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July 25, 2009

The Skip Gates Case

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I figure that most visitors are 'way ahead of me where following the Skip Gates case goes. But maybe you haven't yet run across this blogposting by FeministX.



posted by Michael at July 25, 2009


I suppose the police in this instance were doing what they routinely do in situations such as this, just checking out a call about what looked like a potential problem. Unfortunately, I suspect it struck a deep nerve in Gates, you know, the kind that represents minorities having to prove their legitimacy and credentials over and over against chronic incredulity. (Think 'Birthers' and Obama's citizenship, etc., if you're skeptical that this sort of thing is still that prevalent in our society.) I still think a person has a right to throw a hissy fit on their own front porch without having to end up in jail because of it. Cops ought to be able to defuse or retreat from situations rather than getting draw deeper into them.

Posted by: KR on July 25, 2009 1:20 AM

I am torn between my visceral contempt for uniformed pigs and my utter loathing of academic race hustlers.

So much to hate, so little time!

Posted by: Kudzu Bob on July 25, 2009 4:47 AM

What BS, KR!

This argument has already been thoroughly dissected in the news and on the web. So, I'll present the other side.

Gates almost demanded to be arrested. It isn't a cop's job to "defuse or retreat from situations." It's their job to keep public order and prevent crime.

Gate's has a fucking big mouth and a chip on his shoulder. I've done the same damned thing with cops... arguing and trying to bully my way out of minor scrapes... or, at least, I did when I was young and dumb.

A couple of times I got thrown in the clink for a few hours until I cooled off. That's all that happened to Gates. Big deal. No harm done.

Gates is wealthy, mulatto, privileged... he's the big wig and the cop is a working guy. Give me a break!

The worst thing is that Gates' played the "I'm just a poor negro being hassled by the man" routine. What a con artist! Although I've never read a word he's written, I understand that the racial con is his bread and butter.

Even Obama, a consummate race hustler, has backed away from this one. News and web sources suggest this is because police tapes of the incident exist, and those tapes do not support Gates' story.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 25, 2009 6:41 AM

By the way, FeministX, get rid of that pink background on your website. It makes the text just about unreadable.

I gather you're trying to make some sort of statement that you're female. Find a more subtle way to do it.

Godawful! Hard on the eyes.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 25, 2009 6:43 AM

Gates has a chauffeur = The White Man doesn't let him drive.

Gates lives in a Harvard owned home = House Negro.

Posted by: Uncle Tom on July 25, 2009 11:59 AM

Shouting Thomas, what "public order" did Gates threaten? He was on his own property; he didn't drag the cops onto his place--they came there of their own volition! When you enter someone's property on *second-hand hearsay* that there may be a problem, you takes your chances. Cops are not supposed to get into pissing contests (and that's what it ultimately was) with cantankerous old people, no matter what the guy's level of professional accomplishment is. And the working class versus academic class B.S. is just that: B.S.

Posted by: KR on July 25, 2009 7:18 PM


You've got the facts completely screwed up. The cops responded to a neighbor who reported a possible break-in.

Gates should have been happy that the cops responded quickly to a possible break-in in his neighborhood.

For a good discussion of why Gates should have actually been happy with the police response read this.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 25, 2009 9:20 PM

No - it's people who aren't supposed to get into pissing with cops.

I don't know anything about this case. And I'm no fan of intrusive pigs. ;) Far from it. But god knows they have a perilous job to do and we all depend on them - and it requires their having the upper hand. They have to be able to stick it to people who try to cow them.

When everyone knows there's going to be order - cops on top - a tense and potentially violent interaction goes in the most orderly way possible. And people are prevented from working up through aggressive tirades towards violence. Remember, every person a cop questions is someone who may have thoughts of, in rational self-interest, killing the cop in order to flee. They also come across a lot of people with a high potential to get worked up into a state where they may carry out a non-lethal assault on the cop. And a lot of people who are whacked out on some kind of intoxicant, or are medically psychotic. Or both. Or all four of those things!

They have to assume the worst.

If you don't like how a cop's questioning you, you're entitled to ask if you're under arrest, and you aren't compelled to cooperate or follow orders if you haven't been arrested. However, as I see it you aren't entitled to freak out or run roughshod in any way that tokens aggression.

Posted by: Eric Johnson on July 25, 2009 10:39 PM

Come on, KR, the cops got a report of two guys breaking into a home, and there had been two guys breaking into a home. Secondhand "hearsay?" - I hope the 911 operator tells your neighbor that when someone is breaking into your home. "Don't bother me with the secondhand hearsay, when we can smell the bodies, we will send someone out."

I am sure the cops are perfectly capable of being jerks. No doubt, when the powers that be release the tapes, we will have a more clear picture. I wonder why that has not happened...seems the Prez could call for it. Instead, the Prez apparently realizes he is wrong and so the black/white issue becomes ....what...of course, it becomes a draw. Let's all have a beer together. One side is right, and the right side should refuse to have a beer with the wrong side on principle.

But the Prez knows, he has the institutions and the media. If Gates is wrong, it all goes away and we drink a beer together. If the cop is wrong, we get a national ticker-tape parade of bashing whitey. And no matter who is wrong, we continue to setup a system where minority failure is whitewashed -- and it becomes a claim against the rights of whites no matter how many black presidents we elect.

