Henry Louis Gates Arrested? What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Who needs CNN to tell us what it’s like to be black in America when things like this are happening in real time?  Overall the timing couldn’t be crazier with the special returning to CNN this week.  Just last Thursday, Harvard professor and director of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research was arrested for trying to get into his own home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was after one of his neighbors called the cops because she saw a strange black guy with a book bag trying to break open a lock in the neighborhood.  Cops come.  He feels disrespected and calls the cop a racist. Cop feels disrespected and arrests him for disorderly conduct.  It doesn’t get any more real than this.

Am I the only one who sees more holes in this story than a Jamaican netted tank top?

1) A neighbor who I’m sure has lived in the neighborhood with Gates for some time just realizes that there’s a black man living in that house?  Where was she previously and who did she think lived there?

2) After showing his identification, proving that this was indeed his home, why was there still an issue?  The questioning should have ended there.

3) Things must have escalated pretty quickly for him to get arrested for “disorderly conduct.”  Was this just another case of egos getting in the way?  According to the police report, Gates repeatedly said, “You don’t know who you’re dealing with…” and continued to go off.  In typical police fashion, dude turns around and arrests him? It can’t be that simple.

Read More: Boston Globe

Last 5 posts by Sherry J. Bitting