Racial profiling hits a new low. When do we stand up to rise above it?
Renowned professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested for disorderly conduct after a situation involving a suspected break-in at his residence.
Yes. Dr. “Skip” was arrested after being unable to get into his own house.
And, if the statement is correct, it was done after showing identification while sitting in his home.
Further disturbing, the arrest was prompted by a call to police about a possible break-in in the middle of the afternoon, a time when the 58-year-old Gates could be clearly identified as a world-renowned professor or, at the very least, an older African-American gentleman that has been known to walk with a cane on occasion.
This is a situation that has gone too far.
During an era that we hoped would start producing a “post-racial” feel to America, we have gotten just the opposite, an indicator that we have some work to do before race relations in our nation is at a suitable level.
There are some that believe that race relations will never be fine in the United States. I disagree, but I do know that it will never be at an appropriate level if we merely talk without action.
Further, this is not a fight for the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. No offense to them, but they have done plenty.
It’s time for the younger generations of Black America to rise up and defend the dignity of our Greatest Generation – the elders that, in their youth, were the Civil Rights Generation. And at 58, Dr. Gates can be considered a member of that generation.
Our actions must start with our behavior. We must stop any behavior on our end as a people (particularly young Black people) that can be used to feed into excuses for racial profiling. If the pride in having a Black president hasn’t stopped our destruction behavior, our anger at having an elder accosted at his own residence and arrested must.
Our behavior must now start holding folks accountable in a tangible, long-term fashion. If this is a repeat situation with Black professors at Harvard (as some reports are stating), steps must be put into place – immediate steps. If Harvard won’t put them into place, we should – from Black Bay Staters to those that Dr. Gates has touched in some fashion.
This is an outrage that we should handle appropriately but immediately. People may say that they get sick of hearing about reactions to racial incidents, calling some of us “race relations ambulance chasers.” However, if they are sick of hearing about these reactions, we must show that we are sick of experiencing all facets of racial profiling and other forms of residual racism.
Race relations in America are better off than they were 40 years ago. However, unlike what they have said on MSNBC with ‘Toure, it is not an isolated incident, particularly whe