Yes, this is the appropriate name for the Henry Louis Gates Jr.
arrest controversy. It would (might) help us see how ridiculous we are in
denoting everything that interests as a crisis.
I have been
asked my opinion on this whole fiasco by several folks so here it is.
First- Yes, I
think there's a racial component to the arrest. Gates was clearly in his own
home and was clearly no physical threat to the officer. Small, crippled, middle-aged folks should not be intimidating to young, armed police officers. I have
not heard any suggestions as to why Sergeant Crowley felt it necessary to arrest
Gates. I know that he chose to do so but I still do not know why he thought it
Here's a simple thought experiment: Replace Skip Gates with Bill Gates at the front door in Cambridge and what do you think happens?
Second- Were I
arrested instead of Skip Gates, the story might make the local news. Maybe.
There would be no hue and cry. I'd tell folks about it and we'd shake our
heads, curse the police and go do the next thing on our list. It is only
because of his stature that this has become a media event. Sad but true.