Daily Digest for July 31st

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Daily Digest for July 30th

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Daily Digest for July 29th

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Chronicling The Lies of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: Academia, Racism

Previously, I wrote about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. At the time that I wrote that post, I was unaware of the absolute fabrications of and lies about the events surrounding his arrest, first by Gates' lawyer, and later by Gates himself.

This American Spectator article (h/t Lucianne) thoroughly discusses Gates' two most egregious lies: that Gates was not yelling and that Crowley racially profiled Gates due to the 911 call reporting a possible break-in by two black males. However, upon reading the source material, I discovered that Gates' fabrications went even further.

In the spirit of this "teachable moment", let us consider each of these fabrications, in turn.

First, Gates lies about the condition of the front door of his house:

We flew back on a direct flight from Beijing to Newark. We arrived on Wednesday, and on Thursday I flew back to Cambridge. I was using my regular driver and my regular car service. And went to my home arriving at about 12:30 in the afternoon. My driver and I carried several bags up to the porch, and we fiddled with the door and it was jammed. I thought, well, maybe the door’s latched. So I walked back to the kitchen porch, unlocked the door and came into the house. And I unlatched the door, but it was still jammed.

Two paragraphs later, Gates :

It looked like someone’s footprint was there. So it’s possible that the door had been jimmied, that someone had tried to get in while I was in China. But for whatever reason, the lock was damaged. My driver hit the door with his shoulder and the door popped open. But the lock was permanently disfigured. My home is owned by Harvard University, and so any kind of repair work that’s needed, Harvard will come and do it. I called this person, and she was, in fact, on the line while all of this was going on.

Gates feigns surprise at and ignorance of the condition of the door, but according to the police report (page 2 of the Smoking Gun post), Gates knew that the door was damaged in a previous break-in attempt:

I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take posession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was un securable [sic] due to a previous break-in attempt at the residence.

The only ostensible reason for this fabrication is to establish that Gates would be entirely unsuspecting of a police officer being at his door, much less investigating a reported break-in at his residence.

In between the above two paragraphs, Gates fabricates a racially motivated 911 call:

My driver is a large black man. But from afar you and I would not have seen he was black. He has black hair and was dressed in a two-piece black suit, and I was dressed in a navy blue blazer with gray trousers and, you know, my shoes. And I love that the 911 report said that two big black men were trying to break in with backpacks on. Now that is the worst racial profiling I’ve ever heard of in my life. (Laughs.) I’m not exactly a big black man. I thought that was hilarious when I found that out, which was yesterday.

As we now know, thanks to the release of the 911 recording, the caller, Lucia Whalen, never indicated in the 911 call that either of the two men she witnessed was black. Further, thanks to what little of the police radio communication recordings that have been released, we know that Crowley neither knew nor assumed the race of the two men reported by Whalen.

Even in these first few paragraphs, Gates' lies demonstrate an attempt to direct the narrative to one in which Gates was the innocent, unsuspecting victim who was racially profiled by Sgt. Crowley. Unfortunately, this narrative completely falls apart in light of the actual facts of the situation.

Gates then lies about his initial interaction with Sgt. Crowley:

I’m saying ‘You need to send someone to fix my lock.’ All of a sudden, there was a policeman on my porch. And I thought, ‘This is strange.’ So I went over to the front porch still holding the phone, and I said ‘Officer, can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Would you step outside onto the porch.’ And the way he said it, I knew he wasn’t canvassing for the police benevolent association. All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I realized that I was in danger. And I said to him no, out of instinct. I said, ‘No, I will not.’

My lawyers later told me that that was a good move and had I walked out onto the porch he could have arrested me for breaking and entering. He said ‘I’m here to investigate a 911 call for breaking and entering into this house.’ And I said ‘That’s ridiculous because this happens to be my house. And I’m a Harvard professor.’ He says ‘Can you prove that you’re a Harvard professor?’ I said yes, I turned and closed the front door to the kitchen where I’d left my wallet, and I got out my Harvard ID and my Massachusetts driver’s license which includes my address and I handed them to him. And he’s sitting there looking at them.