Posted by: sN on July 25, 2009 11:34 PM

Gates produced his driver's license to the policeman inside his house, proving he was the legal resident of his own home. At that point, the police should have departed, since it was obvious that Gates was not breaking and entering his own home.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on July 26, 2009 3:49 AM

PLW - you're probably right. Though it's conceivable a miscreant could create a fake for such an exigency. I wonder how one rules that out.

But yeah, it's likely at least that a lot depends on the sequence of events and what happened just after the ID was shown. But who's got the data on exactly what happened?

Posted by: Eric Johnson on July 26, 2009 2:15 PM

Did he produce it immediately, or did he rant and rave about racism first, which would put the cop in a dangerous situation and clearly (not for legal purposes, but for us at home) mark Gates as a jerk.

Also, the call came in as two men breaking into a home? Two weeks ago one of a gay couple that used to live next door to me broke into what used to be his home, when his partner would not open the door. He went in back and kicked the door in. I'm sure his ID still has his old address.

The fact is Gates was breaking into his home with his driver. A neighbor did call the police. The police responded. What do we have here? We have everyone acting as they should -- and by the way in the interests of Mr Gates. I have to repeat it -- all social forces (at that point) were acting as they should in the interests of Mr. Gates.

Enter Mr. Gates. He apparently turns the stituation ugly. He made it into a racial incident with no regard to the actual _--- and in this case difficult -- facts of the case --- which amazingly enough sounds like at least 90 percent of the race hustling we have to put up with in this country. Forget the facts, just listen to the cries of racism.


Posted by: sN on July 26, 2009 3:13 PM

Hmm check the FemX thread. Rich Rostrum, who has always seemed eminently sensible in his posts here, claims Gates was following the cop outside as he was leaving, yelling a bunch, even after the officer yielded up his name and number. If that's what happened, that's really pushing it.

Posted by: Eric Johnson on July 26, 2009 3:23 PM

Crowley did step outside Gates house where Gates continued to hurl racial insults at a cop who was investigating a burglary report from a passerby, insult his mother, and yell loudly at him, in front of a group of witnesses. None of them have come forward to defend Gates to the media, even though the media was initially heavily on Gates side and still heavily leans that way, or anyway is avoiding much attacking him.

What Gates did was to in fact violated Mass. disorderly conduct law, which is indeed intended to make it a minor but arrestable offense to persist in insulting cops in their line of duty, certainly if you do it loudly and personally.

A white Harvard employee who taunted a cop to the same degree would yes also be arrested. If anything with a lower threshold. With the white upper middle class man the cop would know that there would be far less likelihood of media and political blowback. I imagine Crowley considered than an refused to be intimidated by that possibility, and so arrested Gates. Good for him.

You can argue that cops shouldn't have laws and interpretations of them allowing them to arrest people who are sufficiently and persistently insulting to them but they do.

It would have been wrong of Crowley to back down from treating Gates just as he would have an equally insulting white, just because Gates was loudly threatening to "go to his boss" and make a bit race card stink about it, which is exactly what he did say he'd do -- and did. Or tried to.

Only it's backfiring.

There's whole lot of black special privilege out there that isn't confined to affirmative action. There's the privilege of being treated with kid gloves for extremely obnoxious public behavior, for fear of those expressing disapproval being called "racist". There's the privilege of not getting fired for things that whites or Asians would for similar reasons, and a lawsuit to follow.

It's pervasive. Much more pervasive these days than actual acted upon prejudice against blacks.

Posted by: doug1 on July 26, 2009 6:02 PM

How come nobody is addressing the fact that Gates and Obama know one another? I find this tidbit fascinating. Old Harvard buddies create a racial "incident" as our country is completely socialized right in front of our eyes. Amazing.

You'd almost think that this might be intentionally done to divide people while the elites completely take over. But I guess that would be a "conspiracy theory". Sigh. I guess I'll have to rely on the major media to tell me the real truth before I make up my mind on anything.

You'd have to be clueless moron to believe that blacks are instutionally discriminated against, when for 40 years now, everybody else in the US has been institutionally discriminated against for the benefit of blacks. I won't even tolerate arguments to the contrary, its so patently obvious. But you'd think it were 1959 instead of 2009 by listening to the press.

This is insane. Two elite and pampered mulattos acting like they represent the average black. Give it a rest already. The fix is in.

Posted by: L on July 27, 2009 12:29 AM

Gates was in the wrong here. I have friends (white ones) who have been arrested for doing the exact same thing, namely berating a cop for investigating a routine incident and not stopping after being asked to multiple times. Gates was brought in for a few hours and released with the charges dropped. Totally routine.

And yes, he should be glad the neighbor called the cops in this case.

Posted by: JV on July 27, 2009 2:30 AM

gates is not a mulatoo people. A light skinned blk person does not always = mulatto.

Posted by: chic noir on July 29, 2009 7:53 PM

KR, you're so wildly off-base that I have to believe you're simply playing Devil's advocate. If you really do believe the crap you wrote here, and you're over 30 years old, I don't think there's any hope for you, lest you get hit in the head or something.

"Think 'Birthers' and Obama's citizenship, etc., if you're skeptical that this sort of thing is still that prevalent in our society."

The reason there are "birthers" out there is because Obama has not bee forthcoming about many of the salient points in his life. Why didn't he just produce his birth certificate during the campaign? Why has he never produced his college transcripts, as so many Dems fail to do? Why did the media never press these issues?


Posted by: Jake Bronson on July 31, 2009 11:57 AM


In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu.

Don't ever let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory there, Jake.

Posted by: Chris White on August 1, 2009 8:58 PM

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