Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Henry Louis Gates Arrested?

If you've even seen any of his documentaries, then you know that Henry Louis Gates has got to be one of the most non-threatening black men in the country. He's up there with Barack Obama, Bryant Gumbel and Wayne Brady. So when I hear this story that he has been arrested for disorderly conduct I had to raise an eyebrow. Then I read a bit further into an article and I learn that he was arrested in his own home.

Here's how the story went down. Gates was returning home from China where he was filming yet another documentary. Upon reaching his home he had difficulty opening the door. Even his cab driver helped with prying the door open. A neighor witnessing the forceful entry into the house called the cops because she suspected this was a burglary. The officer that arrived to the house accused Gates of not being cooperative and arrested him. This is after Gates proved that he was indeed owner of the home.

Gates was cuffed and taken to the police department where he was held for approximately four hours. Fortunately he was released on $40 bond and the charges were dropped by the city of Cambridge. Unfortunately, this is an event that should have never happened in the first place. I'm sorry, once the officer learned that Gates was at home he should have turned and left. There is no reason at all for this to have happened. As long as Gates didn't threaten or attack the officer the officer had no reason to resolve to this.

But Gates is a brilliant man and he knows exactly why this happened. He's a black man. Cambriade mayor E. Denise Simmons (who by the way is the only African-American lesbian ever to hold the title of mayor) made this statement, "The incident did illustrate that Cambridge must continue finding ways to address matters of race and class in a frank, honest, and productive manner." She also went on to say she was "very pleased" that the charges were dropped.

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