This is probably the one and only time you'll read something from me regarding social issues or politics so enjoy it. I've pretty much had it up to here with the story of Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police, but I have to say that the fact the President of the United States of American could make such a foolish and admittedly, ignorant statement about the situation and about the CPD makes my blood boil. I'm assuming most of you reading this are somewhat familiar with the story. If not, Google it. Let me first state some obvious facts:
1) Racism does still exist. I'm not naive enough to believe otherwise
2) Cops are not always right and the accused are not always wrong
3) There are people, despite or in spite of skin color or race, who think they are above the fray
4) Being a city cop is one of the most tireless, thankless jobs in the world
5) Despite the situation, cops deserve the respect of their position
OK, so now that I've covered my non-pc ass, let me relate a story. For those that don't know I am indeed a white male and live in the city of Cambridge. My dad was born and raised in Cambridge and I have resided there for 6 years. I live in a small condo complex. Recently, a neighbor of mine was having mental issues and called the police on me multiple times for differing reasons none of which actually happened. One time resulted in the fire department breaking down my door when I wasn't home as she called in an explosion in my unit. Was I mad? Sure, but what if there had been an explosion? What if I had been home. The scarier incident was when I answered a knock at my door and saw not 1, not 2, but 5 of Cambridge's finest outside my door. They asked to come in, asked if I was alone, told me to stay where I was, and keep my hands where they can see them. They asked if they could look around my place. I was scared and angry and when they had looked around (my place is small) they explained someone had heard a gunshot in my place. So, see, they were edgy thinking it could be true. When they saw it was false, they explained the whole thing. I was respectful and thankful despite being severely shaken and angry. They have a job to do and I respect that
Henry Louis Gates is indeed a well renowned Harvard professor who is indeed black. My only opinion of him previous to this story from reading of him in the papers was that of an elitist, no more, no less. This incident hasn't changed my opinion. From all accounts it was him that escalated the situation, not officer Crowley. I know there is racism but I hate, hate, hate playing the racism card. Think for a second if it had been an actual break in and his house was robbed or if he was home and injured. He would be up the collective asses of the CPD about that. Or, think of my situation. If had had yelled, screamed, talked about the responding officers mothers, or pulled the "do you know who I am" line? I would have been cuffed and brought in...sound familiar? And what of Sgt Crowley? If his version of the story is 100% true, which from what the few witnesses there say, it is, regardless, he will be labeled a racist for the rest of his tenure with the CPD.
The part of the whole thing that pisses me off is President Obama chirping in the way he did. First, as everyone knows, Cambridge is the prototypical East Coast liberal city. I'm guessing the CPD and CFD are well trained in racial sensitivity to a far greater degree then most. To make such blunt statements about a city's police department while not knowing the whole situation because the person with the issue is a person of color and a friend of yours is a seriously stupid move.