Are You Kidding Me?

On the Dish, Conor posts the following from a reader, who argues Gatesgate will wake-up white America to black victimization:

White Americans don’t necessarily relate to the young men who are arrested for driving while black, walking while black, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time while black. You can’t convince white Americans that the law is biased against blacks because whites believe (without necessarily admitting it to themselves) that young black men get arrested so disproportionately and go to prison more often because they deserve to.

And by whites, I don’t mean just Neanderthals. I mean most of the people you will ever run into. They assume that black men are more disposed to crime and so they don’t have to pay attention when you or Radley Balko or someone else points out how many have been railroaded.

This is patently absurd.  However much sympathy Gates deserves — and I think he deserves some — there should be little question that he’ ended up in jail primarily because of his own belligerence and assumption that Sgt. Crowley was a racist.*  As Apollo points out, that conclusion is based as much on Gates’ own comments about the incident as Crowley’s police report.

Contra Conor’s reader, the Gates case is a terrible example of the kind of police abuse that Radley Balko has brought to light, especially those with a racial angle.  What pains me about this is that the next time Radley writes about something genuinely horrific, a lot of people are going to roll their eyes and assume it’s just another story about a whining black guy with a chip on his shoulder.  Cory Maye deserves better.

* I’m more than willing to consider that Crowley’s behavoir was less than exemplary and I confess I’m sketpical as to whether or not Gates should have been arrested.

3 thoughts on “Are You Kidding Me?

  1. Apollo

    I definately think this will play out more like you say, Tom. This is one wealthy and influential black man taking advantage of all the bad things that have ever happened to poor and powerless black people. The main thing this emphasizes is that, in America, a black man with access to the media can be portrayed as the victim no matter what the facts are.

    The president excused Gates’s lamentable conduct because, hey, cops sometimes harass other black people. There aren’t that many white people not already part of the racialist Left who will be the slightest bit sympathetic to that argument.

    The last thing we need for race relations in this country is more examples of black people getting better treatment than similarly situated white people merely because they were quick to shout racism. I’m not really sure – and it’s mostly because they don’t associate with such people – that those on the Left understand the types of resentment this creates in lower and middle class whites.

  2. baltogeek

    The last thing we need for race relations in this country is more examples of black people getting better treatment than similarly situated white people merely because they were quick to shout racism.

    Better treatment? You mean the fact that Gates got released after 4 hours after a bogus arrest that shouldn’t have happened in the first place?

    You know what causes resentment to build up within middle and lower class blacks? The idea that simple common sense, decent and professional behavior on the part of the police would count as better treatment.

    I think what you are missing here is the fact that what scares the hell out of black people is that if this were a white limping a-hole of a professor there wouldn’t have been an arrest.

    A similarly situated white person would not have been arrested.

    And more importantly if Gates hadn’t been an upper -middle class Harvard prof God knows what might have happened to him.

    This whole thing is about two prideful men who have made a situation that should have ended peacefully and quietly in Gates’ living room into a clusterf*ck.

    Neither one of them was right but only one of them has a badge, a gun and the power to detain people.

    The officer should have shown better judgement.

  3. Apollo

    “Better treatment? You mean the fact that Gates got released after 4 hours after a bogus arrest that shouldn’t have happened in the first place?”

    No, I mean having the president of the United States and the governor of your state come out and make public comments that the police were in the wrong, and that this was obviously the result of racism. And having it make national news from the beginning. And having it immediately labelled as a racial incident, with the presumption being that the cop has to explain and justify his every move. And having the arrestee then get to make a world tour denouncing the cop as a racist. You think Harvey Mansfield would have gotten anything like that had he been arrested? He’d just have been laughed at as some fool who couldn’t control his temper.

    “You know what causes resentment to build up within middle and lower class blacks?”

    I’ve got a few clues. And having successful blacks then turn their own personal failings into imagined incidents of racism – showing, as Gates says his situation does, and as Obama’s comment about getting shot does, that no matter how respectable and successful blacks are, they’ll always be getting trampled on – probably doesn’t help things.

    “And more importantly if Gates hadn’t been an upper -middle class Harvard prof God knows what might have happened to him.”

    He probably wouldn’t have been so quick to turn a routine police investigation into an imagined Klan rally, and he probably would have just unpacked in peace after the cop saw his driver’s license and went away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


− 5 = four

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>