Police Arrest Harvard Scholar In House

In the news, the arrest of a well-known professor of African-American studies, Henry Louis Gates, who broke into his own house after a long trip abroad:

“Gates said he turned over his driver’s license and Harvard ID — both with his photos — and repeatedly asked for the name and badge number of the officer, who refused. He said he then followed the officer as he left his house onto his front porch, where he was handcuffed in front of other officers, Gates said in a statement released by his attorney, fellow Harvard scholar Charles Ogletree, on a Web site Gates oversees, TheRoot.com

He was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge after police said he “exhibited loud and tumultuous behavior.” He was released later that day on his own recognizance. An arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 26.

Gates, 58, also refused to speak publicly Monday, referring calls to Ogletree.

“He was shocked to find himself being questioned and shocked that the conversation continued after he showed his identification,” Ogletree said.”

My Comment:

The initial questioning seems alright to me. It was natural for a bystander to wonder about two men (no matter of what race) trying to break into a house. I’d hope any neighbor of mine would do the same, if I were away.

But what happened after that seems odd. After Gates produced his ID, why was he treated so discourteously? The story about “disorderly” conduct also seems shady. It would be natural for someone to be upset in those circumstances. And if Gates was obliged to show ID in his own house, why did the officers decline to show theirs? Why arrest him?

All this sounds like typical bullying to me.


I changed the title of this post – since the first title seemed to imply a racial motive and the more I look at this, the more it seems like the usual police officiousness.

15 thoughts on “Police Arrest Harvard Scholar In House

  1. All very suspicious. There is always more to these things. Plus gates given what he does for a living is likely to inflate the thing and make it some replay of Jim Crow and the charges of racism will fly.

    He will get radio interviews and a new book out of this and testify to the never ending force of racism in America. More grist for the racism, civil rights harnague from NPR and PBS.

    In turn, this self flagellation will make people feel better after a cop is fired and then everything stays the same.

    The more prosaic reality, is that cops and government harras everybody to an extraordinary degree. The issue here is that one of the commisariat was bothered. Maybe he was bullied maybe just maybe the high and mighty harvard professor was abusive to the cops–imagine a Harvard prof condesending or being abusive to a working class person? I have no trouble seeing that! Who knows, its all fishy. Likley a case where perpetrator, instigator, bully, viction are all intertwined and equally repellent.

  2. Things have gotten so bizarre of late.

    I remember someone putting down Tim Leary for his theory of “turn on, tune in, drop out,” yet the more I think, the older I become, the more it appears perhaps the only sane choice. The police state is not one which can be rebelled/defended against without being destroyed in the process. Participation in the police state only feeds it. What other options are there. At bottom it is a meme. The police state only exists because people believe in it and support it. (And note that when I say “the police state” I am actually just referring to ANY state as it is the idea of using force to get your way which is the bottom line to the state in any form or any level.)

    The psychopaths need to be made impotent. As it is, they are being made potent and they are multiplying. Perhaps that is the nature of things and that is that. I hope not. But I am personally losing all patience with anyone who praises violence on any level, including a simple parking ticket. Either you are a civilized human being willing to treat others with respect or you are not. I just don’t see any gray areas. After all, making the trains run on time (isn’t that basically what Eichmann did?) is so easy to justify. Nope, ANY use of non-defensive force is unacceptable and if we can’t kill in self defence then the only other option is to drop out and make it totally unprofitable to those who DO use force. I guess that is a Gandhiesque perspective. Hmm. Gandhi and Leary. What a combination.

    I watched “The Paper Chase” last night for the first time in 30 years or so. I see what I totally missed the first time: the evil of “papers,” whatever their justification. Good movie.

    “Authority” is not.

    THAT is the meme which made the psychopaths of East Germany impotent, as I recall. The “citizens” all finally simply “dropped out” and realized that “authority” “wasn’t.”

    Y’all have a joyous and peaceful day now, heah?

    – NonE

  3. There’s definitely a psychic gain leaving the US – even for a short term. And that’s what I’d tell people to leave for – the reduction in stress and anxiety.

    It’s really not about economics. I think people who leave purely because they think the economy is a train-wreck are going to be sorely disappointed because, face it, America is a nation set up for business and making money.

    There is a positive genius in the way everything is organized, made convenient, labeled, and presented. No one can deny it. And you appreciate it when you go any where else.

    However bad the economy might be for a while – several years, say, I still have hopes that the dynamo that is the US will rev up – and the great centers of innovation like Silicon Valley…the universities – Stanford, Caltech, MIT…will pull us through.

    I hope they will survive even Obamanomics…although probably not unscathed.

    So if you run away from the US – run with your eyes open. There are no perfect countries…

    The problem is not America so much as the deification of the state…of social control. It’s our lack of trust in human beings to function without someone telling them how to.

    And maybe it’s warranted..
    I don’t know.
    It seems to me we have to learn to control ourselves or we will be controlled.

  4. Lila,

    I think in your last comment you are really on to something. Sure economy is in trouble now but the real issue is statism, and just the plain brutishness and nastiness of the governmental and media “institutions” that have rendered people helpless, dependent (indoctrinaton rather than education, government employment, relaince on creidt scores for suitability for employment). Yes, getting away and making like a banana have some great psychic benefits.

    P.S. the matrix wants to hold you. If you live overseas be sure and maintain your credit–even if you have no debts opting out of the credit system and showing no activity (i.e. borrowing) for several years kills peoples credit–they do seem to want to keep people harnessed to their cubes!

  5. You are correct. This is common behavior. I have never been on the wrong side of the law, but I have had two incidents occur that show me very clearly how some, perhaps many, in law enforcement act.

