Tuesday, July 21, 2009


"His front door refused to budge, which is why Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., just home from a trip to China filming a PBS documentary, set his luggage down and beckoned his driver for help."

So begins an article on Gates' arrest in this morning's on line edition of the Boston Globe, I encourage you to read.

Some of my readers know why this catches my attention. At least Gates still had a home to return to when the dust settled. The situation seems extreme, but it is only Gates' fame that makes it so. We have been convinced that the American values of liberty and justice are threatened, and I agree that they are, but not from without. They are threatened from within, and the threat is directed mostly, but I can tell you not exclusively at Blacks and Hispanics and Muslims. While Gates position makes us all sit up and take notice, and perhaps this will bring some much needed attention to the problem, the problem is a quiet cancer that grows in our society. We delude ourselves if we think otherwise. I am in a position to know.

1 comment:

Carolyn Roosevelt said...

I'm glad you commented, as one with a skin in the game.

For my part, I can not believe Dr Gates's irritation rose to the level of an arrestable offense, though it must have been evident.

The visibility of the case is what's striking--it seems disproportionate, till you think how many questionable or downright improper arrests take place day in and day out.

And what a Rashomon story--so many facets as the possible focus--many of them inaccurate or sloppily repeated.