James Crowley, who arrested Henry Louis Gates, Jr., last summer, gave Gates the handcuffs with which he was restrained. Gates in turn donated them to the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. And now that painful chapter of our nation's history has been closed.
Welcome to week three of the Henry Louis Gates arrest story! Apparently we're at the stage where we can laugh about it now, unless we are National Arbiter of Morals Sally Quinn-herself a victim of discrimination from a black police officer-who thinks the professor is a dishonorable man. This has seemed like a very quick summer, but, man, it has NOT BEEN QUICK ENOUGH.
Our national conversation on beer will hopefully reach its conclusion this evening at 6 P.M., when President Obama, Henry Louis Gates, and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley gather together in the White House and crack the top on an ice-cold Bud Light. The obvious political pandering in the selection of beverage ("Democratic political consultant Chris Lehane noted Bud Light traces its roots to Missouri, one of the nation's hardest fought electoral battlegrounds in recent years") has caused some controversy, in that Bud Light is neither technically American (Anheuser-Busch was acquired by Belgian-Brazilan consortium InBev last year) nor technically beer (Bud Light is a combination of frog urine [...]
The Cambridge Police Department has released audio of the 911 call that lead to Henry Louis Gates' arrest and portions of the conversation between the investigating officer and dispatch. What do we learn? Well, according to one commenter at the Boston Globe, "These tapes are his Achilles heel, it is a great day and will show that people such as him, Jackson, and Sharpton are more and more wrong every day." The rest of you may be a little less certain. (Meanwhile, in case you missed it, please read this Stanley Fish piece from Friday. The last two paragraphs are pretty great.)
Looks like The Man has changed his mind: "A prosecutor is dropping a charge against prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city's police department recommended that the matter not be pursued. In a joint statement, Cambridge and the police department said they made the recommendation to the Middlesex County district attorney and the district attorney's office 'has agreed to enter a nolle prosequi in this matter,' meaning that it will not be pursued." Great! Everything's all right now!
Holy genealogy! It turns out that Skip Gates and the Cambridge cop who nabbed him for being dusky in his own domicile are related! Gates and Sgt. James Crowley are both descendants of fourth century Irish warlord Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was so named because he would niall anything that moved. (Haha, get it?) The article notes that "many famous African-Americans [have] Irish heritage, including President Barack Obama and award-winning author Alice Walker." Also, many unfamous African-Americans have Irish heritage, because back in the slavery era there was a whole lot of raping going on. Anyway, this will surely be a great ice-breaker at the [...]
Here's the most disturbing part about the entire Henry Louis Gates arrest story: "I look forward to meeting Sgt. Crowley under more pleasant circumstances, and having that beer," Gates told the Globe yesterday in an e-mail, saying a date has not been set. He said he's partial to Red Stripe and Beck's. He may not get his pick, as they are foreign beers, which are not stocked at the White House, under a tradition dating to the Johnson administration.
Henry Louis Gates' neighbors are trying to start a conversation of their own, apparently.
Late this afternoon, President Obama finally sat down over beers with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley. The LA Times notes that "a small group of photographers and reporters was permitted to witness the meeting for about 30 seconds and from about 50 feet away — transmitting to the world a snapshot of Obama, in shirt sleeves, seated at an oval table with the now-famous pair. Gates and Crowley appeared to talk seriously, and at one point Obama gave a hearty laugh. Joining the three was Vice President Joe Biden, also in shirt sleeves." While the meeting was closed to the press, we've obtained [...]
It is truly a testament to this nation's inability to focus on anything lacking a celebrity component that the quotidian story of a black man arrested for being surly in his own home continues to get major coverage well over a week after the initial event. As the President prepares to host Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge police officer who collared him at a White House summit meeting, the press is asking the important question: What beer is he going to serve?
You know what argument never really works? The old "I am not a racist because I put my lips on a black man during CPR in 1993" one. To be fair, I do sorta feel for the guy who arrested Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates a little because it is possible he is a bit dim and a not very good cop and really uptight and controlling and a little nuts, instead of a racist. Or I did feel that way! Until an anonymous Cambridge cop told the Boston Globe: "The fact that the Police Department dropped the charges [against Gates] makes the police officer look like [...]
The PDF file found here is the INSANE police report that chronicles the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. At his home. While someone was carrying in his luggage. Because Lucia Whalen saw a black man, who uses a cane, having trouble with his own door. Because he'd had a break-in recently. And then he gets arrested for yelling at the cops. Long after showing ID that said he lived there. Oh, it is a fucking doozy.