The Henry L Gates Case

A decade on from this case,would you agree with Barack Hussein Obama’s statement that the police “acted stupidly”?

I would not disagree with that statement.

They sure did.

You’ve made some curious decisions with respect to middle names.

OK, just for the sake of argument I’m going to accept the “police side” of the encounter, as reported in the Wikipedia article, as being true.

The initial decision to investigate a couple of guys reportedly forcing open the door of a house strikes me (as a Middle-Class White Guy) as being one of the less egregious cases of “_____-ing While Black” that I’ve heard of. And, just going strictly by the police-reported side of things, maybe Professor Gates was being a little unreasonable and/or full of himself.

So fucking what? Once you, the Law Enforcement Officer, have determined that the “male suspect” reportedly breaking into the private residence at XYZ Ware Street is, in fact, the homeowner (again going strictly by the “police side” of that article, Gates had at that point shown the cop some kind of photo ID), you swiftly terminate the encounter. “OK, Professor, sorry for the mix-up there. Yes, sir, I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you”–insert inward :rolleyes: for the Entitled Celebrity, if you like–“My name is Sgt. James Crowley; my badge number is blah-blah-blah; my supervisor’s name is yadda-yadda-yadda; OK, sir, you have a nice day, sir, I’m leaving now, sir, buh-bye”; and then you make like a baby and you fucking split. You can have a good laugh and a jeer at these fucking snooty Hahvahd Celebrity Professor-types (“Don’t you know who I am?”) down at the cop bar after your shift is over.

So, yes, not so much the initial police investigation of the suspected break-in at XYZ Ware Street; but the arrest of someone from his own front porch for what amounted to “contempt of cop” was not merely stupid but was also bullying and downright thuggish behavior on the part of the police.

Yup, stupidly. Even if Sgt. Crowley’s account is accurate and Gates was acting out, there was no reason or foundation for an arrest.

Just as an aside to the OP: using Obama’s middle name is a common tactic by Nazis, birthers, and others of that ilk to prejudicially connect the former president to Muslims in general and to Saddam Hussein in particular.

Of course it was stupid.
What do you think, O.P.?

What was Louis Gate’s middle name?


Let’s make this thread worthwhile with an obligatory xkcd.

I’ll judge that Obama was in the wrong.

  1. He didn’t know the truth of the case. So while it may be that he was correct that the officer failed to de-escalate the situation when he could have, it is pure chance that he is correct on that matter.

  2. The review that was conducted made the determination that both parties were in the wrong, so Obama was also wrong in “clearing” Mr. Gates - again, without knowing anything about the facts.

  3. While it may be the case that it is worth publicizing discrimination by the police, as a politician, it does harm to that effort to choose a case where the facts might turn against you as your example. If BLM had chosen a case more like the one of Botham Jean to rally behind instead of the case of Michael Brown, for example, they might have accomplished a lot more. If the press and everyone digs into the situation and the facts go against what you were preaching, then you have a taller mountain to climb the next time you want to make your argument. People don’t give you their ear as easily the second time around, nor are they willing to pay as much attention.

You make some valid arguments, but from the context of the OP’s “a decade on” qualifier, these are all criticisms that could (and were) made at the time and aren’t any more true now than back then. Arguably less apt with the benefit of hindsight.

It is a testament to how stable our democracy has become that this incident from ten years ago warrants revisiting. I’m pretty sure it was the last controversial statement from the Oval Office.

So my criticisms are valid and not true? I think you may need to expand on your argument. To my knowledge, it is very difficult for something to be both valid and false.

I think Obama should have refrained from commenting. As President, his remarks have power to influence public beliefs and sway potential jurors. This could have posed problems had this been litigated.

But the cop did act stupidly.

Never said “not true”.

What I did note was (1) that the arguments are equally true now as 10 years ago and (2) with the ‘decade on’ qualifier they may be less relevant than they were back then with the benefit of hindsight.

I.e. your criticisms could have been made 10 years ago, been equally true AND valid, which means there’s nothing in the intervening 10 years that has really changed.

And that seems to be the crux of the problem with the OP. This was a minor incident from 10 years ago. Nothing new has developed in the intervening 10 years, nor have the conclusions we can draw. The purpose of bringing it up in the first place seems to be an attempt by the OP merely to criticize Obama using an incredibly leading question (featuring Obama’s middle name, which is a fairly well known tactic in certain circles) that is just shy enough of JAQ’ing off to provide at least some cover.

aren’t any more true now than back then” <-

Typo, then. No worries.

I don’t get that impression at all from the poster’s previous offerings, which included at least one mention of “President Obama.” His or her thread-starting skills could use some work, though.

I’m proud to live in a country that had no problem electing Mr. Obama to be the President twice, although his middle name is so scary to the easily scared.

Admire his forbearance. Tooth is stranger than friction.

Henry Louis Gates is just 5-5-5 but
Barack Hussei Nobama … Well: Count em and weep.

“We Report, You Decide.”

“We Distort, You Abide.”