by Chris Bodenner
A reader writes:
It not clear to me how much racism had to do with this situation. It seems pretty clear to me what happened: A cop responded to a break-in report and had an unfriendly interaction with Gates, after which he arrested Gates because he didn't like the way he was talking back to him. Arrests of this type are called 'contempt of cop' in the legal field and are VERY common. As in this case the charges are always dropped; they are intended to teach the subject a lesson: don't give cops any lip or you will have to go through discomfort and humiliation. Would it have made a difference if Gates had been a white man? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not.
The only people clear about what happened are Gates and the cops who arrested him. I initially refrained from airing any commentary about the incident because we have no way of knowing exactly what happened. And speculation sheds no light - only people's preconceived notions and political agendas. However, I excerpted McWhorter because he's always been the last person to cry racism over such incidents, and he vouches for Gates regarding the same. I side with that sort of credibility.
Also, from my perspective, even if Gates did get blustery with the cops, they should have cut him some slack for the humiliating spot they put him in, unintended or not.