July 22, 2009

Obama on The Passion of the Gates

Our postracial President demonstrated once again how he transcends race at today's news conference, which, I gather, was supposed to be about some kind of health bill or some other minor matter, but Obama felt it necessary to devote 445 words to what really gets under his skin. The New York Times reports:
Mr. Obama’s response was his most animated performance of the hourlong news conference, and represented an extraordinary plunge by a president into a local law-enforcement dispute. And it opened a window into a world from which Mr. Obama is now largely shielded, suggesting the incident had struck a raw nerve with the president.

From the transcript:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Recently, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you? And what does it say about race relations in America?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I -- I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here.

I don't know all the facts. What's been reported, though, is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house; there was a report called into the police station that there might be a burglary taking place.

So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into -- well, I guess this is my house now, so -- (laughter) -- it probably wouldn't happen.

(Chuckling.) But let's say my old house in Chicago -- (laughter) -- here I'd get shot. (Laughter.) But so far, so good. They're -- they're -- they're reporting. The police are doing what they should. There's a call. They go investigate. What happens?

My understanding is, at that point, Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in. I'm sure there's some exchange of words. But my understanding is -- is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house, and at that point he gets arrested for disorderly conduct, charges which are later dropped.

Now, I've -- I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.

Q. How does Obama know so much about the stupidity of the Cambridge Police Department?

A. Our President personally waged a gallant 17-year-long war against the Cambridge Police Department's oppression, before finally being forced to bend his knee to their tyranny and ante up the $375 he owed them for unpaid parking tickets from his years at Harvard Law School.

And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcing disproportionately. That's just a fact.

As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in the society.

That doesn't lessen the incredible progress that has been made. I am standing here as testimony to the progress that's been made. And yet the fact of the matter is, is that, you know, this still haunts us.

And even when there are honest misunderstandings, the fact that blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently, and oftentime for no cause, casts suspicion even when there is good cause. And that's why I think the more that we're working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we're eliminating potential bias, the safer everybody's going to be.

"The safer everybody's going to be" -- riiiiight.

It's kind of funny how Obama's formerly fairly plain-spoken Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, was instructed by Obama's minions to stonewall the U.S. Senate at her hearings, but the President feels compelled to interject himself, disingenuously, into a police blotter matter.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

What a complete misrepresentation of the facts. This is vile.

Anonymous said...

Obama would have been better off not getting involved in his friends arrest. He could have skirted the question by saying he did not know enough about what happened and declined to anwser. Instead he said he did not know enough and then answered; at least he answered to a point.

Obama left off by questioning the police verifying Gates' ID. Perhaps the cop was checking to see if there were any outstanding warrants or restraining orders on him.

My guess is that the more that comes out on this, the worse Gates will look. Or should I say Obama's friend? Yes, they might find out some additional info like the first cop involved was really there to "keep Gates down" or that he is really a member of some secret hate group but I really doubt it.

m said...

poll numberssssss.........plummeting

Anonymous said...

Chicago's Second City Cop has weighed in, noting that Obama sponsored a traffic stop study that was "supposed to prove institutional racism on the part of police departments across the state, [but] proved only that police officers stopped lawbreakers regardless of race and that not a single instance of racial profiling was ever noted in the study. So Obama's entire experience of police work was a preconceived notion that was roundly disproved at the cost of millions of dollars. And he thinks he can comment on an arrest in Cambridge he admits knowing nothing about?"

Reg Cæsar said...

...there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcing disproportionately. --Barack I

There is also a long history in this country of African-Americans being denied pistol permits disproportionately. Not just carry permits, but purchase permits where those are necessary. As in his own state of Illinois.

The Gateses and their ilk never complain about this. Every aspect of American law enforcement and criminal justice is suffused with racism, youbetterbelieveitcharlie, except gun control. No, gun control enforcement is always fair and impartial.

You'll never see the NAACP sue over this. Indeed, they hate Charlton Heston and the NRA precisely because they interfere with the government's ability to disarm blacks.

(I once sat across the bus aisle from an energetic young NAACP delegate returning to his motel from their 1995 convention. I desperately wanted to tease him that the NRA had held its 1994 convention in the very same room. But he wouldn't stop boring the [black] driver with his plan for a Civil Rights-themed chess set. Yes, King was king.)

Firearms policy is the Achilles heel of the civil rights movement. Because if gun control is necessary, then the whole thing was a charade.

I'll start defending their gun rights when they start defending mine!

Anonymous said...

"My guess is that the more that comes out on this, the worse Gates will look."

What makes you think anything more will come out, except a book tour for Gates and a a guilt-wracked apology from the officer?

Nobody wants to know what Gates did. They just want to revel in their white guilt about how oppressed blacks still are. How else can they justify why so many blacks are in jail, without crimethink?

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Well this definitely was not one of Obama's finest moments. And an incident involving local police and a Harvard prof isn't a national political issue the President needs to address.

Nanonymous said...

