Dear President Obama,
First, I want to make sure I understand what is going on here. Quotes are from FoxNews.com “‘Special Report’ Panel on Whether Racism Played Into Arrest of Harvard Professor”, but it pretty much parallels with every other story I have read or heard on the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates. So, the story, as I understand it, is that:
Professor Gates arrived at his home to find the front door stuck. So, he (and possibly his driver) went around the back to get into the house.
Someone must’ve seen this and called the police due to suspicions that someone was breaking into the house.
Sergeant James Crowley arrived on the scene and tried to question Prof. Gates. Prof. Gates refused to come out onto the porch to speak with Sgt. Crowley.
At some point, Sgt. Crowley asked Prof. Gates for identification, which he refused to give.
Sgt. Crowley informed Prof. Gates that he “was investigating a report of a break-in in progress at the residence.”
At this point, Prof. Gates became very angry, “opened the door and exclaimed ‘Why? Because I’m a black man in America?’”
After some more yelling by Prof. Gates, who also accused Sgt. Crowley of being a racist, Prof. Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Do I have it about right?
Why is this “racial profiling”? Do you really think it would have been any different if I were Prof. Gates and started yelling at the police?
A few years ago, I had an argument with my wife. It became quite heated. I grabbed the nearest coat I could, my Army field jacket, and went outside to cool down. I went back to the wooded area behind the house. I suppose the neighbors didn’t recognize me in my camouflaged jacket, because before too long, 2 policemen showed up. They asked me where I lived, and I pointed to my house and told them I lived there (and that I was on my land).
Well, now that I look back at it, they must’ve been racially profiling me. They didn’t take my word for it! Imagine that! They wanted to see my driver’s license, the thugs!
They asked me some questions, gave me back my ID and wished me a good day. Do you really believe the outcome would have been the same if I started yelling at them? If instead of giving them my ID, what if I retorted “Why? Because I’m an Irish-Scottish-German-American Indian in America?” Do you really think they wouldn’t arrest me?
Mr President, with all due respect, you overstepped your bounds. You really should consider:
This is not a case of racial profiling. It is a case of an officer doing his job and the person being questioned overreacting. I think you are smart enough know this to be true no matter what the rhetoric.
You are in the Executive Branch of the government. You are not the judge or the jury. Your comments may well have tainted any possibility of justice being done.
Being the Chief Executive, you should be backing up those who are trying to carry out law enforcement, not participating in weakening of their authority.
This was a local action by local authorities. You literally made a federal case out of it.
You admitted you did not have all the facts. Yet, you gave your opinion anyhow. Perhaps it would be better to actually get all of the facts before commenting – especially considering the above consequences.
In short, Mr President, I am disappointed in this recent interference with law enforcement. I sincerely hope that you are more cautious about interjecting yourself in local matters in the future.
John D Carmack
I did not put down that the caller had said that "black men" were breaking into the house because the news reports seemed to waffle on that point. sure enough, it comes out today that the person who called it in did not say that. She's been labeled a racist [broken link removed by admin] for supposedly saying that.
Again, where is the common sense in this country? What if she had said that? Would she have been wrong? If she said that and it was wrong, then there might be a case for questioning her intentions.
You know, it is normal when you describe someone to state the color of their eyes, their hair and their skin. Are we really so sensitive in this country that we cannot even state the facts any longer?