Once again thanks to the police report, we know that the initial exchange was significantly different in some very important ways:

As I turned and faced the front door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of 47 Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied, "No, I will not." He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was "Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police" and that I was "investigating the report of a break-in in progress" at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, "Why? Because I'm a black man in America?"

First, note that Sgt. Crowley clearly and immediately identified himself. (Later, as you will see, Gates lies about Crowley never identifiying himself, despite Gates' repeated requests.) Second, note the disparity between what Gates claims he said, and what Crowley reports that Gates said:

"That’s ridiculous because this happens to be my house. And I’m a Harvard professor."

- vs -

"Why? Because I'm a black man in America?"

These two statements might appear to be a he-said, she-said scenario; however, unfortunately for Gates, the several witnesses of the event observed Gates repeating a variation on the theme, that "this is what happens to black men in America."

The most plausible reason for this fabrication is to obfuscate the fact that Gates was the one who was initially belligerent, that Gates was the one who initially assumed a racial motive, and that it was Gates who initially escalated the situation.

Note also, Gates' assertion that his lawyers advised Gates that it was a good move not to step out onto the porch initially, as Crowley "could have arrested [him] for breaking and entering." This statement, aside from having dubious credibility, serves no purpose other than to further the narrative that Gates found himself in a hostile situation.

As I stated in my previous post, Sgt. Crowley has stated – and police officers across the country have corroborated – that during a possible break-in in progress, it is standard operating procedure to ask the homeowner to come outside of the home, in order to ensure that the person is not being held against his will and can speak freely and openly. Further, Sgt. Crowley was the first – and lone – initial respondent to the reported break-in, for which the caller reported not one, but two persons involved. It was for Sgt. Crowley’s own safety that he requested the unidentified occupant to come outside onto the porch.

Thus, once again, Gates' narrative falls apart in light of the facts.

Gates then projects, out of whole cloth, a racial motivation upon Sgt. Crowley:

Now it’s clear that he had a narrative in his head: A black man was inside someone’s house, probably a white person’s house, and this black man had broken and entered, and this black man was me.

The irony in this statement is palpable. Thus far, the only person to interject race into the situation was Gates himself. Since, as has been demonstrated, Gates' narrative of the situation was entirely false, Gates' analysis could only have been clear to Gates if he himself racially profiled Sgt. Crowley.

Having established an utterly false narrative, Gates unveils further fabrications:

So he’s looking at my ID, he asked me another question, which I refused to answer. And I said I want your name and your badge number because I want to file a complaint because of the way he had treated me at the front door. He didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’—he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white person.

But at that point, I realized that I was in danger. And so I said to him that I want your name, and I want your badge number and I said it repeatedly.

That other question, which Gates refused to answer, was, according to the police report, whether there was anyone else in the residence:

I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen's call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on Channel 1 that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative.

Obviously, it was entirely Crowley's business, in the conduct of an investigation of a report of a possible break-in by two men, to know if Gates was the only known person in the residence. Gates didn't simply "refuse to answer" the question, but rather, further acted belligerent in in his refusal.

Note also - as corroborated by the now-released radio communications, that Crowley indicated his belief that Gates was a resident. This one point entirely refutes Gates' fantasyland narrative from above.

Further, according to the police report, Gates' revelation that he was a Harvard professor didn't take place when Crowley initially asked Gates to step out onto the porch, but after Crowley asked Gates for identification to prove that he resided at the location:

I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end of his telephone call to "get the chief" and "what's the chief's name?" Gates was telling the person on the other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home. Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was "messing" with and that I had not heard the last of it. While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me. I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at 47 Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.

Once again, Gates' synopsis of the events obfuscate his own indignation, belligerence, and lack of cooperation.

The interviewer then lofts a softball to Gates, who responds with yet more fabrication:

TR: How did this escalate? What are the laws in Cambridge that govern this kind of interaction? Did you ever think you were in the wrong?

