loading the cotton ship, by the way, says nothing about the Irish being slaves, although it implies it.  The potato famine was in full swing in Ireland at that time.  There were a lot of Irish immigrants to this country working at dirt poor wages.  Dock work was one of the jobs they took.  Slaves were Capital, and the owners tried to conserve them as a resource that would cost money to replace and train.  They were not responsible for hired help.  They were not trained by the slave owners and the slave owners would not have to bear replacement costs.  The Irish were not slaves, it seems; they were probably untrained day labor, plentiful and easily replaceable.  They came from another part of the labor market entirely, one that was in fact spelling the demise of slavery in the South.  It was cheaper to hire plentiful day labor who would feed and clothe and house themselves than to buy and maintain slaves.

    The vestiges of this wage slavery have been with us ever since.  It is a battle that we are still fighting, to get these folks to have decent pay for the work they supply.  In that sense, much of the slave system is still around in a more profitable form for the slave owners at least the Marxists would say so.  

     But this is a discussion that probably belongs in a different thread entirely.  The system that took advantage of the Irish is part of the same system that takes advantage of many of us today.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Grinch
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32 posted 07-29-2009 08:19 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I don't see how the Sergeant could do other than arrest Dr. Gates once he followed the Sergeant outside and continued yelling.


I really wanted to sit on a fence and call them all equally stupid but the chance to play devils advocate is so enticing.

A cynic, having read the officers own report, would have to ask why the officer invited Gates to follow him out of the house. Any defence lawyer worth his salt would certainly ask that question. While in his own home Gates was committing no offence whatsoever and couldn't legally be arrested. As I understand it your constitution affords him the right to rant and rave to his hearts content, however stupidly, in the confines of his own home.

Couldn't inviting Gates to commit a public order offence by asking him to step outside be seen as tantamount to coercion to commit an offence? Or at the very least an error in judgement that inflamed a situation that was, up to that point, contained within the confines of the house?

Local Rebel
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33 posted 07-29-2009 08:46 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Of course I think the police acted completely within the bounds of the law, which is why the prosecutor has decided to proceed against the defendant... um.. what?  Oh, never mind.

Yelling is not disorderly conduct?  Oh.. ok then.  

Yep.  It was stupid.  What happened was stupid.  But, I don't think that the motivation on the part of the police was race -- even though I understand why Skip felt that way.

The only 'crime' that was committed was a false arrest.  Cambridge should hope Gates doesn't sue.  Perhaps the kegger will do the trick.
Balladeer
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34 posted 07-29-2009 09:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Personally, I would love to see Gates sue but I doubt he's that stupid...although he has shown those credentials recently.
Balladeer
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35 posted 07-29-2009 09:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A cynic, having read the officers own report, would have to ask why the officer invited Gates to follow him out of the house.

In the first place, the officer invite him to follow him out of the house "if he had any other questions regarding the matter".

Second, the officer  gave t he reason for wanting to leave the residence "was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units". I see no problem with that reasoning.

You can all try to excuse Gates or give justifications to his actions until the cows come home. It won't hold water...which is why Gates won't sue.
Bob K
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36 posted 07-30-2009 03:25 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          That last sentence of yours is speculation passing as logic.

     As far as I understand it, you and Local Rebel are trying to decide Dr. Gates' course of legal action for him here.  I see no grounds for a suit, but then your legal degree may be current while I simply don't have one.

     When did you pass the Massachusetts bar again, Mike?  I mean in case Gail, my regular Massachusetts lawyer, should prove unavailable?  It's passed my mind.

     Jeeze.  

     It's a rotten situation with enough mistakes to go around more I think on Dr. Gate's side here, but I couldn't tell you about how that would work out legally.  You're fighting about who to blame rather than trying to figure out what we can learn.

     You've heard me say the way I think the blame shakes out; what do you think we can learn from this mess?

Curiously speaking, Bob Kaven
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37 posted 07-30-2009 06:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I simply said that I feel Gates won't sue. Your sarcasm about my passing the bar is unfounded and actually a waste of your talents.