Just a typical lying President. How sad and depressing.

testing99 said...

Somewhat OT Steve, Joel Kotkin has taken your themes and developed them further here regarding Blue/Red states, particularly the pattern of buying social peace through spending not on infrastructure but public employee unions, and wealth depending on a few winners in finance and creative stuff, real estate booms.
Well yes of course Obama reacts by blaming the police and playing the race card. What do you expect, it's all he knows. It will play well in the feminized media that is predisposed to hate White guys, particularly blue collar cops.

Again I challenge anyone here to hang around female-dominated forums like TMZ or Televisionwithoutpity or what have you to see how women react to the Gates arrest and Obama's comments. Most White women will agree with Obama. It's what they "know" from TV and movies. Racist cops. Saintly Black guys.

For an example, "the Mentalist" had one episode set in a Northern California logging town, remote and all White. The doctor there was a Black man. I checked the AMA's website, Blacks make up 4% of all doctors nationwide. But PC casting has it's own requirements, and women "know" what they see on TV.

Heck, check out the View. Every time I've had a relatively mid AM doctor's appointment that show has been turned on by the female staff there in the waiting room. Pure agony.

/also Whiskey

wren said...

I hope this officer or his union raise a stink about this.

newt0311 said...


It seems like the officer is refusing to give in. Good for him though I doubt this helps his career prospects.

bjdouble said...

From Gates interview with the Root:

"TR: Can you describe, in your own words, what went on in and outside of your home?

HLG: I just finished making my new documentary series for PBS called “Faces of America.” It was a glorious week in Shanghai and Ningbo and Beijing, and on my trip, I took my daughter along. After we finished working in Ningbo we went to Beijing and had three glorious days as tourists. It was great fun.

We flew back on a direct flight from Beijing to Newark. We arrived on Wednesday, and on Thursday I flew back to Cambridge. I was using my regular driver and my regular car service. And went to my home arriving at about 12:30 in the afternoon."

It takes him seven sentences to get to the point -- first dropping the name of his PBS documentary, then the trip in China (it was glorious), then his driver and car service.

Aaron Gross said...

I find the President's use of the word "jigger" extremely offensive, especially in this context.

m said...

no fn way that cop is apologizing.....I will give 100 to steve if he does

wren said...

One funny thing about The Root is that it was really originally put together by Jacob Weisberg.

He's distanced himself now, but he admitted it when it was first started.

Anonymous said...

--I find the President's use of the word "jigger" extremely offensive, especially in this context.--

I was wondering if I was the only one who laughed at that reference.

wren said...

I take that back about The Root.

When I re-read what he wrote I realize that he didn't put it together.

"In January, I helped launch The Root, under the editorial direction of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Lynette Clemetson."

Still, this was pretty funny to me. Wasn't there some other black organization that needed Jews to "help launch" it?

Anonymous said...

Professor Gates yelled at the police officer for the same reason professional athletes argue with the referees. It isn't about the current situation. It is about NEXT time making the police or the referees more deferential.

jody said...

LOL. i love how he says there's a long history of "latinos" being policed unfairly.

no there isn't. there isn't a long history of anything when it comes to "latinos", because in the great majority of states, there were barely any of them until 15 years ago, or even less.

he goes on to mention this group 3 times, every time along side black americans, clearly trying to give credibility to the idea that border jumping mexicans are some kind of long oppressed, long held down, yet very large, very integral part of american history.

it's a complete and total inversion of reality. there were barely any mexicans almost anywhere until 15 years ago, and they instantly got preferential treatment from the federal government and, when the showed up in enough numbers, by nearly every state government. if only i could ignore laws the way mexicans ignore laws. it would be great.

mexicans went from not even existing in politicians minds 10 years ago, to being nearly synonymous with black americans. "Blacks and Latinos" is practically how both groups are referred to now, as if they were almost the same exact people.

black americans should be mad about this stuff too, not just the average middle class white guy.

Melykin said...

I predict Obama will end up back- pedalling on his statement that the police were stupid. The White House will probably issue a statement about it within a day or so. This was a mis-step on Obama's part.

eh said...

...the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home.

I agree with the "acted stupidly" part insofar as, yes, he should not have been arrested, especially since -- if I understand correctly -- other officers, including perhaps one from Harvard, had already showed up. So why not just leave?

But here His Obamaness leaves the impression that Gates was arrested for suspicion of burglary, when in fact he was arrested outside his home for disorderly conduct.

I don't get what people see in Obama -- I really don't.

Lloyd G. said...

"- here I'd get shot. (Laughter.)"

Is the "here" Obama's talking about the White House, or DC? Is he accusing the Secret Service or the DC police of racial bias/unprofessionalism?

Obama is smart enough to hedge and qualify his statements several times. If any of this is thrown back at Gibbs in the next press room briefing, Gibbs can say, "Well , the President said he wasn't there and did not know all the facts..."

Lucky for Obama the Washington press corps is more interested in this story than it is the growing mess in AfPak, or the "goddamn ecomomy" (to quote 'Idiocracy').

