When this story first broke of Henry Louis Gates Jr., the black Harvard professor and Sgt. James Crowley, the white Cambridge police officer, I thought it was pretty cut and dry. More jerks with badges abusing minorities in whatever way they feel they could get away with. But slowly this story started to evolve in to something more and I decided to wait and see what comes of this. As they say, many times it’s who you know that counts. And with Professor Gates being pals with President Obama things were about interesting. Letting his need for political correctness rest momentarily, Obama called it how most people seemed to see it. He said the arresting officers’ actions were “stupid”. I’m actually shocked at the uproar that came down when the President said this. Republicans pounced on it and many pro police groups made it their business the “defend” the Cambridge forces. After semi retracting his statement, in what I consider to be unneeded damage control, Obama with have a meeting with the two central figures in this situation to try and bring about some kind of “lesson learned”. It’s a noble and worth wild endeavor.
But I think more so then anything that comes from these men specifically, we got a very public reminder that while the idea and reality that minorities are not limited in their dreams was solidified in this past election. The struggles, assumptions, stereotypes and profiling of the everyday man still exist. In many ways the election of president seems to have given a little shot in the arm to those with less than pleasant views of black and brown folk. You see with a black president in the White House, bigotry that w3as once kept in the privacy of the home or personal company has now been unleashed. The angry portions of the Republican Party, the disenfranchised male whites who rally behind the Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are hitting those internet sites with force.
It makes you think, was this always being felt and thought beneath the surface or is this reaction to the steady redistribution of power to high ranking minorities within this nation. It’s said that equality is a never ending struggle and even at its greatest point of accomplishment we cannot really hope for everyone to be treated the same. We can seek FAIR treatment across the board but the same treatment is highly unlikely.