Monday, July 27, 2009

Mr. Gates Goes To Cambridge

The furor over Obama's statement that the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" is kind of absurd don't you think? How can you classify it any other way? A guy gets arrested for breaking into his own home? Would it have been too much trouble to let him maybe show them the picture of himself on the mantle? Or produce a drivers license and then show them his electric bill? Maybe ring a neighbors doorbell and ask "does this guy live next door"? I mean come on. We all have a right to be a bit upset at this and the arresting office did in fact act stupidly.

Now listen, I have nothing but respect for the men and women who put themselves in harms way in an attempt to keep us all safe and secure. And I certainly don't want them cutting corners or falling for a line of bull shit if they catch someone breaking into my house. But pulling someone from their own home when it would be easy to confirm he does in fact live there? Something was stupid!

Was it racial profiling? Maybe. Let's face it. We have come a long way in the race department but to those who say we have arrived at equality for minorities I say wake up from your dream and look around. One only needs to ask if we would need "hate laws" if discrimination did not exist. Biggotry is quite alive and well in this country. Biggots have just become more careful not to display their ignorance in the wrong places.

In my house, we have kind of an unwritten rule that name calling is not allowed. When my son was around 3 years old, he spent some time with my mother who was visiting from New York. She stayed at a hotel when she visited, both because we really don't have a guest room and because it was better for everyone if some space was afforded between her and myself and my wife. Anyway, my son came home and asked his mother if there was something wrong with him. Why? Because his grandmother had said "what's wrong with you?" in response to something he did. I had to have a little "chat" with her for that one. We are careful in my house to address the activity and not the person. This is exactly what Obama did. He did not say the officer was stupid. He did not say the Cambridge police department was stupid. He said the activity was stupid. It was. He's right. Let's move on.


Common Sense

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, but I think it was Gates who reacted "stupidly" to the cop's visit. He can be overheard arguing on the tape of the cop calling for back-up. He may be a Harvard professor, but you don't have to be a genius to know you should not argue with the police.

    This story reminds of two of my funniest things I have ever seen or heard. One is Chris Rock's educational video "How not to get your ass kicked by the police!"

    The other is a favorite story (even if its an urban legend) of folks who travel for a living:

    During the final days at Denver's old Stapleton airport, a crowded United fight was cancelled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly, and angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, " I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS!"

    The agent replied, " I'm sorry sir, I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

    The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear. "Do you have any idea who I am?"

    Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. " May I have your attention please?" she began, her voice bellowing through the terminal. " We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to gate 17."

    With the folks behind him laughing in line hysterically, the man glare at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore "F--- you." Without flinching, she smiled and said, " I'm sorry sir, but you will have to stand in line for that too."