Henry Louis Gates and the Mini-Riot

I was watching something called “Police Women of Broward County” the other night. The cops were busting a group of black drug dealers in a house. They were not surrendering easily, each one shouting and complaining as the were cuffed, and keeping up the chorus as they were sitting outside. The chief complaint seems to have been that one of the officers stepped on the foot of one of the arrestees, and this was intolerable police brutality. Mean while a crowd of (black) neighbors had gathered and were also shouting at the police about this awful violation of human rights.

It occurred to me this is simply a black tactic for dealing with police. It is hardly unique to blacks; I have heard of Lebanese in Australia and Kurds in Sweden doing the same thing, as well as Gypsies. I have read teachers saying a classroom of black students will simply erupt with shouting.

I suppose the hope is to discourage the police from making the arrest, or confuse and slow down the situation in the hope the police will change their mind. I think it is most likely to work just as the police arrive on scene, before they have actually seen any criminal activity.they may then decide the thing to do is calm and disperse the crowd and leave. Once they have actually seen something that requires an arrest or a citation, I doubt they are going to let it go.

If you come from a raw power culture- the culture of ghetto blacks and third World people- it makes sense to try to intimidate the police. In these cultures a cop is just another guy, and most likely sees himself as just another guy, who does not want too much trouble with his paycheck. In a principle culture though the officer must do his job, and is going to be offended at the attempt to interfere.

Still, to the extent it discourages cops from investigating or patrolling aggressively it has the intended effect. The same people then complain the police don’t do enough for their neighborhoods, but nobody said it was rational.

This type of “chimp out” was apparently what Henry Louis Gates was attempting when the police came to his house. If you’re a Harvard professor who summers on Nantucket and rides an adult tricycle there the opportunity to engage in real ghetto black behavior must seem like a dream come true- sort of like the “Frasier” episode where he starts to hang out and the pub with all the English blokes. Unfortunately for Prof. Gates he never stopped to think that for this to work well, you need a whole crowd of large, angry, foul-mouthed homies who have probably seen the inside of a cruiser or two, and probably the county jail. One small, “seasoned”, frail Ivy League professor is not going to scare a hall monitor, much less a police sergeant.

The other element of the Gates “chimp out” was his accusation of racism. Superficially, this is always a good move for a black arrestee. It puts the arresting officer on guard and reminds him of the risk he’s taking by arresting a black person. Filing a complaint later, no matter how groundless, is good too because it will harrass the cop and consume lots of police resources which might otherwise be used to enforce the law.

Had Gates been lucky, this complaint would have landed against an officer who had been investigated, and completely cleared, at least once for an allegation of racism. Again how utterly baseless this allegation or allegation might have been it would have still served the purpose of smearing the officer’s record for future reference. Gates was not lucky, as the arresting officer was so politically correct as to be an instructor on the subject of racial profiling.

This leads into another issue, whether Gates should have been arrested at all. some people who believe his behavior was foolish and reprehensible believe the officer overreacted. I say no, for this reason. Due to his special status as a racial profiling instructor he was at much more risk than a regular officer. A regular officer might just say, “Just answering a 911 call sir. I’m glad to see you’re OK, have a nice day.” Cops have to be able to read people and as long as he thinks this is the end of it, he is probably inclined to take a donut break rather than do a couple hours of paperwork. I live in a politically correct northern city where the cops don’t arrest anybody for anything short of murder, and only rather reluctantly for that.

This one (I don’t remember his name and I’m too lazy to lok it up- some Irish mug named James, we all look alike to you people anyway so what do you care?) had much more need to maintain his unblemished record of racial bona fides. Let’s say a passenger accuses a pilot of having been drinking just before a flight. What does he do? He cancels the flight, calls his company and demands an alcohol test. He has no choice, if he takes the flight he does so with some suspicion he was under the influence. He will never be able to prove otherwise without the test. The officer had to arrest Gates to prove he was doing his job properly and that Gates’ interference was unjustified.

Lesson for blacks- one, always go for the racial complaint. It probably won’t do you much good but it will help out another brother down the road. Oh, I forgot, black people don’t give a shit about other black people which is why they do each other so much harm. Two, if you are a drug dealer or other criminal, when the cops show up the game is just beginning. Keep your mouth shut and let your attorney go to work. Three, if you are a middle class person who might benefit from the protection of the state, cooperate with the police even when it is unpleasant. Their job is tedious and difficult. The best way to get them out of your hair is to politely tell them what they need to know so they can leave.


About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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