Man–you faculty and grad student types think you had a bad day fighting the forces of evil with trenchent observations about the historiography of the Indians of the Great Basin, and witty bons mots about the Investiture Controversy? Via The Daily Beast, Eminent Harvard African American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last Thursday afternoon when police investigated a report that someone was trying to break into a house on Ware Street in Cambridge, Mass. The Boston Globe reported tonight:
Police arrived at Gates’s Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had trouble unlocking his door after it became jammed.
He was booked for disorderly conduct after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a police report. Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had “no idea who he was messing with,” the report said.
Gates told the officer that he was being targeted because “I’m a black man in America.” [To read a copy of the police report, click here]
Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.
Man, oh, man–who wouldn’t be pi$$ed off for getting the third degree in one’s own home, after showing identification? Yeah, that happened to me all of the time when my white self lived in Somerville and Cambridge…the police were just bustin’ down doors and interrogating white grad students and Harvard faculty every day. (And what’s with the nosy neighbor who somehow isn’t nosy enough to be capable of recognizing her own neighbors?) Apparently familiar with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Professor Gates has retained the services of “Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who has taken on previous cases with racial implications.” Right on.
If you have a minute to click and read the Boston Globe article: scroll on down to the comments, where you’ll be instructed by the colorful denizens of the non-peer reviewed world-wide timewasting internets that Continue Reading »