A couple of weeks ago, the police were called to a residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts to investigate a possible break in. They showed up to find a black man, cane in hand, in his home. The man in question was Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
A Sergeant Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department showed up to investigate the possible break in. Sgt Crowley is a respected policeman who was chosen to teach racial profiling.
What should have been a just checking out, thank you sir call, turned out to be a something else. It turned out to be a racially charged power play of two people with attitudes unable to come to some sort of understanding of one person doing his job, and the other feeling the clutches of the slavery chains from years ago.
It was neither. What this really was about was two guys with power. The professor acted like the jerk he clearly was and the police officer wasn’t going to let the guy get away with it, at least not on his watch. If he was an umpire, he’s the guy who throws out the manager because he’s in charge.
They both put the President in an embarrassing position, which he was all-too-ready to take. They put the professor’s friends in an awkward position of changing his name to “Skip” instead of Professor Gates to make him look more human, more accessible. They put the Cambridge Police Department, and all police departments on trial across the country because Crowley just couldn’t look the other way.
And now, Thursday, the professor, the cop, and the President are going to get together for a beer. Maybe, next time, Crowley will show up at the Gates’ residence with a beer. Yeah, sure.