Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And if you don't watch out, This boogie man will get you


(Colored Spade starts at 7:50)

I haven't visited Rick Moran lately, but i just discovered he's still capable of shooting his rhetoric in the foot, as always, with no hint of awareness.

In re: the Gates/Crowell contretemps,, he gives a really great windup:

The facts of the case are a fascinating example of how race divides America. Police, as authority figures, have a notorious history in African American communities — sometimes deserved, sometimes not. It appears from unimpeachable eyewitness accounts that in this case, despite Sgt. Crowley being an expert in how to avoid racial profiling and diversity training, the perception on the part of Professor Gates was that he was being singled out for being black.

Of course, Gates had no idea that Officer Crowley had such a stellar reputation or possessed such tolerant credentials. All he knew was his experience as a black man in America and his assumption that if he had been white, the police would not have asked for his ID.

We’ll never know if that assumption was correct. Just as we’ll never know if the anonymous woman who called the police after seeing Gates try to break into his own home would have done so if she had glimpsed a white man trying to do the same thing. We can assume the best or the worst from all involved and, within the context of our flawed understanding of each other, assure ourselves that we are correct.

The point being, all the actors in this little drama have their perception of the incident colored by what divides us. The actions of everyone were programmed by the rules under which we currently interact as white and black Americans. Gates felt his dignity attacked — an anathema to whites who can’t understand how he could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property. For his part, one might wonder how much more patient Crowley could have or should have been with Gates before arresting him.

Wow. Reasonable. But just as Tourettes' Syndrome will result in a nice person unable to control their speech and mannerisms, Moran just has to revert to his own programming with absolutely no self-awareness:
No doubt he acted professionally. But even with someone as evenhanded as Crowley apparently is, the nagging suspicion that if Gates had been white he would have somehow been treated differently is hard for many to shake. That is the trap that history has set for us and is one from which we refuse to release ourselves.

"No doubt he acted professionally . . . evenhanded . . . " yep. Because as a white guy who has experienced reading words about racisim, he believes that the white cop (on of 'his' people) is de facto evenhanded and professional. As a guy who can pay lip service to the idea that racism may have actually occurred, to fall victim to his own programming and bias is sadly amazing to behold.

And predictable.

The toss-off line about property deserves further unpacking:
Gates felt his dignity attacked — an anathema to whites who can’t understand how he could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property.
Here's a translation: . . . an African-American could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property.

Dude, many African-Americans remember clearly when the police made sure they (African-Americans) were property. And I'm sure most black folks, when pulled over for DWB (driving while black) are thankful the cops are looking after city streets, which are their (as citizens) property.

And a sadly large number of whites still appreciate police hassling black folks, because 'they' are always up to something, like trying to steal jobs through affirmative action, or complaining that their ancestors were slaves while modern white folks had nothing to do with that so they just dont' want to hear about it.

Post-racial my ass. But in the end, Moran does speak truth:
the nagging suspicion that if Gates had been white he would have somehow been treated differently is hard for many to shake. That is the trap that history has set for us and is one from which we refuse to release ourselves.

Indeed. I just wish you really got it as someting other than an intellectual exercise.

A commentor at Moran's post adds this:
Gates is 5′7″. He walks with a cane. He is 59 years old. He was dressed in business casual attire. It was broad daylight. He had no weapon. He was carrying no burglar tools. No getaway car was parked outside. No one was inside the house crying for help.

Veteran cops develop an instinct for this. Crowley did not believe Gates was a criminal. Not unless Crowley is an imbecile.

Since when did conservatives start believing that the police have unlimited powers to arrest any and all who vocally disapprove of them?

If Gates had been white and holding a hunting rifle every conservative in the country would support him. But he was black. So conservatives pull a 180 and support unrestrained police power.

A large portion of the conservative community still rants and raves over FBI attempts to enter David Koresh’s compound — a compound where there were stockpiles of guns and allegations of child abuse. And don’t tell me it’s just because of the fire, the FBI didn’t start the fire, the FBI and ATF were trying to enforce legal search warrants.

This is racism in action. Pure and simple. Crazy white people with guns? They’ve got a right not to be hassled by cops. Black scholars in their own homes? Not so much.

Yep.