Anonymous said...


Do you still think Obama is highly intelligent? To me, his butting in again demonstrates what a mediocrity he is.

bjdouble said...

Bill is right. Gates isn't offended as a black man, he's offended as a Harvard professor. "Is this what happens to a Harvard professor in America?" The first thing Gates says, after this is my house, is "I'm a Harvard professor," as if the conversation is supposed to stop there. The car and driver and the university owned housing are strange. Who has their own "car and driver"? And why would he be living in university housing after over 20 years at Harvard? It's college professor as manorial lord, and the officer wasn't behaving as one of the help.

Here is what is probably his house.


Mongoose said...

Unlike most other countries in the world, American police will commonly arrest people for "disrespect,"

Boy Bill, you live in a dream world. Try mouthing off to the police in the EU, Japan, China, Latin America, Russia, the COS nations or the Middle East and see what happens then. And a lot of those nations have legal systems based on the Napoleonic Code. You could well end up in jails for months.

Typical Liberal: Completely misinformed, and out to blame America.

In fact, American police are about as tolerant as you get.

Gates had a PC, Racist hissy fit aganst a white cop.

The real scandal here is the a Left wing operative like Gate's has the position that he has. He should be nowhere near a insitution of learning.

This is just the problem with Gates, and just the problem with Obama

Anonymous said...

It's too funny that Obama didn't pay his parking tickets for 17 years. I forwarded the link to Drudge.

Gates and Obama seem to share a belief that they are above the law.

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama's true colors are starting to come out at last. I think he is naturally stressed out from being POTUS, but having to hide who you really are also sucks the like out of you. Between his Farrakhan-like speech at the NAACP and his Gates remark last night, we can finally see this man as he is. One fact about Obama that never comes out. If you look at a map in Hyde Park where his house is, walk 2 blocks north and 1 block east, there sits Farrakhan's house. No big deal, except, imagine if a white power leader lived blocks from Bush,Clinton, or any other president. I think we would know about it.

Hail Cops! said...

Bill, excuse Mongoose's comments. He's madder than a diabetic with a deep fried candy bar that he can no longer write as "Ed Anger", so he trolls Sailer's blog under the new pseudonym "Mongoose", looking for some reasonable assessment of a social reality in the U.S. in order that he might attack it in the same frothing and amusing style we all knew and loved from the Weekly World News.

Anonymous said...

This is a national issue, just not the issue that the media or the President (or Prof. Gates, for that matter) thinks it is.

This is about the routine abuse of police power.

Cops push people around and lie very often. I know a lot of people put stock in the police officer's report, but that is very foolish. Unless there is video and audio to back up the police report, or multiple independent non-police witnesses to provide supporting testimony, police reports can't be trusted.

We only have the cop's word that Gates got in his face. (The picture everyone is going gaga about was taking after Gates was cuffed. If Gates is telling the truth, I ask readers to imagine how they'd react to being arrested and cuffed in their own homes in this situation. And yes, I know the cop said Gates got in his face, and that would have been a dumb thing for Gates to do if the cop is telling the truth, but consider that cops lie just like everyone else does.)

The gedanken experiment you proposed (black cop comes on white guy breaking into his own home, is greeted by racial slurs, retreats, and later finds out the white guy has killed his wife) is not a good one.

Let's make it a good one. Black cop called to the home of a prominent white professor with a report of a break-in. When he gets there, the guy he finds says he lives there, who happens to be on the phone. The guy looks agitated and fits the description of the person breaking in. The cop asks him for ID, and, after a short kerfluffle, gets it.

After that, the stories differ, but the white professor feels like he has been treated badly because the black cop is working off a grudge against whites. The cop and the professor's versions of events differ, but we don't have much to go on but their word. The white professor is arrested on vague charges (the kind that police can, if they feel like, charge anyone with), handcuffed, and dragged out of his own home. Oh, and it turns out he was on the phone to the university facilities office to ask about repairing his front door when the cops arrived.

I think you're really off on this one, Steve. In a different direction than Gates, Obama, et. al. are, to be sure, but still off.

Planetary Archon Mouse

Steve Sailer said...

Exactly how much difference is there between the two accounts, other than over whether the cop gave his name or not?

Steve F said...

I would agree with those who sympathize with Gates, because police often do abuse their power. As an attorney I see examples of it every other week. But...and this is a big "but"...if there is any group that abuses their "position" more than police officers it is the professional race baiters. Gates isn't to be held in any higher regard than your average politician.

Tyler said...

Obama threw Officer Crowley under the bus.

Truth said...

"I find the President's use of the word "jigger" extremely offensive, especially in this context"

If you guys actually got out more, you would have noticed the president's Extremely sly and covert black power salute!

He's throwing it back in your faces right under your noses and there's nothing you can do about it!

Anonymous said...

Without knowing the details, Obama automatically knows that the white cop is wrong and the black professor is right.