HLG: The police report says I was engaged in loud and tumultuous behavior. That’s a joke. Because I have a severe bronchial infection which I contracted in China and for which I was treated and have a doctor’s report from the Peninsula hotel in Beijing. So I couldn’t have yelled. I can’t yell even today, I’m not fully cured.

Once again, unfortunately for Gates, both the radio communication recordings and the eyewitness accounts corroborate that Gates was yelling.

This fabrication is obviously intended to support Gates' assertion that the police report was "false" and "the police report was an act of pure fiction. One designed to protect him, Sgt. Crowley, from unethical behavior."

And yet again, the facts of the situation - corroborated by the police, the eye-witnesses, and the radio communication recordings - entirely refute that assertion.

Gates then continues his fabrications, in explaining how the situation escalated:

It escalated as follows: I kept saying to him, ‘What is your name, and what is your badge number?’ and he refused to respond. I asked him three times, and he refused to respond. And then I said, ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’ That’s what I said. He didn’t say anything. He turned his back to me and turned back to the porch. And I followed him. I kept saying, “I want your name, and I want your badge number.”

As stated above, the second thing Crowley said to Gates was that he was:

"Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police" and that I was "investigating the report of a break-in in progress" at the residence.

Gates claims that Crowley "didn't say anything" and that he "turned his back to [him] and turned back to the porch." Unfortunately for Gates, the police report (as corroborated by Officer Figueroa) refutes that claim:

With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. Gates again asked me for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn't someone to mess with. At some point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked a third time for my name, I explained that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving the residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside the residence.

As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and the foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC and other responding units. His reply was, "ya [sic], I'll speak with your mama outside." When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, Ms. Walen and at least seven unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me out of the residence.

Thus, Gates' narrative that Crowley was uncooperative and unresponsive falls apart. Gates insists that he requested Crowley's identification several times but was never answered. In reality, Crowley answered Gates' requests twice, and then indicated that he had provided the information twice already. Further, Gates continued to escalate the situation, with his childish references to Crowley's mother.

Also, far from turning and leaving without a word, Crowley indicated that he was leaving.

Note, very importantly: the entire situation could have ended at this exact moment - and it would have ended, had Gates not followed Crowley outside of the house. Gates was responsible for any escalation up to this point, and was responsible for the escalation that followed.

Gates then once again fabricates out of whole cloth the events surrounding his actual arrest:

It looked like an ocean of police had gathered on my front porch. There were probably half a dozen police officers at this point. The mistake I made was I stepped onto the front porch and asked one of his colleagues for his name and badge number. And when I did, the same officer said, ‘Thank you for accommodating our request. You are under arrest.’ And he handcuffed me right there. It was outrageous. My hands were behind my back I said, ‘I’m handicapped. I walk with a cane. I can’t walk to the squad car like this.’ There was a huddle among the officers; there was a black man among them. They removed the cuffs from the back and put them around the front.

A crowd had gathered, and as they were handcuffing me and walking me out to the car, I said, ‘Is this how you treat a black man in America?’

Unfortunately for Gates, that "ocean of police" were witnesses, and corroborated Crowley's version of the events, which are as follows:

As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates' outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was "disabled" and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were properly applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a can for Gates from within the residence.

As is now usual, Gates' comments are at odds with reality. Gates was not arrested simply for stepping onto the porch. He was not told, "Thank you for accommodating our request. You are under arrest." Rather, Gates was arrested for continuing to act in a disorderly manner, after repeated warnings that he would be arrested if he did not calm down.

After a question and answer regarding his experience in jail, the interview follows up with this question and answer, with more of Gates' specious assertions:

TR: How has this resonated within the academic community at Harvard? I know that Larry Bobo and Charles Ogletree, also black men, have expressed dismay. President Barack Obama has talked about how difficult it is to hail a cab, even as an elected official. Is there an irony to your notoriety and the incident?

