The recent arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has once again sparked the race debate in regards to the police force.
On Thursday, July 26, Henry Louis Gates Jr. was trying to get into his own house near Harvard University, when the neighbor called the police, thinking that someone was trying to break in. The neighbor’s call to the police described “two black males” trying to break into the home.
A confrontation ensued after the police showed up, when Gates was trying to explain that this is his home and showing Sgt. Crowley his license and Harvard identification.
While the police officer claims that Gates was yelling at him and accusing him of racial bias, Gates, in an interview with his daughter posted on The Daily Beast, said “the police report was an act of pure fiction.” Instead, he told reporters and his daughter that he handed his identification to the officer and asked for his name, which the officer refused to provide.
On Wednesday, after this confrontation and the media frenzy that followed, President Obama criticized the officer’s actions, saying Crowley “acted stupidly.” On Thursday, however, the White House explained that Obama did not intend to call the officer “stupid.”
Gates commented on the racial profiling in this situation, saying that “there are bad white people and bad black people. There are good police officers and bad police offers. We depend on the police—I’m glad that this lady called 911.”
He explained that this incident made him realize just how vulnerable the minorities still are in America.
In more recent news, Crowley and Gates accepted the President’s offer to have a beer in the White House. Now that is something we haven’t even considered for diplomacy issues. I wonder if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prefers Sam Summer or Naddy Light?
Here is some food for thought:
- According to a study by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Harvard University has the largest percentage of Black students among the eight Ivy League universities. It is interesting that such an incident would occur right near the university. If racial profiling can happen at Harvard, where the nation’s oldest African and African American Research center – the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, is located, what does that mean for other college campuses?
- There is a large majority of minorities who are neither close with the President nor close in stature to Gates, yet their stories never receive such large media uproars. While I realize this is a bit ironic, as I am writing an article about this very incident, what do you think?
- In addition, who is to blame for the racial profiling here? Was Crowley just responding to a call made my a racist neighbor or was he to blame for his actions afterward?