Sounds like Obama is engaging in profiling.

Tino said...



In many ways the reports are parallel, obviously with different facts being emphasized. Some differences:

1. Gates denies yelling.

2. Gates admits that he refused to answer a question: “he asked me another question, which I refused to answer.”

The police report states that Gates did not answer the question if there is someone else in the building: “I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer.”

However the timing of the question Gates admits he did not answer is slightly different than the Police question about someone else being in the building (The policeman asked this before being shown ID, wheras Gates refused to answer a question while the policeman was looking at his ID. Either the question is not the same, or more likely one of them remembers events slightly out of place).

3. This is not so much a contradiction than possible omission: The police report is full of aggressive accusations towards the cop, including you don’t know who you are “messing” with, “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside”. The police reports includes numerous accusations of racism. Gates interview includes one milder one: ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’

I have to say even if we ignore the police version 100% Gates own version puts him in a bad light: “[After looking at the ID] He turned his back to me and turned back to the porch. And I followed him. I kept saying, “I want your name, and I want your badge number.”

So Gates admits that the cop was leaving after having verified his ID and realized he was not committing burglary. Nevertheless he writes: “He didn’t follow proper police procedure! You can’t just presume I’m guilty and arrest me.”


“I would hope that the police wouldn’t arrest the first black man that they saw—especially after that person gives them an ID”

I am not a Harvard Professor or anything, but obvious to all parties the cops did not arrest him because they presumed him of being guilty (of burglary). Both statements make clear that the cop did in fact become convinced that Gates was innocent after viewing hi ID, and left him. Again according TO BOTH REPORTS the arrest only took place after Gates followed the cop out.

Rather Gates is angry that the cops when they arrived, and before they talked to him, suspected him.

“ He’s supposed to ask me if I need help. He just presumed that I was guilty, and he presumed that I was guilty because I was black. There was no doubt about that.”.

So the police does not even have the initial right to ask Gates who he is and what he is doing, even though Gates and his drivers broke into the home, which to outsiders looks like burglary! Gates presumably has higher levels of rationality and should be able realize this. He instead demands the police have omniscience.

MQ said...

Bill above is completely correct. This isn't a racial issue, it's about how American cops react to perceived "disrespect".

In fact, American police are about as tolerant as you get.

I'm guessing you haven't travelled much.

Anonymous said...

Planetary Archon Mouse,

The caller, a nice woman I'm sure, given her level of citizenship and where she lived, would be just a tiny bit interested in how this would turn out. (The second report by a different officer even mentions this, but any half way intuitive person would predict this, including the officer).

If the racist from Hell had shown up, he would not unleash his demons with prying eyes about; bad people behave worse in the countryside (see ferfal's blog about surviving in Argentina).
Intuitively, it is hard to accept that the officer would overstep his bounds, especially when both agree that most of this took place outside and in public.

Also, the accounts of both men are in accord. The dispute is over what was going on the officer's unspoken thoughts.

Tino said...

Let's make it a good one. Black cop called to the home of

1. “a prominent white professor”

It doesn’t matter if the person is “prominent” or not. The policeman cannot possible know the publication list of the unknown person. Nor should anyone’s prominence entitle them to behave in ways other citizens don’t. Selfimportant Gates doesn’t seem to understand this. At the core of the conflict is that Gates demands to be treated better than an average citizen (whom, regardless of race or tenure, if they break into their own home, should expect the police to question them)

“The cop and the professor's versions of events differ, but we don't have much to go on but their word. The white professor is arrested on vague charges (the kind that police can, if they feel like, charge anyone with), handcuffed, and dragged out of his own home.”

The cop and the professor versions do not differ in one central aspect. Gates was not “dragged” out of his own home and handcuffed, he FOLLOWED the cop who had been placated by seeing his ID and was LEAVING, after which he was arrested for being aggressive towards the cop.
A high crime society with tough law enforcement gives some rights and powers to police, including the right to question people, and the right to demand cooperation. This is true for all people.

Gates basically considers himself above this, he is entitled by his race and his profession to act as a jackass, in a situation where most of us would have been cooperative.

3. If this had happened to a white person there would be no newspaper headlines or mentioned by the president.

In 2006 326,000 whites were arrested for disorderly conduct. It is hardly a remarkable event.

Anonymous said...

Rush is starting his program with this story...

Anonymous said...


Gates' version of events doesn't have him saying some of the things the cop claimed he said.

You already put up Laurence Auster's link to the original police report, but I'll put in again: it's here.

Gates's version of events is here, and is different in several ways.

I don't think it was unreasonable at all for the officer to investigate, or for the neighbor to have made the call in the first place.

Looking at the report, though, I note that the officer lists the neighbor as a witness to things she didn't see, claims other people witnessed the events (where are they?), and the second officer at the scene offers an account that differs a bit from the first one's.

According to the officer, he was speaking on a police radio while Gates went ballistic. If this is true, I expect recordings backing this up to surface in the next few days, either from the police department itself or from locals who listen to police frequencies.