HLG: There is such a level of outrage that’s been expressed to me. I’ve received thousands of e-mails and Facebook messages; the blogs are going crazy; my colleagues at Harvard are outraged. Allen Counter called me from the Nobel Institute in Stockholm to express his outrage. But really it’s not about me—it’s that anybody black can be treated this way, just arbitrarily arrested out of spite. And the man who arrested me did it out of spite, because he knew I was going to file a report because of his behavior.

He didn’t follow proper police procedure! You can’t just presume I’m guilty and arrest me. He’s supposed to ask me if I need help. He just presumed that I was guilty, and he presumed that I was guilty because I was black. There was no doubt about that.

Where to begin? I'll leave aside Gates' Obama-esque name-dropping and "it's not about me" song-and-dance. Gates' comments here about Sgt. Crowley border on libelous. Gates says:

He didn’t follow proper police procedure!

When in reality, Crowley followed proper police procedure, to the letter.

Gates says:

You can’t just presume I’m guilty and arrest me. He’s supposed to ask me if I need help. He just presumed that I was guilty, and he presumed that I was guilty because I was black. There was no doubt about that.

When in reality, Crowley assumed that Gates was innocent (of the potential break-in at the residence):

I radioed on Channel 1 that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative.

...

While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me.

So what are the options? Is Gates paranoid? Is Gates himself a racist, profiling Sgt. Crowley because he is a white police officer? Is Gates a race-baiter, taking advantage of the situation to create a racial incident where not existed?

I'll let his own words speak for him:

TR: Does this put to rest the idea that America is post-racial?

HLG: I thought the whole idea that America was post-racial and post-black was laughable from the beginning. There is no more important event in the history of black people in America than the election of Barack Obama. I cried when he was elected, and I cried at his inauguration, but that does not change the percentage of black men in prison, the percentage of black men harassed by racial profiling. It does not change the number of black children living near the poverty line. Which is almost a similar percentage as were under poverty when Martin Luther King was assassinated.

There haven’t been fundamental structural changes in America. There’s been a very important symbolic change and that is the election of Barack Obama. But the only black people who truly live in a post-racial world in America all live in a very nice house on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And so, the truth comes out in the end. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is nothing more than a racist and a race-baiter, living in an America perverted by his own racial prejudices, insistence on living in the past, and failure to grasp that which makes America great: the ability of anyone regardless of race or circumstance, to make of his life whatever he is willing to dream big enough, and to work hard enough, to make of it.

That his prejudice and bigotry have so distorted his view of this situation would be pitiable, were he not in a position to influence ostensibly our best and brightest young people. Sadly, the only people for whom America isn't post-racial are race-baiters like Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (and Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et al), and those who are brainwashed by the hatred, defeatism, and victim mentality they teach.

In the words (H/T: Lucianne comments thread) of Booker T. Washington (My Larger Education, Being Chapters From My Experience, 1911):

There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.

Daily Digest for July 28th

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Henry Louis Gates: Racist

Filed in Politics, Social IssuesTags: Racism

I've not commented yet on the Gates race-baiting story, and I've also not done a good fisking in a long time, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone by taking on Andrew Sullivan's alleged attempt at impartiality regarding the story.

What do you call a black man with a PhD? The answer begins with an “n”. Yes, it’s an old and bitter joke about the resilience of racial bias in America, but it got a new twist last week. The black man with a PhD was Henry Louis Gates Jr, one of the most distinguished scholars of African-American history and culture at Harvard. His unexpected tormentor was a local policeman called James Crowley, a white, well-trained officer called to investigate a possible break-in.

Sullivan underlies his article with an unfounded and ill-argued assumption: that the incident represents a "new twist" on the resilience of racial bias in America - specifically, anti-black racial bias. To prove the point, Sullivan equates Gates with the maligned punchline of the "old and bitter joke", and calls Sgt. James Crowley his "tormenter".

