Skip Gates Arrested For Breaking And Entering...

...in his own house. Incredible:

Police arrived at Gates's Ware Street home near Harvard Square at 12:44 p.m. to question him. Gates, director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, had locked himself out of his house and was trying to get inside.

He was booked for disorderly conduct after "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," according to the Cambridge police log.

He was booked for disorderly conduct after "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," according to the Cambridge police log.

Friends of Gates said he was already in his home when police arrived. He showed his driver's license and Harvard identification card, but was handcuffed and taken into police custody for several hours last Thursday, they said.

I bet he did exhibit "loud and tumultuous behavior." I likely would too. Actually, I wouldn't. But I don't work for Harvard. And my mother taught me how black men are to address the police.

Dig the word from his boy:

[S. Allen] Counter has faced a similar situation himself. The well-known neuroscience professor, who is also black, was stopped by two Harvard police officers in 2004 after being mistaken for a robbery suspect as he crossed Harvard Yard. They threatened to arrest him when he could not produce identification.

"This is very disturbing that this could happen to anyone, and not just to a person of such distinction," Counter said. "He was just shocked that this had happened, at 12:44 in the afternoon, in broad daylight. It brings up the question of whether black males are being targeted by Cambridge police for harassment."

Of course not. That would be racism! Committed by racists!! Real-live racists!! In Cambridge!

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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