A major difference, Steve, is that the officer claims that Gates, when asked to provide ID, said "Why, because I'm a black man in America?"

The officer also claims that Gates made a call and demanded that someone "get the chief." This is another difference from Gates' version of things, and one that could, if someone was enterprising, be checked by an examination of phone records. (Again, if it's true, I expect someone in the Cambridge PD will go to the phone company for a list of numbers called from Gates' number, which you don't need a warrant or much reason at all to get, and leak the info to the press.)

If there are not significant leaks in the next few days (phone records showing Gates did try to use his clout, as the cop claims, recordings of the police radio with Gates shouting in the background), or other independent witnesses (like the ones the cop claims where there) who surface to back the cop's story, I'll be willing to bet money that the cop lied, and the second cop went along with it.

You should figure out a way to factor in "police deceit, misconduct, and outright criminality" into your crime misery index. It would be hard to do, but parts of it could be done-tracking instances of testilying, for instance.

It would also be good if you could show half the skepticism towards the police in this case that you showed in the phony rape case at Duke a few years ago.

Planetary Archon Mouse

Anonymous said...

You can throw in Spiderman, and virtually every other superhero ever come to think of it, for the whole orphan origins theme.

Anonymous said...

Casting aspersion is central to so much of the whole victimization scam. Both Gates and Obama did it. Obama "dropped" his comments in a way that caused more heat than light then simply shifted to "feeling troubled". Kind of like a one, two punch. Gates did that same thing. He dropped his "you are just prosecuting me cause I'm black" statements hoping that would become the focus of why the cops were there in the first place.

king obama said...

The problem with racial bias in policing is that it certainly exists to some extent, but people would like to pretend that it doesn't.

Blacks do commit more crimes than whites do, so naturally cops tend to treat blacks differently than they do whites since blacks are more likely to commit crimes. If cops treated blacks like they treat whites, then more crimes committed by blacks would go unsolved/unpunished.

For example, if Gates was a white professor, the cop would have probably apologized for mistaking Gates for a burglar. However, since Gates was black, the cop had to make extra sure that Gates was not up to no good (rapist, domestic violence, etc).

Also, if Gates had been white, I doubt his neighbor would have called the police. She/he would probably have thought that Gates was having trouble opening his door, but since Gates is black, she/he got worried.

Harry Baldwin said...

It seems to me that Obama's comment regarding the Gates incident may subtly hurt the chances for passage of his health care bill. Looking at the outlines of this bill, many white middle-class people are suspicious that its main effect will be to provide NAMs with health care at their expense, while reducing the quality and availability of health care to the non-NAMs. This intention becomes clear when the Democrats refuse to rule out providing full service to illegal aliens.

To allay this suspicion, it would behoove Obama to show due respect for the concern of the non-NAMs. However, by his knee-jerk support for Gates and against the police, he shows that he always puts the interests of NAMs before those of anyone else.

Also, as others have mentioned, his comments on the Gates case once again demonstrate--blatantly--that Obama does not hesitate to run roughshod over the facts in service to his ideology. This reminds people that they can't trust him to be straight with them about health care reform.

Deckin said...

Here's the reaction of a good friend of mine who actually is a cop in a city very (very) much like Cambridge:

"When it comes to disturbances, a general rule of policing is that officers aren’t victims. When you arrest someone for disorderly conduct, you want an identifiable victim who was disturbed by the suspect’s conduct. When you fill out the arrest paperwork, you identify the victim and describe how he was disturbed by the suspect’s behavior and the reasons that they want to press charges.

"This is not a statutory requirement. It is just custom. The reason for the custom is because it protects the officer from later accusations that the real motive for the arrest was somehow personal – a “contempt of cop” arrest. However, some jurisdictions still have real “contempt of cop” ordinances on the books, and they are still occasionally enforced.

"Whether a particular community or a particular prosecutor’s office prefers to charge citizens for disrespecting police officers is a matter of taste. Most communities do not encourage their officers to be victims (absent physical assaults). In practice this means that when some academic blowhard throws the race card in your face, even loudly, you just walk away.

"Disorderly conduct statutes cast a wide net. I’ve read the Cambridge arrest reports now. I believe that the facts just barely squeak past the probable cause threshold. A civil suit would technically fail. However, Harvard has a bottomless supply of lawyers willing to defend its franchise player pro bono. The point of a civil suit would be the “general principle” of teaching the townies not to fuck with Skip. Although I’ll be curious whether any of Skip’s peers will publicly say that his behavior was an embarrassment to himself and the university. I’ll keep holding my breath.

"The bottom line is that cops don’t use their discretion in the way this officer did. We don’t arrest people just because we can and we don’t arrest them to teach them a lesson. More generally, when I use the word “people,” I mean citizens. We don’t fuck with citizens. We divide the population cleanly along the lines of citizens and criminals. Criminals we fuck with endlessly – cheap pinches, weak arrests, etc – because they are criminals. They prey on us while we subsidize their worthless lives. But citizens – taxpayers, workers – we don’t fuck with, even when they’re assholes who condescend to us.