Sullivan's entire point of view in his article depends upon this assumption: that anti-black racial bias played a role in the situation. As I will show, and unfortunately for Sullivan's argument (and for Gates, for that matter), the facts of the matter seem to disprove that assumption rather thoroughly.

Next:

The facts we know for sure are as follows. Ten days ago Gates got home from China in the afternoon to find his front door jammed. He forced it open with the help of his cab driver, another black man. A white woman in the area called the police to report a possible burglary. Crowley showed up and saw a black man in the hallway of the house through the glass door. He asked Gates to step out onto the porch and talk to him. Gates refused.

The police report — written by Crowley — says he told Gates he was investigating a break-in in progress and Gates responded furiously: “Why? Because I’m a black man in America?” Gates tried to place a call to the local police chief, while telling Crowley he had no idea who he was “messing” with. The interaction quickly degenerated. After Gates had shown his Harvard identification, Crowley said he would leave. Gates then followed him to his front door, allegedly yelling that Crowley was racist. On his own porch, at his own property, Gates was arrested for “disorderly conduct”, handcuffed and booked in at a local station.

These two paragraphs represent perhaps the most objective, un-biased statements in the entire article. Unfortunately, they don't represent even the entire story as is available in the police report itself (which was written by both Sgt. Crowley and Officer Carlos Figueroa). To wit:

  • Gates didn't come home "to find his front door jammed"; he knew beforehand that it was jammed. Gates' residence - by his own admission - had been the target of a previous break-in attempt (the reason for the door being jammed).
  • After talking to the woman who reported the possible break-in, Crowley radioed to request additional backup.
  • Crowley's first communication with Gates was to ask him to step onto the porch to talk to him, to which Gates responded, "no, I will not."
  • Gates then demanded to know Crowley's identity,' to which Crowley responded, "Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police," and that he was "investigating the report of a break-in in progress" at the residence.
  • Gates' immediate response to Crowley's explanation was, "Why? Because I am a black man in America?"
  • Crowley attempted to proceed with his investigation, amidst continued yelling and accusations of racism by Gates. Crowley asked if anyone else was in the residence, to which Gates replied that it was none of Crowley's business.
  • Crowley requested that Gates show him photo identification to prove that he resided at the location. Gates initially refused, demanded identification from Crowley, and then complied with Crowley's request by producing a Harvard identification card.
  • Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, Crowley radioed to request the presence of Harvard police.
  • As Crowley prepared to leave, Gates continued yelling at him, issuing racist accusations at him, told him that Gates wasn't "someone to mess with", and asked him a second and third time for Crowley's name.
  • Officer Figueroa arrived at some time near this point, and overheard much, of the incident.
  • Crowley then told Gates that he was leaving the residence, and that if he had anything further to say, that he could say it outside. According to Crowley, Gates' tirade was so loud in the kitchen and foyer that Crowley had difficulty transmitting pertinent information via his radio.
  • Gates responded, "Yeah, I'll speak with your mama outside."
  • Crowley exited the residence to find several Cambridge Police officers, Harvard Police officers, the original caller, and approximately seven unidentified onlookers.
  • Gates followed Crowley outside of the house.
  • As Crowley descended the steps to the sidewalk, Gates continued yelling at Crowley, hurling racial accusations at him, and telling him that Crowley had not heard the last of Gates.
  • Crowley warned Gates not once, but twice, that his behavior had become disorderly, and to calm down.
  • Gates ignored Crowley's warnings, and continued his outburst.
  • It was at this point, after two warnings, that Crowley placed Gates under arrest.
  • Gates was initially handcuffed with his hands behind his back, but immediately complained that the handcuffs were too tight, and that he was "disabled" and would fall without his cane.
  • Crowley immediately had Officer Ivey handcuff Gates with his hands in front, while Crowley found Gates' cane inside his house.
  • Crowley asked Gates if he would be comfortable with letting one of the police officers secure the front door of the house, which was open. Gates responded that the door could not be secured, having been damaged during a previous break-in attempt at the house.

