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.


Comments (Comments are closed)

No Responses to “Chronicling The Lies of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”


  1. Debunking Alleged Racist Limbaugh Quotes »