Let me just preface this by saying that I don’t know the facts of what exactly happened (nor does anyone else, really), but based on what I’ve read I know that there will be mixed reaction to this story.
The Reverend Al Sharpton was quoted in the story as saying, “I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black but now even going into your own home while black is a new low in police-community affairs.”
It would seem to me that any person who is seen attempting to pry open the front door of a home and then proceeds to refuse to identify him or herself and gets argumentative and confrontational with police officers is likely to find themself arrested.
Yes, this is one white girl’s opinion. But I didn’t grow up sheltered in a small town my whole life. I started out in a city, in a poor area and school where I was very nearly a minority myself. I’ve traveled, and lived in one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world. This doesn’t mean that I in any way know what it’s like to be black or to be targeted for the color of my skin. But it means that I know it happens, and it means I know it isn’t right when it does happen.
If the way things have been described in news reports isn’t how it really went, then maybe there was racial profiling. I know it exists – it would be foolish of anyone to think that racial bias doesn’t exist, whether police and attorneys want to deny it. But why do people have to be so quick to latch onto that notion every time?
Professor Gates is a highly educated and intelligent man. It would seem to me that common sense would have stepped in and he could have easily cooperated with the police. They were acting on a call from a neighbor who clearly didn’t realize that it was Gates trying to get into his own home and who was concerned over what anyone could call suspicious behavior. If the police had not acted on that call and had let someone break into his home, you can be sure that hell would have been raised. Every instance where a minority is arrested is not racial profiling. People who claim it is so do not further race relations in our country. They open the rift even further.