I will refer to these points of fact as I address Sullivan's article. However, these facts already refute the picture painted by Sullivan, of a black man tormented by a white police officer.

Next:

The incident clearly struck a nerve. Boston has a fraught racial history. Gates, of course, is no underclass black man but among the country’s elite, friends with the president, chums with Oprah Winfrey, a man given a small fortune by Harvard to build one of the best departments of African-American studies in the world.

The affair got another lease of tabloid life when President Barack Obama was asked for his reaction to the incident and said that while Gates was a friend and he did not know the full facts, the police acted “stupidly” by arresting someone when there was proof he was in his own home.

And of course, Obama's statement has proven to be as unpopular as it was ignorant and inflammatory. Regardless of the facts - which place Obama squarely in the wrong - issuing a judgement statement based on a situation about which one admits to being ignorant of the facts regarding that situation is patently foolish. For the President to do so - especially when doing so incites a racial issue - is downright dangerous. (Would that Obama considered commenting on the incident to be "above his pay grade".)

Next:

So was this an example of excessive racial grievance on the part of Gates or excessive racial insensitivity on the part of Crowley — or a little bit of both? Such moments are fully understood only by the individuals involved — and even then the truth is murky in such emotional circumstances. But it is indeed unusual to arrest someone for “disorderly conduct” when he is on his own property.

It is most certainly not unusual to arrest someone for disorderly conduct while that person is on his own property. Does Andrew Sullivan not watch Cops? Those who are belligerent with police officers, and who would otherwise not subject themselves to problems with those officers, are often arrested for such disorderly conduct. Note that not one of the witnesses - Officer Figueroa inside the residence, the many Cambridge and Harvard Police officers outside the residence, the woman who called in the suspected break-in, or the seven onlookers - not one has refuted the facts of the case as stated in the police report. Gates' conduct was disorderly.

Next:

Massachusetts law defines the perpetrators of “disorderly conduct” thus: “common night walkers, common street walkers, both male and female, common railers and brawlers, persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons in speech or behaviour, idle and disorderly persons, disturbers of the peace, keepers of noisy and disorderly houses and persons guilty of indecent exposure”. Apparently Gates’s loud accusations of racism on a street in Cambridge at one o’clock in the afternoon in front of at most seven passers-by and neighbours was a qualification for the charge. It’s no big surprise that it was swiftly dropped.

Apparently, Sullivan has a reading comprehension issue, if he does not understand Gates' behavior to be fully in line with this definition of "disorderly."

Next:

Crowley gave an interview on Thursday after Obama’s remarks, refusing to apologise. When asked what he thought of the president’s comments, he smiled, paused and said: “I didn’t vote for him.” The way he said it, the contempt in his voice and pride in his actions, helped to illuminate for me why Gates might have perceived racism. But the second police report — from an officer called Carlos Figueroa — testified that Gates initially refused to provide Crowley with any identification, yelling, “No, I will not!” and, “This is what happens to black men in America!” and, “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”

How Sullivan could be illuminated regarding why Gates might have perceived racism, simply by observing Crowley's response to a question regarding Obama's comments, is beyond me. Crowley was absolutely justifed in being proud of his actions. He responded to a broadcast of a reported break-in in progress, handled the situation by the book, and conducted himself with utmost professionalism throughout the incident. Further, he is absolutely justified in contempt toward a President who interjected himself into the issue, having admitted to being ignorant of the facts, and accused Crowley of acting "stupidly" and implying that his actions were racially motivated.

And therein lies the problem with Sullivan's article: Crowley did absolutely nothing wrong. Gates was the sole instigator, antagonist, and escalator in the situation. As such, any racial motivation in the matter lies squarely with Gates - not Crowley.

Next:

Gates is not a merchant of racial grievance. He is a scholar who has won wealth and fame and respect for his work and who tends to eschew the kind of bald racial accusations he made that day. Maybe he was exhausted after a long trip and irritated by being unable to get into his home; to be confronted by an officer of the law asking if he was a burglar may well have been the last straw. He lost his cool. A black man should never lose his cool with a white policeman in America. Obama explained in his autobiography the unwritten code for black men in such situations: no sudden moves.