    The first happened years ago I lived in St. Paul Minnesota at the time. I received a ticket in the mail for failing to stop for a school bus. Somebody had taken down a license plate and had taken down the wrong number. I was in Chicago at the time of the offense, and my car was parked at the Minneapolis airport. The cop didn’t believe me and asked for proof. I told him that he had it backwards and that I didn’t have to prove my innocence….he had to prove my guilt. Big mistake on my part. I got to see bad cop up close and personal. Finally, I just gave him proof in the form of an airport parking ticket, date and time stamped and receipts from meals in Chicago that I had been eating at the time of the offense. Ironically, the car he was looking for was a different make and model than mine. I was lucky.

    The second incident occurred years later in Colorado. Somebody shot a window in my house with a BB gun from the road. I called the cops to report it, and they came to my house. I let them in and while they were standing in my living room they ran a background check…..ON ME! I asked them why they were so worried about me and not the people who had shot my window and they told me that it was procedure and “not to worry about it.” Of course, nothing ever came of it and I wondered why I had even bothered to call them.

    The good news is that I learned my lesson. I will never call the police again. They have shown me that their mission is to badger and harass It is up to me to protect myself and my loved ones. If they show up at my home for some reason, I will cooperate to simply make the problem go away, and then if I have a grievance, I will hire an attorney and sue. I am through screwing around with these people.

  6. I think learning to become slightly deviant in minor ways is justified.
    Stand trial for every ticket. Make it uneconomical for the state to badger you by badgering it back.
    Refuse to give information or make it harder for them than a root canal.
    Omit personal information on forms…or make up stuff.

    Treat anyone who asks you for vital information as a potential criminal.

  7. For those not aware, there is a great experiment going on as we speak. The Free State Project. It’s a plan to move as may liberty loving activists to one geographic area, New Hampshire was chosen, as possible in order to enhance the odds of being effectual.

    There is a great talk radio show which supports this movement and it is FreeTalkLive.com and I highly recommend giving it a listen. The shows are podcast and there is a year of broadcasts available free on their site.

    There are a lot of activists moving to New Hampshire and already much is occuring in the order of civil disobedience and attempting to hold the statists feet to the fire.

    The reason I’m making this specific post is in response to a post above and it is this bit of information. You never have to open the door for a cop. If he has a warrant he is coming in anyway, and if he does not then he is on a “fishing expedition” and has no legal right to speak with you. If a cop comes to your door without a warrant simply ignore him. Do not speak to him, do not open the door. Eventually he will go away or will have to get a warrant. If he had any information of any value that you have done something illegal he would already have a warrant, so he is just fishing, looking for some means of getting you to provide him with the rope to hang you for something.


    There’s a guy named Sam who is doing some interesting stuff at ObscuredTruth.com also…

    – NonE

  8. Hi NonE –
    Thanks for the great information. I think that I’ll put those links into a post so they’ll be a bit more visible.

    It goes back to the post Sunni had on education. We are educated to be servile.
    Obedience is fine, when it’s rational but most of us – especially the most ambitious of us – are obedient to an irrational degree because we’ve had it schooled it into us from childhood..

    Do what teachers says and you succeed..
    Regurgitate what text books say and you’ll pass.
    Believe what your parents or the Bible says..

    And to a certain extent, there’s nothing wrong with any of these structures, as long as they don’t override out own instincts and rationality…

    But they do..
    and finally we’re no longer in touch with either.
    We become part of the machinery.

    Bob –
    I think it’s amazing that ordinary citizens can brush up against the law so often for doing nothing more than going about their business.
    That’s what’s surprised me over the last ten years in the US. Obviously, corruption is far greater in many other countries. Obviously, the US has far less in the way of overt street violence and protests..

    I used to think this is a good thing. And it probably is from the point of view of things working and business going on.
    But it also means that political control is easier to exert..

  9. I was listening to some of the reporting on this story on National Socialist Radio this morning (or was it yesterday?) and found myself thinking that this professor was himself a huge racist for the stand he was taking. I say that as it was reported that he got all bent out of shape claiming that it was because he is black that he was treated so badly. I suggest that anyone who is at all aware of the current state of the police state will recognize that lily white people are treated with just as much contempt by todays police as anyone else. And this guy is totally missing the point and misrepresenting the problem when he tries to pass it off as racism as opposed to plain out and out oppression of the slaves by the fascist brown shirts.

    But then I thought a bit more an figured maybe I’m over reacting a bit. Maybe. But ONLY a bit. Mostly it is a problem of statism run amok and only maybe a little bit a problem of some residual racism.

    We need to call things what they are.

    – NonE

  10. Hi –

    It’s interesting to me that both parties in this case are specialists in race…
    Maybe that was the problem.

    When you focus on something, you sometimes tend to see it even when it’s not present…or not present in the way you think it is..

    Anyway – there seems to be a lot more to the story than what we first heard..


  11. Pingback: Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-07-25 – You know what they call a black man with a Ph.D.?

  12. None of this corruption should come as any surprise. Just think for a moment: what kind of person would be attracted to a position of absolute power (police, or politician for that matter) over others, with minimal intellectual credentials (if not outright hostility toward intelligence.) I know a few people who have chosen the police occupation, the “best” of them being entirely mediocre, the others being downright moronic and malicious. In the spirit of compromise, I might be willing to consider State-Policing IF having a Ph.D is a prerequisite. But merely luring brutes together, and encouraging them to harrass others — what else can one possibly expect?

  13. Denis –
    what’s even weirder is that the police man is an expert in racial profiling.

    Which goes to show that being trained in such things is rather pointless.
    The point is how much common sense you exhibit.

    It just takes common sense to realize that an older man, who’d just come back from a trip to China, and has had to break into his own home at midnight, isn’t going to be in the best mood to have cops cross examining him.

    They should have left as soon as they saw his ID

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.