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View Diary: On Gates: Cops Did Act Stupidly, But It's Not About Race (84 comments)

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  •  She lives in Cambridge, works in Harvard (1+ / 0-)
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    she could easily have been aware of the implications of saying they were two black men.  

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting some sinister motive.  Obviously she had no way of knowing this call was going to become part of the number one national news story.

    What I'm suggesting is, she saw the men forcing the doors open, and part of her brain immediately said "BREAK IN!"  But then the more rational part of her brain said "No, just because those men aren't white, doesn't mean they don't live in that house."  And then she thought about it some more and decided that the safe thing to do would be call the police and report suspicious behavior but make it clear that the men could be in their own house.

    Which is all very rational and should have been harmless.  The police should have done their job and been on their way.

    Nevertheless, even after hearing the 911 call, I can't help but wonder if she would have seen anything suspicious if the men forcing open the door had been clean cut white men in expensive clothes.  And I can't help but wonder if the caller would have avoided answering the dispatcher's race question if the men had been white.

    Either way, it's not at all important, but thanks for reading.

    Snarka Snarka Snarka!

    by Hunter Huxley on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:22:20 PM PDT

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    •  interesting analysis (0+ / 0-)

      I don't blame her at all for this.  Whether or not race played a part in her deciding to call, I think it's a good idea to be on top of what's happening in your neighborhood and to watch out for suspicious incidents.  
      I also don't blame the police for responding to that call or for asking Dr. Gates for identification.   I have no idea whether that was handled politely (on either side), but if the officer was polite and respectful, then I have no criticism of him for that part of the incident.
      However, arresting someone on their own doorstep for being rude and unpleasant, even if they were, goes beyond what is legal and right.

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:45:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  one more thing (0+ / 0-)

      she mentioned that she saw suitcases, so she was questioning her own suspicion.
      I have to say that if I saw 2 people breaking a door in I would be suspicious, no matter what their race.
      I will admit that if the people (black or white) were well-dressed, I would be less suspicious (which is funny since I don't dress well at all, myself), and that I'm more likely to be suspicious of men than women.
      So I guess I'm just snobby and sexist.  

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:49:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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