Unfortunately for Sullivan's article, more and more evidence is being broght to light that refutes Sullivan's claim that Gates "is not a merchant of racial grievance" and that he "tends to eschew the kind of bald racial accusations he made that day."

Exhibit A: As a student, Gates wrote the following in his application to Yale University:

"As always, whitey now sits in judgment of me, preparing to cast my fate. It is your decision either to let me blow with the wind as a nonentity or to encourage the development of self. Allow me to prove myself."

Exhibit B: 19 1994, Gates lauded Malcolm X's anti-white racial bias:

...[I]n 1959 we were watching Mike Wallace's documentary called "The Hate that Hate Produced." It was about the Nation of Islam and I couldn't believe -- I mean, Malcolm X was talking about the white man was the devil and standing up in white people's faces and telling them off. It was great.

Exhibit C: In 1996, Gates gave a speech slandering Clarence Thomas as a racial hypocrite:

The only reason we have so many people doing so well - the only reason - is because of ...the civil rights movement and its child affirmative action. Without affirmative action we would never have been able to integrate racist historically white institutions in society. And to me, the first issue we have to address is how to protect, defend, and expand affirmative action.

...because of racism I never would have been allowed to compete on a more or less level terrain with white boys and white girls. And for me, for someone who has benefitted so much from the opportunities from affirmative action, to stand at the gate and try to keep other black people out, would to me to be as hypocritical as Clarence Thomas.

Exhibit D: Earlier this year, Gates expressed that he was horrified to learn that, genetically, he is 57% white:

This past March 29th, Professor Henry Louis Gates was being interviewed in front of a small group by Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN's Book TV. Thirty-three minutes into the discussion about his new book on Lincoln, Professor Gates began a detailed account of his own genealogy. He said that in doing so he had discovered he was about "50% white". He said that this was quote, "To my astonishment and horror...".

He continued by saying that he had subsequently sent his DNA off to be tested. This time, upon finding out he was "57% white", he said again, "to my horror .... I was becoming more white by the minute".

Sullivan tries to excuse Gates' behavior by attempting to explain it. Unfortunately, no rational or logical explanation exists for Gates' behavior, other than racial motivation. Given that Gates knew beforehand that his door was jammed - and jammed because of a prior break-in attempt, he had no excuse or reason whatsoever to lose his temper with Sgt. Crowley or to assume that Crowley's investigation was racially motivated.

Also, what of Sullivan's statement that a "black man should never lose his cool with a white policeman in America"? Why is it that it is always liberals who are injecting race where race need not be injected? The statement "a man should never lose his cool with a policeman in America" is entirely appropriate here. Whether black, white, or otherwise, no one should ever lose his cool with a policeman - again, whether black, white, or otherwise - in America. Sullivan also further demonstrates Obama's own race-baiting, with Obama's statment that the "unwritten code for black men in such situations" is "no sudden moves." One, when has Obama ever been in such situations? (Perhaps when we was being issued his dozens of unpaid-for-decades Harvard parking tickets?) Two, the very-well-known rule for anyone in the middle of a police investigation is "no sudden moves." Once again, a liberal injects race where race is entirely inapplicable.

Next:

Would this have happened to a white man? That requires some unpacking. A white man seen breaking through the front door into a house in an affluent section of Cambridge, Massachusetts, might not have prompted a police call. Any suspected break-in, though, could justify a call to the local police station.

And in what circumstance would a witnessed, suspected break-in (such as two men with backpacks throwing their shoulders into the front door of a house, attempting to force the door open) not justify a call to the local police station?

