When I posted about the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. arrest yesterday, I hesitated before I began writing because I didn't have all the facts yet, and thought maybe I was responding a bit hastily. But the facts of the case that were already published hither and yon on the Internet seemed pretty damning, and not toward Skip Gates. So what the hell, I went ahead and came down pretty squarely on his side.
But now, more information has come out, and guess what? It's worse. I can't access Blogger at this moment so I can't quote my original post, but I believe the scenario I was imagining had a harried professor returning to his home, a few blocks from the university, to maybe have lunch (it was lunchtime), go to the bathroom and perhaps pick up some materials for any appointments he had later in the afternoon. I imagined he was kind of stressed and in a hurry and then made more so by finding he couldn't get into his home.
Oh, but the truth is so much more. MORE.
He was returning from the airport in a livery car after spending a week in China working on a PBS documentary. How criminal! Finding his front door had been damaged while he was away, he went around to the back, let himself in that way, and then he and the driver worked together to open the front door. A white female neighbor called the police because she saw two black men trying to enter the house by force (a true assessment). When the police arrived, the driver was gone, and Skip was in the house calling Harvard Real Estate about the damage to his door. One plausible reason the door might be damaged is that someone tried to break in while he was away - and yet no one called about that. Hmm. Odd.
So yeah. Interesting.
Of course, the best take on this that I have yet seen comes from Angry Black Bitch. Hey, guess what? She's kind of angry about it. Angry, and simultaneously cracking my shit up. For me, that's a winning combination.
Prof. Gates says this experience had led him to consider conducting research on race and criminal justice. More power to him. Make lemons out of lemonade, I say!