"So the problem with Gates’s arrest, in the end, isn’t that it was an “unlawful arrest.” It was just unnecessary."

bernie said...

Bill, it is right and proper that cops arrest anyone that mouths off to them. If they tolerated that, then soon lawful orders would be laughed at.

I saw a young man once tell his father to f*ck off - the father did nothing. I know why that happened: years before the son said, "screw you," and the father did nothing. Years before that the son said, "NO I will not do as you ask," and the father did nothing.

It starts with a small amount of disrespect. Obviously you have no clue what it takes to maintain order.

dr kill said...

Hahahaha, I liked jigger too. But in English it is defined as a unit of liquid measurement, about an ounce-and-a-half at the dives I frequent.

Maybe the eloquent one meant to say jiggle or wiggle.

Or perhaps something else entirely.

Whatever he meant, it is refreshing to be represented by such an articulate young man. It makes me feel so progressive and satisfied and clean and good about myself.

Dave R. said...


You're likely right about the officer's career, but apologizing wouldn't save it either, because any kind of apology would concede Gates' charge of racism, in the public mind if not in fact. Then comes the 2 minute's hate and self-confessional before he can be rehabilitated. In other words, the cop's in something of a lose-lose situation.

Still, sticking to his guns may be his best shot. If it gets out in the public mind that Gates followed the officer out shouting at him, this may blow over for the officer.

Polistra said...

College-town cops are more accustomed than others to following the ACLU's rules. If the cop found Gates's behavior threatening, you can be double-damn-sure that he mentally checked all the possibilities, far more carefully than a non-college-town cop.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned: older people on the path into senility tend to forget keys, and also tend to be super-paranoid and aggressive. Cops undoubtedly see more of this than the rest of us, and try to take precautions to protect everyone.
In the picture in question, dressed in a knit shirt, Gates looks old, paranoid and aggressive. (He probably looks different when suited up for a lecture.)

Jun said...

Officer Crowley apparently was one of the EMT's who tried to resuscitate Reggie Lewis when he had a heart attack. Some racist!:

Sergeant at eye of storm says he won't apologize

I love this quote from Crowley's mom:

"They grew up with black kids, white kids, kids who didn’t have parents, kids who had two parents - everything you can think of," she recalled. Tolerance “wasn’t something you taught," she said. "You just lived it."

greenrivervalleyman said...

From Larry Auster's site:

* a PDF of the original police report

In it is testimony from an attending officer at the scene which confirms Crowley's account:

On July 16, 2009 at approximately 12:44 PM, I Officer Figuaroa #509 responded to an ECC broadcast for a possible break at __ Ware St. When I arrived, I stepped into the residence and Sgt. Crowley had already entered and was speaking to a black male.

As I stepped in, I heard Sgt. Crowley ask for the gentleman's information which he stated "NO I WILL NOT!" The gentleman was shouting out to the Sgt. that the Sgt. was a racist and yelled that "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO BLACK MEN IN America!" As the Sgt. was trying to calm the gentleman, the gentleman shouted "You don't know who your messing with!"

I stepped out to the gather the information from the reporting person, WHALEN, LUCIA. Ms. Whalen stated to me that she saw a man wedging hi shoulder into the front door as to pry the door open. As I returned to the residence, a group of onlookers were now on scene. The Sgt., along with the gentleman, were now on the porch of __ Ware Street and again he was shouting, now to the onlookers (about seven), "THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO BLACK MEN IN AMERICA!" The gentleman refused to listen to as to why the Cambridge Police were there. While on the porch, the gentleman refused to be cooperative and continued shouting that the Sgt. is racist police officer.

Here is also a photo of the incident. Note that Gates is clearly screaming, even though he claims to have been incapable of screaming at the time due to a bronchial infection.

All I can say, though, is thank God for the police officers' union, or the liberals and race hustlers would not stop until Crowley was utterly destroyed.

Also, an unintentionally funny response from "The New Republic's" token black "conservative" and Steve bete noir, John McWhorter:

The relationship between black men and police forces is, in fact, the main thing keeping America from becoming "post-racial" in any sense.

Here is where many will object with statistics about residential segregation, disparities in car loans and health care, and most recently, the dumping of subprime mortgages in black communities.

Anonymous said...

Obama the messiah said:
"...there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcing disproportionately."

Isn't it interesting how "and Latinos" is added in there. Even 5 years ago it wouldn't have been. I wonder if the 98 or 99% of blacks who are currently pleased as punch that their messiah is in charge realize that they are about to be displaced by Latinos as America's main 'underperforming minority' and, as Latinos acculturate to our racial spoils system, the pickins will become slimmer for black folk.

Jun said...

Stg. James Crowley sounds like a pretty upstanding guy (and not stupid at all).

jody said...

