Comedian Bill Cosby seems to be the only intelligent black voice I’ve heard so far about black Harvard professor Louis Gates’ arrest Firestorm in a Teacup.
And President Obama’s overly quick response doesn’t help.
I adore President Obama, but he should have kept mum on this one. He really needs to call another press conference to talk about Health Care, which is more important than Mr. Gates, because race just sidelined reform.
The morning (July 23) after President Obama’s much touted press conference to push Health Care Reform, the stations I listened to here in Boston didn’t lead with Health Care, they all focused on the President’s response to the Gates arrest. Cambridge police did not react stupidly – as Obama and others suggest. One cop may have overreached, but he was provoked.
Many blacks, like me, DON’T think Gates’ arrest was racially motivated.
Some of us just see an angry man, (with an allegedly prickly temperament), who gave the police lip, and got in trouble for it!
Gates claims the cop is one of those disgruntled whites who envy successful blacks. (There are also disgruntled blacks who envy successful whites and blacks). The cop had already decided and accepted that Mr. Gates was indeed who he said he was…professor Louis Gates, Jr., pre-eminent black scholar of national renown; that he WAS NOT breaking in, and DID LIVE in that house.
The cop didn’t accuse Gates of lying, or tell Gates he had NO RIGHT to be in a nice neighborhood like this, or ask Gates why he was pretending to be a Harvard professor. If Gates had reacted intelligently, the cop would have left to look for bona fide black criminals, of which there are many.
Instead, Gates escalated the tension, by accusing the cop of racism.
Gates is sure how the cop, (whom he doesn’t know), would have reacted had he been a white professor, thus stereotyping the cop, whom he’s accusing of stereotyping him! Irony that’s obviously lost on Gates and his friends.
I understand his affront, but we need to let cops do their jobs. The way Gates handled the situation doesn’t reflect well on him. There are channels to handle questionable policing and Gates would look less egoistic if he’d acquiesced and used those channels.
It seems to me that blacks are increasingly banding behind blacks, particularly prominent blacks who do bad things, even if they are clearly wrong. I understand the instinct to protect our brothers and sisters, (especially against a background where we see others get away lightly on similar charges) but shouldn’t we also admit to the truth?
What message are we sending when we defend murderers, child molesters, adulterers, rappers who denigrate women and brag about killing cops, and thugs who plunder the innocent, in the name of racial justice?
Because there are white extremists, should we also promote black extremism?
It’s time we step up to the plate and say: My brother, I love you. I understand where you are coming from, but you are wrong, my brother, wrong!
And it’s time for whites to stop being afraid of speaking up; afraid that if they say what they really feel, they’ll be branded racist. Racists hate other races just because they are different.
Intelligent white people hate some of the things that black people do; they don’t necessarily hate black people. Just as intelligent blacks know the people we meet at work and on the subway are not responsible for slavery or Hitler’s ideology, and we are all just struggling to get along.
Until then, we will see a parade of rhetoric without reform.
And so I salute Bill Cosby, for inserting some reason into the debate.
According to an article by the Christian Science Monitor, Cosby initially suggested on a Boston radio station (July 23) that President Obama spoke too soon on Gates’ controversial arrest. He later did some backpedalling, but told a Boston TV station: “People who have not been there, people who don’t know are beginning to have their own personal feelings, but they weren’t there.”
The reporter asked: “Does this include the president?”
Cosby said “It includes everybody…(but) I would have to take into consideration that he lived in Cambridge for some time so he may know more than he’s saying about situations of that sort.”
I love you, Bill.
We can and should question a black president, just as we would and should a white or green president.
By the way, did any white people vote for any of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus? Seems whites should withhold their votes…and teach these (insert your own word) an essential lesson in racism.