Curly Morris

Posts Tagged ‘Crowley’

Stupid ‘is’ as stupid ‘does’

In Politics, Racism, Uncategorized on July 27, 2009 at 1:02 am

Conspiracy or Stupidity?

Conspiracy or Stupidity?

Which of these three men acted more ‘stupidly’ in the past week?
A. Professor Henry Louis Gates
B. Sgt. James Crowley
C. President Barack Obama

Well, let us attempt to make sense of the actions of these individuals before we determine a winner to our ‘stupidest’ contest. I will not rehash the entire story because by now anyone who follows any news source is familiar with the incident in Cambridge Mass. on July 16th. In summation,Gates was arrested by officer Crowley and charged with disorderly conduct after being questioned about a suspected “break in” by Gates at his own home. President Obama subsequently chimed in with his opinion on the incident, infuriating law enforcement officers nationally with his unflattering characterization of Crowley’s handling of Gates.

Immediately after Gates arrest, every major (and minor) media outlet seized the opportunity to bring yet another story of racism among police officers against African Americans. Unfortunately for Crowley and the Cambridge police department, Gates, to paraphrase the words of that great negro poet Ice Cube was obviously the wrong brother to mess with. All charges against Gates were eventually dismissed.

I decided to hold off making any commentary about the incident until I heard all the talking heads who offered opinions and analysis on the matter, and until I felt as though I had enough factual information about the events on July 16th to make a qualified assessment.

Now, back to the contest.

Professor Gates has been one of the premiere voices of African American experience for several decades now and has been recognized as one of the most distinguished and articulate voices to come from Black Academia in the history of our nation. Gates has a degree from Yale, has taught at that University as well as Cornell and Duke University. He has authored or co-authored no less than 11 books and in 1997 Time Magazine listed him as one of the “25 Most Influential Americans”. Oh, did I mention that he has the President of the United States on his speed dial? To put it bluntly, the man is very, very, very smart.

Still he obviously is not smart enough to know that black people are not allowed to get belligerent with white police officers in Massachusetts. I wonder if throughout Gates’ career defining the African American experience anyone ever bothered to hand him a copy of the memo that has been circulating around ‘the hood’ since the beginning of time that says black man rule number one: police do not need a reason to arrest black people and any arrest could easily result in a severe beating and/or being shot. Gates was within his rights to be perturbed that he was being questioned about his identity while standing in his own home, but if Crowley had decided to shoot him instead of arrest him (a real possibility in America) the story coming out of the Cambridge P.D. would have been very different. Plus when the President is your man there are two things to immediately consider. Firstly, if he had kept his cool he could have had Crowley demoted to School Crossing Guard with one phone call. Second, when your man is the big boss, don’t put him out in public to deal with a mess, have that conversation on the low.

Sgt James Crowley is a member of the Cambridge Mass. Police Department…translation: Sgt. Crowley has been trained the there is no bigger threat to this nation than a black man. It doesn’t matter if the black man is 60 years old, walks with a cane and is standing in his own home, black is black. Crowley had an opportunity to give Gates what I call the Fred Sanford pass. If you’ve ever watched the 70’s television show Sanford & Son, you’ll notice that Red Foxx’s character Fred G. Sanford was always loud and obnoxious whenever the police showed up at his place of business. Sanford was never degrading per se, just loud enough to say to the police, I’m a black man that had made to 60 years old in this country and your desk Sgt is going to look at you like a moron for dragging me down to the station because I was shouting. Instead Crowley, clearly disrespected by Gates’ remarks, one of which evidently referenced Crowley’s mother, decided to arrest Gates on the old ‘Disorderly Conduct’ law. A law so vague that I’m sure that if your neighbors hear you and your spouse making love too loudly, you can be booked.

Crowley is a police Sargent, not some beat cop fresh out of the academy. He has certainly seen enough real crime and debauchery in his career to understand how a black man that can afford to live in the community where Gates lives is certainly going to get a few things off his chest when the police are harassing him, and once Gates produced identification that verified that he was indeed in his own home, then every moment that Crowely remained at the residence in a shouting match with the professor was indeed harassment.

President Barack Obama has a million things on his plate right now and the Republican Party is breathing down his neck every second of the day. He also has at least half a dozen writers and/or advisors who are supposed to filter his every word before he verbalizes anything to the public. Saying that Crowley acted ‘stupidly’, while indeed quite accurate, is not speech that becomes the President of the United States. That was a George W. Bush slip-up. Although I sure Bush would said something like “Sgt Crowley acted un-racified” or something along those lines. Obama should’ve taken the high road on this matter, a simple “The incident with Mr. Gates seems to be the result of several layers of miscommunication and while unfortunate for Mr. Gates, I’m confident the Cambridge P.D. will have Mr. Gates best interest in mind once things settle down a bit”. Then he could’ve called the Governor of Massachusetts and made it clear that Gates was a friend and Obama would like nothing more than for Crowley to be working the crosswalk at a local elementary school by the next day.

For all you Obama haters that think that would tantamount to abuse of power I have two words for you ‘Scooter Libby’.

Instead Obama jumped the gun and has since been forced to back pedal and even offer up an apology to Crowley who in my humble opinion really does need to be working school crosswalks, preferably in black neighborhoods for at least the next six months. What Obama did was give fuel to all self respecting, profiling police officers nationwide to inform us how much their feelings were hurt and they felt disrespected (which seems to me to be grounds for mass disorderly conduct arrests…hmmmm).

So who was the most stupid Gates, Crowley or Obama?

Neither of them, if you ask me, they were all about the same. In my opinion the stupidest person in the entire affair was Lucia Whalen who works for the Harvard alumni magazine and you would certainly think she knows who Gates is and where he lives, I mean she works on the same block where Gates lives and Gates is probably the most recognized black man in the region not named Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce. Whalen, who was driving by the house told two police she saw two black men with backpacks on the porch of Gates home. When in fact the men had two suitcases and one of them was indeed a gray haired man walking with a cane and it was broad daylight. Excuse me if that visual doesn’t strike me as a your typical ‘breaking and entering’ scenario.

Then again to an overzealous 40 something white woman maybe that does look like a threatening situation, which I guess if the problem in the first place.