By now you have probably heard of the fiasco involving Henry Louis Gates Jr., the distinguished Professor at Harvard University. On July 16th, Cambridge Massachusetts police officers responded to a 9-1-1 call about a potential breaking and entering. This simple call has now led to a firestorm of media coverage over the past several days invoking emotions and heightening racial tensions.
The only reason I use the word heightening in regards to racial tension is that to the left, the tension seems to constantly be on their mind. Just read the words of Adam Hanft from the Huffington Post if you disagree.
He (Hanft) says there is an important teaching moment in all of this. That Gates reaction was not necessarily one to the specific incident, but ,“Rather, it feels to me like it was a very personal reaction to a long history of police terrorism of black Americans, resulting in an eruption that appears to be disproportionate to the circumstances.” Or you can read David Axelrod’s on CBS’s Face the Nation saying “I think the President sees this as an opportunity to get dialogue going on an issue that’s been historically troubling.”
Not enough? How about the words directly from good ole Professor Gates.
After reading the police report filed by Sgt. James Crowley, it is hard for me to rationalize such rhetoric coming from anybody. If only half of the report were true, I can completely understand the Officer’s reaction to a seemingly disgruntled, angry, arrogant, citizen that he puts his life on the line to protect on a daily basis. The only problem with this is that the evidence supports nearly 100% of Sgt. Crowley’s story including the police report, Sgt. Crowley’s supporting officer, the eyewitnesses at the scene, and the Mass. Police Union.
So, the real question to me is, Why the reaction? Why the reaction from Gates? Why the reaction from Obama (he initially said Sgt. Crowley “acted stupidly” and later rephrased that statement)? Why the reaction from other prominent African American thinkers such as Michael Eric Dyson?
Dr. Dyson believes this is Obama’s chance to jump head first into the race debate and that that debate is long overdue. He believes things are so bad racially in this country that it must be confronted right away. He also said in a recent interview that if this were a case of a black police officer arresting a white Harvard professor that happened to know George Bush, the police officer would have been reprimanded immediately and the Mass. Police Union would not have supported him.
Maybe Dr. Dyson is right. Maybe we still are suffering from widespread systemic racism. But then again, maybe we are not. Notice the difference in tone and perception from Larry Elder, a Libertarian leaning Republican. All of these well intentioned folks besides Elder share a common bond that is important to note. They are all politically on the left. And they truly believe in what they are saying.
Here is what I believe. I choose to give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement, I do not assume anyone is inherently racist, and like Elder, I believe that cops are human beings too who often times will answer politeness with politeness. I also believe the reason why Gates, Obama, Dyson, etc reacted that way is as simple as the fact that we do not live in a “post-racial” America. Even the election of a black president has not worked to further African American sentiment toward the country. That sentiment along with the idea of a post racial America will never be realized as long as liberal ideology and an out-of-date sense of victim-hood laced with racial epithets permeates our American system. With liberals owning the executive branch of government, the congress, the unions, the lawyers, the doctors, the high schools, the universities, and most of the major media outlets, it will be a long time before a true post-racial America can even be considered. The liberal “minds” in our country just won’t allow it.