Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was recently arrested for disorderly conduct. An acclaimed scholar and public intellectual, Gates has authored and edited many books on literature and African-American history and culture, including one with the self-identified Marxist professorÂ Cornel West.
The circumstances of the arrest were as follows: Gates had trouble unlocking the door of his Cambridge, Massachusetts home.Â Law-enforcement officials were made aware that someone appeared to be trying to gain forceful entry into theÂ house. Several officers arrived at the scene and sought to question the professor, who promptly accused theÂ investigating officerÂ ofÂ
Gates [who, by then, was inside the house] refused to step outside to speak with the officer, the police report said, and whenÂ [Officer] CrowleyÂ told Gates that he was investigating a possible break-in, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed, “Why, because I’m a black man in America?” the report said.
“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,” he said, according to the report.
The report said Gates initially refused to show the officer identification, but eventually produced a Harvard identification card, prompting Crowley to radio for Harvard University Police.
Gates followed the officer outside and continued to accuse him of racial bias, the report said. After Crowley warned the professor twice that he was becoming disorderly, the officer wrote he arrested Gates for “loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space.”
The charges were later dropped.
Dyson played precisely theÂ song one would expect of him: America is a fundamentally racist nation and Gates was an innocent victim of racial profiling.
Blitzer provided Dyson with an all-but-uncontested platform from which to broadcast his anti-American slanders. I longed for Blitzer to be a real journalist, to challenge his guest, and to pull out his proverbialÂ Occam’s Razor (which operates on the principle that when multiple explanations for a givenÂ event areÂ put forth, the simplest is usually preferable) and slice up his filmsy non-arguments.
Which of the following scenarios is more likely?
(a) Gates is the victim of a vast, racist conspiracy of the malevolent white man to keep minorities down; or
(b)Â Maybe Gates just overreacted andÂ caused a scene, and his race had nothing to do with why he got arrested.
Gates has apparently conditioned himself to “see” racism everywhere. He has stumbled into a racial reality tunnel in which race is at theÂ root of everything. In this way he’s a softer version of bell hooks, a black professor who wrote a famous essay in which she fantasized about murdering a white man who had been given her friend’s seat on a plane. Read David Horowitz’s essential essay on hooks if you haven’t already. (See my analysis of this essay and other related pieces here.)
Is a police officer responding to a call that a burglary is taking place working to protect his fellow citizens? Or is he part of the White Male Power Structure, on aÂ mission to see how many non-white males he can terrorize. Which is more likely? Pull out your Occam’s Razor and cut along the dotted line.
Blitzer wouldn’t recommendÂ that, however, because to do so would immediately open him up to frivolous, unfounded charges of “racism” by the Left. Even if Blitzer doesn’t want to take the hit for speaking truth to power on this issue,Â the rest of us certainly can. It won’t be the first time I’ve been called a racist for challenging the Left’s racism. We should be able to take the it, though. We know we’re not racists, so what does it matter what smears the LeftÂ throws at us?