What can we learn from this mess, Bob?

I would fault Dr. Gates more fully here, but I can see where he might come by his reaction honestly; and why he might feel that failing to react as he did might be knuckling under to the less pleasant elements of white society.

Well, according to you, it would seem the "because I'm black" would be a good defense for any black wishing to lash out at police in a repeated offensive manner any time he is confronted over anything. I mean, if a black Harvard professor, educated, financially successful and highly regarded can do it, why can't every black in the country? Gates should have known better. It's interesting that you consider police responding to a possible burglary call one of "the less pleasant elements of white society." Undoubtedly, police officers all over the country would thank you for such a glowing recommendation. At least, Obama agrees with you and wishes to convey the same message nationally. Your loyalty is commendable, misplaced as it may be. Perhaps a law should be passed advising police officers never to ask any black man for identification because it would damage their sensitivities and cause them to feel persecuted, based on the history of racial discrimination in the country. That would prevent situations like this from happening, I suppose.
Grinch
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38 posted 07-30-2009 02:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
In the first place, the officer invite him to follow him out of the house "if he had any other questions regarding the matter".


As I said the officer invited Gates to follow him outside.

Why?

quote:
Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units


Odd, he'd already made two transmissions from inside the house with the bad acoustics and didn't mention making another while outside, perhaps the acoustics of the porch were worse than the kitchen.

And why did he refuse to identify himself when asked? If he wanted to calm the situation refusing to answer that simple request was an odd way of showing it.

Once he established that Gates was the homeowner the officer should have apologised for the misunderstanding and exited the property. Instead he invited Gates to follow him outside where he'd "answer" his question with a swift rendition of Miranda's favourite tune.

Denise
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39 posted 07-30-2009 02:32 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Gates is the one who initially refused to show ID. The officer did identify himself.

And the officer should APOLOGIZE for the misunderstanding? HE WAS THERE DOING HIS JOB!!!! Sometimes that involves protecting idiot racists like Gates.

Yoinn
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40 posted 07-30-2009 03:04 PM       View Profile for Yoinn   Email Yoinn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Yoinn's Home Page   View IP for Yoinn

Grinch,
    The reason the officer asked the prof. to follow him outside is very clear to anyone that understands police work. SAFTEY. If your are being confronted or are confronting a angry person the LAST place you want to be is in a confined space, and certainly not if it his residence. Outside allows the officer to keep a safe distance while the matter either calms down or cuffs are needed. Also if you are waiting for back up..your better off outside. You making this out to be a instance where the officer was trying to TRICK the professor outside so he would be in violation is just laughable.

Yoin
Grinch
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41 posted 07-30-2009 04:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
  The reason the officer asked the prof. to follow him outside is very clear to anyone that understands police work.


Maybe he should have thought about that before breaking every rule of safe law enforcement by entering the house in the first place without adequate backup.

Or are you saying that, after he entered the house and realised that he was faced with a old man with a walking stick and not two armed desperados intent on doing him harm he suddenly decided it was a bad idea and unsafe to be there.

Maybe the officer doesn't understand police work either.



quote:
You making this out to be a instance where the officer was trying to TRICK the professor outside so he would be in violation is just laughable.


Really? So he invited Gates outside simply to answer further questions. So what questions did he answer while outside? Why couldn't he answer them in the privacy of the house?

quote:
Also if you are waiting for back up..your better off outside


No kidding. So remind me, why did the officer go into the house in the first place?


quote:
HE WAS THERE DOING HIS JOB!!!!


If he was doing his job he Denise he was doing it badly. He entered the house when he shouldn't have, not only was that stupid and potentially dangerous it also infringed the constitutional rights of Gates as laid out in the 4th amendment. You do remember the constitution? That series of rights that you keep insisting should be upheld at all costs. Or don't you think Gates deserves the same rights as you?