LOL! a case that i was gonna ignore is simply getting better all the time!

the half black president says the police officer acted stupidly! the governor, who also appears to be half black, says he is troubled and upset! the mayor, WHO ALSO IS BLACK (?!), has apologized on behalf of the city!

every single one of these people is african or part african, has attained the highest political office in a european majority nation, yet quickly goes on the offensive against a white police officer, who, it now appears, is perhaps the worst possible target they could have picked to attack:

it turns out this james crowly is an expert on racial profiling! he was hand picked by a former police commissioner, ALSO BLACK (wtf?!), to teach at a police academy for 5 YEARS about how to not racially profile people!

the former police comissionner is standing fully behind crowly, as are the police. crowly himself responds exactly as steve has responded. that the president wasn't there, doesn't know what he's talking about, and shouldn't have interjected himself into the situation. and hey, look at that - the police officer is an obama supporter! LOL! of course. he immediately comes out as an obama supporter, like all liberal whites attacked by blacks now.

look at how many africans are in positions of authority here. the president, the governor, the mayor, a former police commissioner, a professor. the white police officer is the only european in the entire story.

when are white liberals going to learn that spending even a large chunk of their time helping black americans is not going to earn them one iota of credit with that group?

Bill said...

Mongoose said...

Boy Bill, you live in a dream world. Try mouthing off to the police in the EU, Japan, China, Latin America, Russia, the COS nations or the Middle East and see what happens then.

I used to live in China, and I saw people shouting and waving their arms around while arguing with police. When I first saw that, I thought: "man, if I did that back home I'd get my face shoved into the concrete."

Also, the one time I was arrested in China (party with Liberian friends got out of control), the cop didn't even manhandle or restrain me at all.

Anonymous said...


completely off topic, the reason why ritholtz disappeared

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The white police sergeant criticized by President Barack Obama for arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his Massachusetts home is a police academy expert on racial profiling.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class on racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

Antioco Dascalon said...

You don't shout and scream at someone when you are afraid for your life. You shout and scream at someone when you are trying to intimidate or bully someone you think might be weaker.

Gates wasn't for a moment afraid that the cop would kill, arrest or otherwise harm him. The POTUS, after all, calls him "Skip". Imagine that you are in a foreign country and the police detain you. If you were truly afraid, would you a. act deferential or b. threaten them?

We abuse those whom we don't see as fully human: telemarketers, people on tv, refs, etc. Gates read the riot act to the cop because he couldn't take the effrontery of being questioned for breaking into a house.

gun toting whitie said...

Reg Caesar has just made the most compelling argument in favor of the NAACP and against the NRA I have ever seen. Go gun control!

Anonymous said...

In America, as opposed to the countries Mongoose listed, pistols and submachine guns are in the hands of many criminals. They're kept under the seats of cars,and occassionally brought to bear in an argument over a traffic stop. Bang! Argument over.
Every time I feel like pissing on the police, I ask myself if I would do their job. No, I wouldn't.

testing99 said...

It gets better and better and better:

*The cop taught a class on how to avoid racial profiling at the academy for 16 years. He was hand-picked by the top Black cop in the Cambridge PD.

*The cop frantically tried to revive Reggie Lewis with CPR (he was a certified EMT) when Lewis collapsed during practice.

*Obama spokesweasal Gibbs denied flat out that Obama called the cops stupid, which Obama in fact DID DO.

*Bill Cosby said Obama should shut up about Race.

[All sources on HotAir today.]

HILARIOUS! The more Obama talks this way, the stupider he becomes. It's not the OJ Trial anymore. It was nearly twenty years ago. Whites are a smaller bit of the population, less willing to cede ground or opportunities, less guilty, less status-mongering (because of declining incomes, money counts more than status now), and probably particularly among White men, fed up with the "Magic Negro" (ala David Ehrenstein's LA Times column) and all the posturing.

/I am also Whiskey

Anonymous said...

Blacks and Hispanics readly admit to themselves that they do disporportionately commit more crimes than whites. Factors include financial need and unfulfilled desires blamed on our society or their victims. Gates is a race baiter as much as Obama is a politician. And neither of them see far beyond their long noses.

Anonymous said...

A "glorious" trip to China for a black man? No way. Many white people in China complain bitterly about the comments they get here (I'm in China). And being black in Chian is even more difficult. I think that Gates' was angry about racism he and his daughter encountered while travelling in China, and this, along with jet lag, caused Gates to take his anger out on a white police officer. Come on Gates, admit it.

I cringe to think what Harvard students are learning today.

squamous pustule said...

What's more inappropriate here? That a president is commenting on a case outside his jurisdiction, a city police matter in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or that an elected official is commenting on a case involving a man he knows well enough to call "Skip"?

Of course, maybe Obama is commenting simply as a "Harvard man". But that's not what presidential press conferences are for.

Truth said...

"The gedanken experiment you proposed (black cop comes on white guy breaking into his own home, is greeted by racial slurs, retreats, and later finds out the white guy has killed his wife) is not a good one.

