If my 3+ years as a police officer are at all representative, then to be a white police officer is to be repeatedly accused of being a racist. And to be an African American police officer is to be called an Uncle Tom.
The accusations are annoying, they’re wrong, they’re bigoted, and they make you angry, but you recognize that it comes with the territory. You buck up and do your job.
Now, I didn’t vote for Barack Obama. But I did recognize the historical value of his election. It was a key reason many voted for him. It was a promise of finally arriving at post-racial America with the “racial healer” at the helm.
And now, in his first test of his “racial healer” bona fides, Barack Obama has failed. Miserably. He’s demonstrated that he, in fact, is a racial profiler. Despite admitting to not knowing the details, and to being biased in favor of his friend, Professor Gates, he said the police "acted stupidly." Talk about acting stupidly.
If Mr. Obama had to say something stupid, he should’ve stopped there, having gotten something quite stupid out of his system already. Instead, he validated –- at length -- Professor Gates’ claim that this was racist law enforcement behavior. Unbelievable.
There are all sorts of ways to act so stupidly that you get arrested for disorderly conduct in your own home. I’ve made that arrest before. The arrest that comes most quickly to mind is a Greek family with repeated calls for domestic violence between the father and teenage son. We arrived for another such call, tried to calm folks down, and were getting the facts from people (since it wasn’t clear that a crime had been committed). The noxious father kept raising a ruckus and making threats and was generally preventing us from being able to control the scene and investigate. Disobeying orders for probably the twentieth time, he finally made a dash for the kitchen and refused to come out. Keeping people out of the kitchen is a key part of controlling a scene (due to all the big knives). So, with him kicking and screaming and holding onto the door jamb, I arrested him for disorderly conduct. In his own home.
There also seems to be some sense among folks that it is somehow revealing that charges were dropped. Look, charges are dropped by district attorneys for all sorts of reasons, politics not the least among them. In no way does it mean that the person isn’t guilty. Trust me … when my county quickly dropped DUI charges against a presidential cabinet member’s mother … it wasn’t because she wasn’t guilty.
But, speaking of guilt, let’s get back to the President. He’s made his judgment, without knowing the relevant details: the officer was white, and he arrested a well-regarded minority man who claims his innocence … what else is there to know? The officer must be a racist.
Sheesh, talk about racist!
Well, so much for “racial healer.” If we’re ever going to see this land finally rid of its racial divides, what we don’t need is assumptive agitation like we’ve seen from Professor Gates and President Obama, following all-too-familiar patterns of pointing fingers and claiming racial bigotry where it doesn’t exist. Yes, by all means, whites need to be sensitive to minorities. And, believe it or not, minorities need to give whites the benefit of the doubt. Unless both show such Grace, we cannot reach the post-racial America we all desire.