PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts


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  1. [...] so that their behavior can then be said to be “disorderly” as the Moskos quote noted in the previous post. addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fpoliblogger.com%2F%3Fp%3D16438′; addthis_title = [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » One More on Gates — Thursday, July 30, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  2. I think it’s a case of testosterone run wild. Gates – tired and jet-lagged – didn’t like being “harassed” in his own home. According to the report – and according to the other officers later at the scene – Gates would not cooperate whatsoever. Even after several warnings he would not back down and continued on his tirade. If the police officer did give him warnings about his behavior first, then he certainly had the option of bringing him in. Still, both should not have let it escalate to that level.

    Obama may have been the worst offender of all, though. He bluntly called the police officer stupid at a national press conference before all the facts were generally known. As a private citizen, he’s allowed to support his friend, but as President, he should never have gone there. Given a chance to speak a few days later, he couldn’t apologize and admit a mistake, he just talked about how he should have “recalibrated his words”. He should have been equally blunt about his own foul-up. Instead he gave the standard political tap dance. Not so much change going on with this event.

    Comment by Mark L — Thursday, July 30, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  3. Tapping into generational wounds aside, I personally cannot see how anyone wouldn’t be upset in that situation. Add a generational wound to that and an outburst seems guaranteed.

    I’ve been trying to stay silent because I feel that I would be written off as biased, not because I can relate to that situation but because of my race. I was subjected to profiling after believing it would never happen to me because I was a good citizen. It carries with it a pain for which there are no words. You wonder why do you bother to follow the rules; why put such effort into being a good citizen if it doesn’t count. It is an experience you never really get over.

    Comment by Sheri — Thursday, July 30, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

  4. Mark: I do think that part of the problem was a clash of testosterone-fueled egos. Both men are authority figures and neither wanted to be questioned. Still, I think it was incumbent upon the police to leave once it was clear it was Gates’ home and the released tapes, and the police report, make it clear that before the situation was moved outside that they had established that he was the resident of the home.

    Sheri: I think that you have every right to speak up on this matter, as your own personal experiences are quite relevant. It is impossible to divorce race from the matter, given the history that black men in particular have had with police and the generational factor is quite important for a broader understanding of the event.

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Thursday, July 30, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  5. [...] if Dylan hadn’t wanted to go with the police? What if he had been, oh I don’t know, a bit boisterous with the police? As James Joyner points out, there is simultaneously no law requiring one to carry identification, [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Bob Dylan and the Police (and What it Illustrates) — Sunday, August 16, 2009 @ 12:29 pm

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