At The Urban Politico we're always looking to take provocative and insightful Guest commentary so if you have something to get off your chest shoot it over to us via email and we'll be glad to take a look at it. Today's Guest Post is regarding the recent Gates incident and comes to us from somebody who went to school in the battle zone area:
The Real Contest
The real contest in the Gates case is who should have backed down. Whose responsibility is it to de-escalate a situation that's getting out of control? Should it be the officer? Or should it be the homeowner in his
own house, who pays taxes that pay the salary of the officer? People
want to get all up in arms because Gates has pulled the race card, but
that is not the real issue. The real issue is that for TOO LONG, Black
people have been expected to cower to the police to avoid problems.
People are finally saying you know what? We have a Black President - why
can’t the police treat us with some respect? Why is it that an officer
who has a badge and carries a gun can’t tell the difference between a
common criminal and a Harvard professor? Why are people defending the
fact that he can't?
Who freaking cares if Gates was racially
profiled? He's going to be alright. He'll probably make some money and
sell some books by gaining more fame because of the incident. What
about the people who are treated this way who aren't Skip Gates? Why are
they entitled to any less respect from the police than what Gates
should have gotten? When young Black men are profiled and then end up in
the penal system, there's no way out for them. Once a Black man has a
criminal record its a wrap. Studies show that black people without records get fewer interview callbacks than white people with them!
why this incident is important - because it highlights something that
desperately needs to be changed: the way Black and Brown people are
treated by the police. This was Obama's point last night, and the one
people need to be focusing on.
People who are arguing that
Gates should have just been quiet - basically, that he should have just
bowed down - are really just saying that nobody should be back-talking
the police. They're saying that we should all just accept that this is
how it is. That police should just be allowed to treat you however they
want, even in your own home, ignore their own policies (in MA, officers
are required to give name and badge number if requested) and arrest you
if you have something to say about it.
The Author is a 2009 graduate of Harvard Law School studying for the bar exam and just wanted to offer some stream of consciousness thoughts on the recent Gates fiasco.