Next:

More importantly, a white man seeing a policeman call him onto his porch for identification would probably not have exploded the way Gates allegedly did. Nor, one might add, would a poor black man arrested on the streets of the largely African-American neighbourhood of Roxbury in Boston raise such a ruckus about “racism”. Gates’s response was a classic example of how successful black men in America feel when treated by the police in a manner used in the ghetto. That was also perhaps the reason for Obama’s solidarity. What do you call a black man with a PhD again? Equally, I’d wager that if the policeman had seen an older white man wielding a cane through the glass door of a posh house, he would not have demanded that the man come out onto his porch and identify himself. He would have knocked, explained the reason for his visit and instantly accepted a white man’s explanation. Is this racism? If it has never happened to you, no. If it has, yes.

First, what does Andrew Sullivan - a man about as black as I am, which is to say not at all - know about how successful black men in America feel about anything? Second, how was Gates' situation in any way comparable to the police's (ostensible) manner in the ghetto?

It is interesting to note that Crowley's actions in the situation far more closely resembled Sullivan's hypothetical scenario of a cop's treatment of an older white man (Crowley knocked, explained the reason for his visit, and accepted the man's explanation - once given), than Sullivan's interpretation of what actually happened (Crowley did not demand Gates come out onto the porch and identify himself).

Sgt. Crowley has stated - and police officers across the country have corroborated - that during a possible break-in in progress, it is standard operating procedure to ask the homeowner to come outside of the home, in order to ensure that the person is not being held against his will and can speak freely and openly. Further, Sgt. Crowley was the first - and lone - initial respondent to the reported break-in, for which the caller reported not one, but two persons involved. It was for Sgt. Crowley's own safety that he requested the unidentified occupant to come outside onto the porch.

Given that Sullivan's interpretation of the events is exactly opposite of what actually happened, his argument is specious and his conclusion is therefore invalid. Crowley treated Gates exactly the way Sullivan presupposes Crowley would have treated a white man in the same situation, and yet Gates, entirely unprovoked by Crowley, still over-reacted.

It would appear that the germane question is not, "what do you call a black man with a PhD?" but rather, "what does a racist black man call a white police officer?"

Also, about that oft-mentioned cane: we don't know whether or not Gates was "weilding" his cane while inside his house. The first mention of it came after Gates was handcuffed. Gates may in fact be "disabled" and need the cane for walking; however, he obviously didn't need the cane in order to follow Crowley out of the house in order to keep yelling at and berating him. Otherwise, if Gates had used his cane to walk out of the house, Crowley would not have had to go back inside the house to find the cane. Further, I find highly implausible the prospect that Gates was "wielding" his cane while he was attempting to force his front door open with his shoulder.

Next:

On the web, the comments sections on various blogs and stories were the most honest. Here is one view: “Butt the hell out Obama. You don’t know the facts of the case, you weren’t there, you’re friends with the douchebag, you’re black. Taking Obama’s word is the same as judging a criminal by a jury of his fellow gangster peers.”

Here is another: “Professor Gates might not have been arrested if he’d been more submissive — let the cop win the masculinity contest. Every brotha has played that game as well: you don’t look the popo in the eye, you do say ‘sir’ a lot and maybe you won’t get locked up. Then you go home and stew in the stuff that gives African-American men low life expectancy.”

Yes, America has a black president. But some things haven’t changed that much, have they?

Indeed, some things haven't changed that much. Some people - including Professor Gates - are still racist. Democrat politicians - including President Obama - are still race-baiters. And Liberal pundits - including Andrew Sullivan - still can't tell the difference.

You can listen to the 911 call recording here, and the incident radio transmissions here and here.

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Daily Digest for July 24th

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Chip Bennett Paging @bgardner - you might want to make a quick stop by #WPTavern [#].
twitter (feed #7)
Chip Bennett Hey @davemoyer the XML feed for #WordCast doesn't seem to have the audio enclosure for Episode 60. [#].
facebook (feed #3)
Chip Bennett Chip 's 26 month old daughter read him Goodnight Moon tonight (thanks, Aunt JuJu!).
facebook (feed #3)
Chip Bennett Chip Editing video from Shades of Grace performance this past weekend. Gospel Bluegrass FTW!.