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July 26, 2009

Comments

Guillermo Jimenez

I agree that this incident has revealed a certain amount about racism in America, I do not believe that the incident itself was racially-motivated.

Prof. Gates was probably guilty of racial hypersensitivity. It seems likely that Sgt. Crowley is not any more racist than the average American, white or black.

But that does not mean that the police acted correctly in this case nor that Prof. Gates' ire, however unreasonably expressed, was not in part provoked by unacceptable police procedures (which are unfortunately standard in our country).

In a legal analysis I've posted on my website at http://redgenesbluegenes.com I point out that the arresting officer violated Prof. Gates 4th amendment rights -- as officers do every day -- with impunity.

This is definitely a "teachable" topic that Americans should pay attention to. The Boston Tea Party, which set off our own Revolution, was a direct response to British statutes that allowed unreasonable searches of a person's home.

The 4th amendment guarantees us that police officers must pause at the thresholds of our homes; lacking a warrant, they may not enter, period.

The police have got to learn to stop at our front doors and ask permission to come in, just like all well-educated children do.

Instead, they barge right in whenever they can, and then arrest you if you protest. Prof. Gates may well be a jerk, but in this case he did have some justification to act like a jerk, though he expressed himself in regrettably racial terms (which were probably irrelevant).

Ms. Peters

I am a 62 year old retired public school teacher. I am also white. Even I can see that Mr. Gates should not have been arrested. I am quite annoyed by the innumerable, defensive comments by people on the internet, especially white people. To deny the racial elements in this situation is just plain silly. We are separated by fear and distrust. Many white people do not take the time to shed their defensive posture long enough to see the daily humiliations that people of color endure.

Being that I live on a pension, I go often to discount stores. The other day I saw a man with his three young children who was stopped by a security guard. As usual procedure, the guard check the man's receipt with the contents of his bag. Both men were polite and the whole incident was over in less than a minute. He looked to be young and hispanic. Then, I passed by without as much as a whimper from the security guard, as usual. Honestly, if I were the criminal type I would support my pension by shoplifting! I cannot recount here all the times and myriad ways I have seen racial profiling. Yet, loads of people still maintain that either these things don't exist or exist minimally.

I might be a cranky old teacher, but I watch and observe, something I think all white people should do. For instance, I have never visited a city in the US, or anywhere really, that was not segregated by race and class. This includes numerous progressive university towns. Honestly, if I could put the whole bunch of these silly, blind, defensive white folks on detention, I would, and I would make them write, "I will open my eyes." two hundred times.

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