We wrote about this here, the original NYTimes story is here, and here’s another and another… Now, Obama wants a piece of the scuffle, and the police sargent who arrested professor Gates. While he perhaps should concentrate more on uniting the fronts in the health reform case, the US president is being a busy bee meddling in the Gates case, where the black professor, once listed among the 25 most infuential persons in the US, was arrested for tumultuous behavior in a public place after a neighbor called the fuzz when it seemed someone was breaking into Gates’s house.

Henry Gates
Henry Gates

Obama and the professor are on top of it all personal friends, and as the president himself states, he might be a bit biased because of that, and he wasn’t there when the whole thing spun itself out.

The racial issue is of course always a potent one, and the ability in a president to take a stand in even the smallest of issues is worth a little praise, but the issue of race seems somewhat unimportant here, besides the fact that Gates has tried to make it his all. Stupidity, as the president called the actions of the police, is not applicable at all, and the president should perhaps think again about what sort of message he sends to the officer in question here, and also all other police officers around the country. No one gets called stupid by the president and avoids scarring.
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The fact is – and that can also be seen in the photos from the arrest – that the “professor” was acting out, being loud and rude, even though the officers tried to diffuse the situation. They were there on a possible burglary call, wanted to make sure that the person trying to enter the home was in fact the one that owns the place, and were met with an initial refusal by Gates to ID himself, and then his loud (read; probably hysterical shrieking) refusal to admit any wrongdoing.

Now, let me see… in most countries around the world, the police can detain you and search you just for denying to ID yourself. And then we’re not even getting started on the yelling and rudeness and accusations against the police. That’s bound to land you in jail almost every time, no matter what color you are.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sorry.. the way the police in your beautiful country acts (in a lot of “police from the USA” videos) i am not surprised that, even the president, wonder why this teacher Gates gets arrested. Compered to my own country… it would’ve been a BIG case whatever humancolor the teacher had. Why bother ask someone who clearly have nothing(!) to do with the case, to show ID? Anyway – the skincolor in your country meens too much! Your president, thank you very very much, thinks more european than everyone of you all together.

    Peace..

  2. Hehe! I got it, I got it – I wasn’t even going to correct you. 😉
    Well, when a cop gets called to a suspected burglary, then getting the ID of the person that shows up is first and foremost, wouldn’t you say? It’s the same as when the alarm company calls you when the alarm gets goin’ – they want the password, right? They’re not going to just trust that whoever answers is the right person.

    When Gates won’t show his ID, then gets going with racial slurs and refuses to cooperate, then an arrest is definately in order. NOT taking action would be the stupid way to act. Skincolour means (meAAAns) too much everywhere, but you might be right in saying that Obama is the most European-thinking one of us all.

  3. SS, stop being retarded. Gates had nothign to do with the burglary, he simply lived in the same distrct and the police came across him on the way there. They saw a black man entering a “nice house” and investigated it. Typical prejudice.

    • Listen, smart-ass. Gates was arrested for tumultuous behavior in a public place (also known as disorderly), at HIS OWN HOUSE, after police was called to HIS HOUSE by a neighbor who thought Gates was a burglar when he and the taxi-driver (also black) had to pry open the door which was malfunctioning.
      Gates REFUSED to show his ID to the cop, and was throwing off threats and accusations.

      Billy, why don’t you go ahead and actually READ THE DAMN STORY before you come here mouthing off.

  4. Billy, stop being retarded and call ppl you don’t know retarded.

    @Sillyme: I’m from Norway as well, and cops in Norway is as cops in, i guess all other countrys.. they’re not ALWAYS right. The Police in US has a LOT of heavier crime to deal with than ours, and all the “bad judgements” WE hear about, are those that ends up in the media. I bet the Police in the US mostly are trying to do a great job.

    What the articles says, is that a neighbour calls the police there, since there are some disturbances and some ppl are trying to get into a house. OF COURSE he should have id’ed himself.

    Imagine if the Police did not ask him for id and instead helped him inside and it really WAS a burglar? Imagine the nationwide scandals? “Policeman helps burglar rob professors house” Now that would have been something?

    No, based on the facts that have been presented to us in this case, the policeman acted as he should have acted towards ANYONE.

    The “Racism” tag is too easily placed these days.. i know this myself. I work in a shop and ask ppl for id maybe 4-5 times a day. Everything is ok if i ask a white man about id, but if i ask a foreigner for id, he gives me a look and makes me feel bad as well.

    This should, as well as racism should stop. I don’t know what it feels like to be hated as a race and i bet it feels sore and bitter, but this must come to and end.

    I have a colleague from Coloumbia that jokes ab0ut his skin color a lot. In the winther, when it’s dark, he goes “you guys can’t see me now” and we all laugh. We all like him a lot and appreciates that we can talk and joke about such things. He also makes fun of us and asks “Are you ok? you look so pale?”. 😀

    Ben from Norway.

  5. Well, i where reading the norwegian articel about this (http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/artikkel.php?artid=564414) and if what you say is true (I’m thinking about the part that someone called in a suspected burglary on that specific house) then vg.no has made one poor article.

    Let me qoute:

    “Politiet hadde rykket ut etter melding om at to fargede menn forsøkte å bryte seg inn i en bolig, og støtte på Gates, som prøvde å få opp døren til sitt eget hjem i samme område.”

    Translates ruffly into:

    “The police got a report of to colored mens trying to break into an appartment, and found Gates in the same erea, trying to get into his own home”

    That part made me think something in the lines of this:
    “Ooook, so they found them self the first random black person they could”

    Further on the article tells about the tumultuous behavior in a public place, and such, but i where still left with the impression that the cops HAD in fact been assholes. However i trust your interpretation in this matter, and it did clear up a whole lot of misunderstandings wich vg.no created.

    It is now clear that Gates is to blame, he refused to follow the policeofficer’s orders and on top of that being way to paranoid. The majority of the policeforce, i would guess, is not racists in any way.

  6. Oh, and the usual disclamer: The text will contain a lot of typos, grammatical errorrs (<- See what i did there?) and a piss poor usage of the English language

  7. Yup, Roxar, saw what you did there. Clever. 😉
    It’s true, though, that VG article is feverishly flawed. If you go to the main page of this site, there’s a whole heap of NYTimes links, as well as HuffingtonPost and other sites that have the story from “the horses’ mouths”. So to speak.

    Tens of thousands of cops bust their backs every day to be truthful, fair, considerate, compassionate, to serve and protect and whenever something possibly is amiss, they get slammed with it. In this case, however, Gates is getting the benefit of being the president’s friend. That doesn’t make him any less of a liar and a bastard. I couldn’t care less about his damn color. It was his fault.

  8. If the facts we have been presented are the only facts, then Gates is to blame. But I cant stop wondering that the police must have said or done something to make him angry and thats the reason he acted like he acted. I know from expereince with friends who have encountered the police is that either the police acts very properly against a foreigner or either they do something unnessersary to upset a foreigner. Its almost always impossible to prove that the police did a wrongdoing.

  9. Read the same article Roxar… can’t help wondering if the norwegian translater did it on purpose.. just to have something to write about in these days;)
    Daniel is right though, we never know what pissed the professor off.

    • What pissed the professor off is not really hard to dissect. He was just off a plane from China (of all places) taxiride from the airport, probably customs- and immigration lines (many will recognize the relative difficulties that can present themselves when entering the US…) and it’s understandable to be tired and grumpy as hell when on top of it all your front door won’t open.
      That doesn’t excuse anything though, and certainly not the racial card being dealt like that.

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