(This article originally appeared in the American Thinker on 7/21/2009.)
Displaying all the vituperative indignation developed by the Tawana Brawley school of victimhood, Harvard professor of African-American studies, Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. did his best to incite a racial incident with Cambridge police officers who were responding to a neighbor's call regarding a possible break-in at the Gates residence. This Gates character is a class act. Here is a sampling of his alleged responses to the police officers who came to protect his domicile:
"Gates accused the investigating officer of being a racist and told him he had "no idea who he was messing with...'
Gates told the officer that he was being targeted because "I'm a black man in America.''
When asked to step outside so the officer could hear him better, Gates gallantly responded:
"Ya, I'll speak with your mama outside."
Gates was eventually arrested for being disorderly and was booked. The police reports filed by both the arresting officer and the back-up officer demonstrate respectful decorum and a thorough attempt to discern the facts on the scene:
"As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk (Gates) continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence, as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and the citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was "disabled" and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were properly applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a cane for Gates from his residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was unsecurable due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter a Harvard University maintenance person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was."
The arresting officer bent over backward to give all parties the opportunity to resolve any questions and depart the scene gracefully. Gates apparently had other ideas.
Apparently, some members of the Harvard black community have no interest in resolving the situation gracefully and has the race machine ginned up and firing on all cylinders. Reportedly:
"The incident raised concerns among some Harvard faculty that Gates was a victim of racial profiling....
The arrest of such a prominent scholar under what some described as dubious circumstances shook some members of the black Harvard community."
Not surprisingly, Gates already has counsel to represent him in this dubious incident of his own making:
"Gates is being represented by Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who has taken on previous cases with racial implications." (ibid)
A race-card circus is coming our way.