Thursday, July 23, 2009
Racism in the 21st Century- Giving Up the Ghost
The only thing that could be worse than a racial incident in Boston is one in Selma, AL. The arrest of racially conscious Henry Louis Gates, whose work for PBS on the African slave trade is well-known and is one of America’s foremost black intellectuals, is a symptom of black America’s failure to give up the ghost of racism. He revels in the ability to claim racism at every opportunity. He is a member of the group of blacks for whom crying racism is a badge of honor that is exercised as often as possible to maintain the affirmmative action, no consequence gravy train. People like Gates, Cornell West, Mark Lamont Hill, and race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, are constantly reminding Caucasians of their debt to all black people for the sins of their grandparents. Since the President chose to respond to a question about Mr. Gates at his health care press briefing without a full airing of the circumstances some corrections are in order. The President called the officer stupid and failed to note that Gates refused to show his ID when first asked and did so only after an insulting and threatening tirade accusing the officer of racism and racial profiling, which the President also did not mention. The President also referred to it as “his” house and the reporting of the incident also implied the house belonged to Gates. Actually the house belonged to Harvard University so the neighbor that called the police did not recognize Gates as the owner or tenant. So when two people, no matter what color, are seen trying to enter a home without a key by pushing in the door what is an observer supposed to do? That’s right: call the police. Obviously the incident could have been handled better by both men, but to place the blame on the officer alone is not quite fair. In order to justify Gate’s deplorable behavior his supporters have referred to “Boston’s history as a city plagued by racism” to propel the no-consequence gravy train. I suppose that from Gate’s point of view, the officer should have known better than to mess with him. After all, he “went to Harvard.” In this case “stupidity” is not limited to one man. It’s time to give up the ghost.