Let's make it a good one..."

Excellent, logical and well thought out analogy.

Not a Hacker said...

The single greatest myth in America is that the cops treat blacks any differently from anyone else. Thus in his piece about Gates at The New Republic, John McWhorter complains he was stopped for jaywalking on an empty street in 1988 and asserts, "I doubt this would have ..." Well, I'm white and I've been stopped for jaywalking three different times. First in 1976 at 6 a.m. in downtown Oakland, next on Sunset in Hollywood in 1987 (no, it's not like that), and in Berkeley on a football Saturday just last year.

Anonymous said...

The single greatest myth in America is that the cops treat blacks any differently from anyone else.

I'd agree, Not A Hacker. This is something I think people are missing-cops toss their weight around a lot. Blacks are simply more likely to have encounters with police than whites: the results when the encounters happen are similar.

The people who are impressed that the other cop backed the first one ought to compare exactly what the two different cops claim Gates said, and think about the reality that cops cover for one another except in very extreme circumstances-like the ones in this 60 Minutes report.

People impressed by the citing of the neighbor as a witness should consider how, exactly, she was a witness to events that according to both Gates and the arresting officer, only Gates and the officer were present for. (She's probably on there as a witness for the stuff she did witness-the door being forced-and nothing more.)

Here's my take on this: Gates got irritated when the cops showed up, but the cop got irritated in return, and overreacted. If it was a regular citizen, the cop would win-but the guy he arrested is one of the most prominent Harvard professors, a guy who pals around with the POTUS. So this time, the cop doesn't get to win. (If it'd been me, or Steve, or a less prominent professor, it might be different.)

The real story here is the routine arrogance the police operate with, and which almost no one questions. Things like cops insisting that you should have your hands on the dashboard when they pull you over, even though a cop is more likely to die on the job of a heart attack than they are to be shot during a traffic stop, say, or the pass cops usually get when they kill someone during a raid that hits a wrong address.

Planetary Archon Mouse

Jules said...

President Obama had no business commenting on a situation about which he knew very little, by his own admission. Maybe he should let go of the notion that every white man out there is evil, and realize that the Officer was just doing his job. Now whether that job was done correctly is up to the court to decide, not the President himself.

Reg Cæsar said...

In America, as opposed to the countries Mongoose listed, pistols and submachine guns are in the hands of many criminals. --anonymous

Oh, yeah... the weaponry of two world wars fought at home just disappeared into thin air.

There are plenty of private guns floating around Europe, whether authorized or not. The reason they're less likely to be "in the hands of many criminals" is that there aren't as many criminals.

Truth said...

Wait a minute...stop...halt....hold the phone!

I thought the WHOLE PURPOSE of this blog was to elucidate the "obvious" differences between races and illuminate that people's different reactions to those of a different race are natural and healthy.

Did I miss something? Either this is wrong, or white police officers, being 100% race neutral are somehow immune to this and somehow superior (or inferior) beings. I was going to say human beings, but your theory implies that white cops live on Mount Olympus, as they do not favor those who look like them.

Please educate me to where I misunderstood.

eh said...

President Obama had no business commenting on a situation about which he knew very little, by his own admission.

He knew the cop was white and Gates black; what else did he need to know? That script writes itself, for the most part.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone commented on the fact that one of the officers was black? Seems kind of incongruous for a supposedly 'racist' incident.

Silver said...

Somewhat OT Steve, Joel Kotkin has taken your themes and developed them further here regarding Blue/Red states, -- Testing99

Joel Kotkin. Now there's an...interesting... character. I'm sure he's very interested in Sailer's "themes."

Kotkin on closing the border:

"That would be stupid — suicidal. I don’t know what planet those people live on. What I say in reply is that we need these new immigrants …"

We need them. Yes, I can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Re Reg Caesar:
My point is that regardless of the weaponry floating around, it is a fact that pistols and submachine guns, when used in street crime, have a fright value that echoes for a long time. The police in the USA are much more frightened than Bobbies are.For example we all know about the riots in the suburbs of Paris a few years ago. Was there gun fire? Do you think there would be no gunfire at all if a similar event started to happen in LA?
Like all of us I have had good and bad experiences with the police. I happen to think they wear body armor for a reason. And I also think they can get subtly, permanently frightened of sudden and inexplicable death at the hands of a stranger such as very few of us ever have to experience. Would you want to walk up to a car that has been driving erratically and which has heavily tinted windows? How much would you not want to do it? Do you think that if it is a requirement that you indeed have to walk up to the car, would you find yourself displacing a bit of anger towards the driver, maybe?
Everybody hates lawyers except when they need one. Everybody hates the police except when they dial 911.

Anonymous said...

seems the pics got pulled.

Cat Patrol said...

If you want to watch a Black man cry racism, let a White woman turn him down for a dance in a nightclub.

Truth said...

"If you want to watch a Black man cry racism, let a White woman turn him down for a dance in a nightclub."

You mean that happens?