Police officers are supposed to diffuse confrontational situations; they're the experts in such situations. Gates is a rank amateur, they deal with these situations on a daily basis, Gates has probably never been in such a situation and probably won't be ever again. The officer had a situation confined inside a house with backup within earshot, but decided not to placate Gates by answering his questions. Instead he invited Gates outside where he didn't answer his questions either - he simply arrested him.

All that AFTER he'd established that Gates was who he said he was.

So far the officer looks a little stupid, and that's only based on his version of events. If Gates' version is closer to the truth stupidity is the mildest charge he should be facing.

.
Bob K
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42 posted 07-30-2009 08:37 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:


I would fault Dr. Gates more fully here, but I can see where he might come by his reaction honestly; and why he might feel that failing to react as he did might be knuckling under to the less pleasant elements of white society.




Dear Mike,

           By reading my above comments about "the less pleasant elements of white society" as a description of the police at all, let alone the police doing their duty does a disservice to the police primarily and to me secondarily.  Blacks have had their rights forcibly violated by any number of elements in the white society, including the Ku Klux Klan and plain ordinary churchgoing lynch mobs.  Until the police forces of the nation began to integrate, it was certainly not unreasonable to look at them as enforcers of the status quo, which included at many times and in many places, laws about race.

     I would hope that you don't find the truth objectionable simply because it is real, but because is is immoral in this case; though certainly explicable and understandable, there may be some question of it being forgivable.  This doesn't mean that Sergeant Crowley is such a man.  From all reports he is a fine man and a fine officer who upholds and advocates the best that the Cambridge Police Department has to offer, which is a good deal.  Nor have I at any time said or even attempted to imply otherwise.  If you read such an implication into my words, you are not only wrong, you are impossibly wrong.

     If you think that a black man has the same reaction as a white man to having a police officer enter his home, I must acknowledge the possibility that there are occasional exceptions, but that the rule must be that the Black man has a history over his history in the country of more improper police behavior than the White man has.  I would venture to say by a considerable extent.

     I would also say that the police officers, no matter what their business, seldom felt that they were acting badly or were out of line even though their behavior was to enforce laws that we would often consider today somewhat ugly or immoral or, at the very least, out of line.  In enforcing the fugitive slave laws, for example, the normal notions of jurisdiction were suspended, and so were the rights of search and seizure.  It is unclear how many free men of color were shipped from the northern states back to the southern states, but the law did little to help them.

     You should be well aware of the crime of driving while Black.  I am aware of the crime, from my youth, of driving with Long Hair.

     You can bet that Professor Gates has a considerably more informed and scholarly and in depth knowledge of that situation than you do.  If you had wanted to draw the debate on who was right or wrong in this case, I would say, and have said, that I agree with you.  Since you want to talk about the history and the reasoning for why Professor Gates might feel the way he did, Mike, your case holds no water at all.  You don't know or understand the history, and Gates is the head of the black studies department at Harvard, who has both lectured and written on the matter.

     And, frankly, your attempt to suggest that I think that police are 'the less pleasant elements of white society" earns you no points with me at all.  In fact, as far as I'm concerned, those elements would not be the police at all, but would be some of the right-wing talk show hosts whose comments on President Obama's "racism" have been filling the airwaves recently.

     Most police that I've spoken to personally are committed to enforcing the law as even-handedly as possible.  Some of them have been racists, but as long as their enforcement doesn't reflect that and they make an effort to work around it, I think that's fine.  You can police the actions of the police.  This is not a country where we police their thoughts.  Or even the thoughts of a Professor Gates.  For Professor Gates, we are interested in the accuracy of his facts in his area of competence, Black studies.

     Blacks and police do have a history in this country.  I think Gates was reacting more to that than to his actual situation, which was a mistake on his part.  But I've said that before, and you've heard and seen me do so.

     What you haven't seen me do is say that police are "the less pleasant parts of white society."  That, Mike, took you to infer; and, even then, incorrectly.

Bob Kaven
Yoinn
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43 posted 07-30-2009 10:00 PM       View Profile for Yoinn   Email Yoinn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Yoinn's Home Page   View IP for Yoinn

Why ask me these questions Grinch? Why not just assume the answers they way you have done so far. You do a much better job of it then I will anyways. I am not going to comment further for two reasons.

