Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Lewis Gates are going to have a beer with the President. The rational middle hopes that meeting goes better than their first. I will admit up front that I have no noble reasons for wishing the two men well…I just want the whole bloody story to go away. You see, what began as a series of bad judgements and ill tempers has been used by various groups as a tool for “getting the message out”.
To be sure, the messages in question are valid; Civil-Rights groups concerned about the status of African-Americans and police profiling, police groups concerned about personal attacks and the limiting of their ability to do their jobs, and the media concerned about making money from a hot story. It is of course this final group who has the motive, means, and opportunity to make the story worse than reality and keep it alive past its expiration date. I am, quite frankly, sick of it all.
About 15 years ago, I experienced the weekly double; I was called a race traitor one day, and a bigot a few days later. I am equipped with limited tolerance for folks who cling to stereotypes and display selective racial memory; I have less tolerance for folks who think that using the term “racist” in relation to any Caucasian who ends up on the wrong side of an incident with a minority is acceptable. I reserve my sense of absolute hatred for “journalists” (a term I use very loosely) who like to exploit racial tension. Reporters are supposed to relay facts to the public, and let the audience make their decision. Unfortunately, a story of mistaken identity and the poorly considered behavior that followed on both sides sells far less ad time than the same story with a “racist” cop and a “enraged” black man in a white neighborhood.
I think that, given the facts, most of us would be enraged if we were asked for our ID on our front porch…BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
I think that, given the facts, most of us know that the complaint about the police officer should be saved for after the fact.
I know from friends and relatives in law enforcement that situations are often not what they seem. Cops are yelled at when they hand out speeding tickets and criticized when they are not around. It seems, in this situation, that Sgt. Crowley came in short of facts and followed his procedure (at least until he refused to give Gates his badge number). It seems that Mr. Gates was in a bad situation and assumed the worst about Crowley (and then let his anger do the talking).
Move along people…nothing to see here. Most of us learned at a young age the lesson of refraining from judgement of someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. It takes a deep breath and patience to get to point where you can borrow someones shoes. That deep breath can save a lot of problems….and cost a lot of network profits.
That won’t be such a bad thing though……..