20 July 2009

Ask Henry Louis Gates if this is a post-racial era

You really can't honestly believe that we live in a post-racial society. Can you? Seriously?!

Many of you who read have heard of Henry Louis Gates, Jr -- scholar, author, international speaker. I don't agree with everything this man says and think he is really arrogant (that is a whole separate long post), but I know who he is, and I have respect for the man. Plus he is a professor, which is just awesome in my eyes.

Gates was arrested at his house in Cambridge in what I can only associate with racial profiling. A woman called the police and said that two black men were breaking into a house. Turns out Gates was trying to open the jammed door to the home that Harvard (the university he teaches for) provides for him.

The police come and assume that he is a black man breaking into a Cambridge home (just as the woman assumed). You can read his statement made through his lawyer here. At the bottom of that page, you can click on the link to see the actual police report. The charges were for disorderly conduct. I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind. First, maybe relief that the cops may have come to help him out, happiness that his neighbors were looking out for him. Then disbelief that they are there thinking he did something criminal, then anger that they are repeatedly asking for him to identify himself and prove that he is not breaking into a home where he belongs. Then even more anger as this continues. Then getting arrested because he is upset over all the confusion when he is just trying to get a door opened that the school should have fixed.

I really don't have full words to describe my disgust about this.

With summer, I have more time to think about what is going on in the world, and it keeps coming back to race relations and discrepancies. It never seems to end. Despite that people think we are all fine now that we have a president who is considered black.

A president who though he can now enter so many places in the world, still has children who may not be able to get into a pool in Philadelphia to swim in the summer time due to the color of their skin.



  1. Amazing...

    So much for knowing your neighbors. How long has he lived in the house?

    However, I have to say that he's the BEST mug shot I've ever seen :-)

  2. Not sure how long he has lived there. He has been working at Harvard for about 18 years, though.


I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.