1)"I really wanted to sit on a fence and call them all equally stupid but the chance to play devils advocate is so enticing."

You really are just bored and want to argue

2) I will never put any confidence in a man that describes the taste of a apple pie, when I know he has never ate one.

later Yoin
Bob K
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44 posted 07-30-2009 11:15 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Yoinn,

           After replying to your material above, I thought that some of the allegations looked familiar.  I looked at the site from which you apparently found the article in question
http://www.revisionisthistory.org/forgottenslaves.html


and I must urge everybody to have a look for themselves rather than to take my word or description.  

     It has quite of list of anti-holocaust and what appear to be anti-Jewish texts.  It seems like they are pushing texts that that have some very odd opinions about concentration camps and the role of Jews in the world.  I have no idea why they are so interested in the masons.

     You have every right to your opinions.

     But I believe that the opinions expressed in the quoted article above were in many cases misstatements and distortions.  I really would like to see some more reference material to support these statements, especially about the nature of indentured servitude and the extent of it in the united states.  I would also like to see you distinguish between the labor conditions of the day, which were appalling and which were eliminated by labor regulations and unionization in many cases, and with actual slavery.

     I feel that wage slavery, which is an economic issue and a very important one at that, is being purposefully being confounded here with slavery, which is not only an economic issue but an issue of civil liberties and the franchise as well.  It is being done in the article in a way that seems specifically designed to delegitimize the historical situation of many Blacks in this country, and to suggest that the White population has not, as a whole, benefited from the status Blacks have had imposed upon them.

     I am very interested in your response.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

    
Bob K
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45 posted 07-30-2009 11:45 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           Yes Mike, it is a waste of not only my talents but yours as well.  The question in the end remains, I think, what can we learn from this mess.  I think that is probably where both are talents are probably best used.  I am not interested in saying nasty things about Sergeant Crowley.  I have frequently felt Professor Gates to be a bit more pugnacious than useful.  On the other hand, he has a keen sense of what works for himself and for his constituency, and he has been an incredibly effective advocate from Black Studies as an authentic Academic Program.

     They are what they are.

     For us:  What can we make out of this that is useful for our country, our friends and our selves?

     I, for one, have learned that we are not beyond racism, and that nobody is, and that we shouldn't really expect anybody to be.  Like hatred.  Everybody hates, even hates the people they most love, as D.W. Winnicott points out in his essay on "Hate in The Countertransference."  

     What he says is basically is that it's not the hate that destructive, it's the denial that you have it, and the refusal to take responsibility for it that make things go Kaflooey  in the night.  I think that's true about racism as well.  I know darn well how I was brought up.  I know what I've struggled against my whole life and I know what's left of it.

    That's not about to go away.

     What I can do is make a point of watching to see where it crops up, and cleaning up after myself as I go.

     So what I can learn from this mess, to some extent, is to say "So what?"  or "You expected differently?" and then ask to see what happens as a result.  Does being a wise Latina mean that you don't clean up your act, or does it mean that you show a life-long prevasive pattern of unchanging behavior that doesn't change?  Some of the southern senators who were giving Judge Sotomajor were one way, some were the other.  I felt that, after listing to long chunks of that hearing, that Judge Sotomajor was concerned with the law and not with a racial agenda.  That's what I heard, and I made a point of listening to what she said.

     I though The President's comment about the Cambridge Police being stupid was itself stupid.  I don't think the President is a man who runs his life that way; I see him as quite deliberate.  In fact, I see him as the kind of guy who'd try to get both sides to sit down together and talk things out, which is what he's trying to do.

     What about you, Mike, what have you learned from this mess?

All my best, Bob Kaven
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46 posted 07-31-2009 12:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yoinn, you are seeing what some of have been seeing for some time...welcome.

Bob, what have I learned from  this? Only the same thing I learned a long time ago on this forum. I'll leave it at that.

Talk as much as both of you want to. Come up with as much rhetoric as you think it takes  to convey whatever scenario suits you. The fact still remains this was not a racial issue until Gates decided to make it one. I feel confident that the officer, who had studied race relations and racial profiling at the Acadamy and taught classes in it to his fellow officers would not be the one to give the impression that it was racial profiling.
It was a response to a burglary call....period. Talk about slavery all you want. Talk about the reasonability of a black feeling threatened or harrased by a white police officer all you want. Talk about slavery and labor unions until the cows come home. IT WAS A RESPONSE TO A 911 CALL AND NOTHING MORE!

I ask you again....should police not ask for id from any black for fear of setting off their hostility? Should the Cambridge police tell Gates that there will be no more responses to his house under any condition so as not to provoke any charge of racial profiling?

If Gates had been a decent sort, he would have understood the situation, shown his id and thanked the officer for his quick response to what could have been a break-in. He decided to scream racial profiling instead and hurl insults.

What have I learned from this?  At the risk of damaging our friendship, I'll take the fifth.
Bob K
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47 posted 07-31-2009 02:34 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          The friendship is firmer than that.

     Gates certainly made it a racial issue from all the facts that I've seen.  With Gates it was a reflex.

quote:


Talk as much as both of you want to. Come up with as much rhetoric as you think it takes  to convey whatever scenario suits you. The fact still remains this was not a racial issue until Gates decided to make it one.




     I am not clear about the identity of the other person in the "both of you" that you speak of.  I'd like to know if I'm in good company or not.

quote:


Come up with as much rhetoric as you think it takes  to convey whatever scenario suits you.




     As near as I can tell, this is essentially meaningless statement.  You have just told me to tell you what I mean.  I already have.  You act as though that were not the reason for us talking here.  Rhetoric is the study of the methods  people use to do that, and sometimes an exercise in the use of those methods.  As such, rhetoric is something everybody uses in language all the time.

     So apparently you are telling me to do what you do and I do and what everybody who speaks or writes does all the time.  Exactly why you would be wanting to instruct me to continue to do what I am already doing somehow evades me.  Does this suggest that I should tell you to keep encouraging me.  Very well.

     Keep encouraging me to point out what seems obvious to me so that you should consider it.  I need to be encouraged because at some point I think that some of this stuff would be obvious to you as well.

     That doesn't mean to say that I don't think Sergeant Crowley behaved correctly.  I do believe Sergeant Crowley behaved correctly.  I do believe that Professor Gates was out of line.  I think it was foolish for him to have followed the Sergeant outside because I thought the basic business was finished inside the apartment, and that following the Sergeant outside was like crawling down the barrel of a cannon using a lit match for illumination.

     The point where we are disagreeing is simply this.  It appears to me that while you can see with perfect clarity exactly what the Sergeant was seeing, and understand precisely what the Sergeant was thinking and what he was doing as I believe I do as well your empathy and insight go completely blank and you go deaf when it comes to understanding what was going on for Professor Gates.  You are relentlessly locked in to the single point of view.  You apparently cannot imagine that there is another point of view with any other sort of reality to it, and when you try to grasp it and I believe you try earnestly to grasp it, because you are a well-meaning guy the understanding that you get slips through your fingers like trying to scoop wet sand in your fingers from the bottom of a lake.

     This doesn't mean there isn't another valid point of view.  You can see it very clearly when you think about white guys being the victims of racism.  That makes you, I think, unhappy, and it makes you want to speak out, which is why you brought up this thread.  You simply can't imagine feeling that sort of resentment against the police that you think of so highly.  And with good reason.

     And yet here it is.  Professor Gates has resentment built up for that kind of treatment again he and his for more than three hundred years, as you would as well in the same situation.  You'd be on a hair trigger too.  You'd be predisposed to see the evil in everything the other folks do and in whatever the other folks are.  You have feelings like that about Democrats in general.  If a Democrat looks at you the wrong way, there had better be a very good very detailed explanation, which you may or may not accept.  This isn't something you're about to grant on faith.

     The analogy isn't exact, Mike.  Both of us know that.  But you should also know that people really like to think of themselves as both correct and righteous and not slimy and underhanded.  And Professor Gates is likely playing by those same rules.  That is he actually believes he's right.  And if you're going to actually understand the situation without disposing of one party or the other, it generally works better to understand how each party honestly thinks they're in the right.

     You can have your own opinion as to how right and wrong actually breaks down, and clearly you do, but it doesn't help you understand how Police and Blacks mean well and miss each other at the same time.

     That gives you more power over the situation the next time it comes up than simply finding somebody to blame.  That let's you know where to intervene, if you have it figured out right, in a way that will allow a change to happen.  And not simply make a decision as to which one has to go stand in the corner.

     As for it not being a racial issue until Doctor Gates made it one, I'm not certain of that.  Nor am I certain that Sergeant Crowley would have seen it that way, if he is in fact as fine an officer as I believe him to be.  I think that he know when he found two black guys inside that house who looked like they may have been home owners that the situation was both racial and critical, and that he deserves a great deal of credit for managing it as well as he did, even with all the fall out that's come from it.  Both of us, I believe, have some understanding of how much worse such a situation could have become without a level headed, competent officer on the scene who knew from the beginning what was happening and who knew from the beginning what sort of end game he would have to be looking for.  Otherwise there would have been body bags, because stuff like that gets very out of control very rapidly unless somebody knows what's going on and is actively managing it; and it is fairly obvious that this particular somebody was not Professor Gates.

     If Sergeant Crowley didn't know it was racial from pretty much moment one, before Gates even opened his mouth, things would have been much worse.  I know that from having had to deal with violent crazy folks trying to hurt each other and trying to hurt me, and you know that from having been a cop and having seen things managed badly.  If you please.

     My talk about slavery and labor unions was in response to the highly distorted article from the publication list of a radical right wing publisher that Yoinn was trying to suggest was a presentation of established fact.  It was not a response to anything you said.  You should have a look at that list, however, and make up your own mind as to how reputable the facts may have been.  Actually, even a look at the history presented in the article itself demanded some sort of accounting for the assertions and implications being made there and being passed off as fact.

     As I said, don't take my word for it, have a look yourself.

     And yes, it was a response to a 911 call.  And I believe the police did a good job.  I am at odds with much of the Liberal talk shows about this.  I still insist that you have no understanding however of the whys and wherefores of Professor Gates' reaction, and that it is likely that Sergeant Crowley was way ahead of you here.  His successful management of the situation suggests that to me.  I would hope that, with consideration, it would to you as well.  Don't diminish the man's skill and ability.

All my best, Bob Kaven
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48 posted 07-31-2009 10:42 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Bob.  I confess that I'm a little confused by some remarks of yours.. You say As for it not being a racial issue until Doctor Gates made it one, I'm not certain of that. and then go on to speak of how the officer handled it excellently andthat it WAS a response to a valid 911 call and that the police did a good job. Who, then , made it a racial incident, if not Gates?

If Sergeant Crowley didn't know it was racial from pretty much moment one, before Gates even opened his mouth, things would have been much worse. I don't contend that that the officer consider it racial at all before Gates went goony, unles you are saying that any interraction between blacks and whites should be recognized as racial situations. Crowley handled it by the book. He responded to the call, encountered two people at the scene, one of which claimed to be the owner, and he asked for identification to verify that. He would have done the same had the occupant been black, white, yellow, orange or chartreuse.

Professor Gates has resentment built up for that kind of treatment again he and his for more than three hundred years, as you would as well in the same situation.  You'd be on a hair trigger too.  You'd be predisposed to see the evil in everything the other folks do and in whatever the other folks are.   Bob, your conception of what I would do or how I would feel is unqualified and you overestimate my hair trigger (in this case). Here you are stating that a black, even one as prominent as a Harvard professor, is predisposed to see evil in everything a white person does, based on black history. Well, that certainly makes it quite the situation, doesn't it.....a country where blacks walk around, scarred by 300 years of injustices, distrusting whites. Japanese-Americans, scarred by the thoughts of the Japanese interrment during WWII and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, walking around with a hatred and distrust of whites, native Americans walking around, scarred by thoughts of reservations and genocide perpetrated by the US government, hating whites. I'll tell you what. I can understand the feelings of all of these people. Bob, I have spent a good part of my life either dealing with minorities or being a minority myself. My sympathy for injustices committed against these people in sincere but it will not give them a free pass to do whatever they please and cite hundreds of years of persecution as an excuse. People like Professor Gates disrespect the blacks who are intentionally harrassed by cops....and, yes, it does happen, unfortunately. He damages their cause by his uncalled-for actions in this case.

You are relentlessly locked in to the single point of view.   Call it old police training, Bob. I don't consider that to be a bad thing. He was   responding to a possible burglary call and handled it by the book, without being distracted. I'm sure he was aware that it was a white dealing with a black and acted properly respectful in his handling of the situation but did not let himself be distracted by the fact that blacks have chips on their shoulders based on centuries of abuse, accorrding to you. He needed proof tht Gates was the owner of the residence and he asked for it. Period.

Police also know if what discrimination feels like. People act differently around them. When I was on the force, I was still young enough to enjoy social interraction and even bend the elbow once in a while. If I went to a party with a friend I was welcomed but, as it went around the room that I was a cop, I could feel the mood change. People acted more carefully around me, were a little more careful in what they said and an invisible wall was erected in many cases. Was it deserved? Well, I don't think so but it was there. SHould I have been outraged and screamed at the injustice of it? I don't think that would have worked out too well.

It appears that, by your view, blacks want to be treated like anyone else of any color and yet want it known that they have the right to go off the deep end any time they are confronted by authority, based on years of persecution.  You are against discrimination of any kind and yet support Sotomayor, who threw out the promotions of fire dept employees who had scored highest on exams simply because they were white.

You apparently cannot imagine that there is another point of view with any other sort of reality to it

You are right, Bob, not in this case. We are not dealing with points of view. We are dealing with facts. The officer asked for ID. The professor went berzerk. Those are facts. SHould those facts be changed because blacks had to ride in the back of the bus in the '50's? I don't think so. How about the scenario that the officer shows up, is told by the person there that it is his residence, takes that at face value and doesn't want to offend the fellow by asking for ID from a black man, and say goodnight.......and it actually was a burglar, who ransacks the house after the officer leaves? Can you even imagine how that professor would be screaming incompetence and stupidity at he police department and probably even claim that they did not do a competent job because it was the house of a black man???? I can assure you it would not be a pretty sight.

Yes, Bob, I continue being locked into my single point of view. The officer handled it professionally. The professor reacted like an idiot and created the entire bruhaha that ensued. Obama was an idiot for (1) calling the police stupid after admitting he didn't know what he was talking about and (2) trying to make a racial profiling issue out of it when it was not. The professor, Maxine Waters, the cop down here in my earlier example are all either hotheads who like to scream race whenever they are asked for identification or they are all in need of some serious psychological help.

It was a response to a burglary call.....................period. What did I lean from this? Obama is more of a fool than I thought with a strong resentment for "white America" and Gates is not deserving of any intelligent thought....and that's just for starters.
Yoinn
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49 posted 07-31-2009 10:56 AM       View Profile for Yoinn   Email Yoinn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Yoinn's Home Page   View IP for Yoinn

Bob, I have to admit that Huffman is a bit on the far right in some of his other writings. There are other sources on the mater of white slavery, a simple google of "white Slavery" will bring them to you. Stephan Talty is one author that comes to mind. Slavery may have much more to its core than just race as we have been force fed our whole lives. Religious beliefs, wealth etc also figure strong into its make up in my view. Again Im not into doing hours of research just to come here and argue the findings. Im more into poetry. Do your own research, keep a open mind and if the findings allow you to accept that in the past whites have also sufferd from slavery then you have grown. If not then at least you are more secure in your own beliefs.

thank you

Yoin
 
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