Racial Profiling

Alright this is my last analysis on this whole Gates/Crowley & now Obama episode in Cambridge, MA. This leads me to get something off my chest about racial profiling that someone has to say. Some will agree with me and some will choose to remain silent or get mad. Either way I’m saying it.

President Obama answered the question asked of him as a Black man who is President, not as the President who is Black. What that means is that he was responding to the question as Barack Obama the man, and to apply more emphasis, a Black man who is all too familiar with the various forms of racial profiling in the United States. Now as President and top politician he’s only profiled by Republicans and the fringe groups within the Republican Party, just as many Democrats profiles Dick Cheney as evil.

Example many can relate to:  Some think or see a Black man and are suspicious; some see a White man and think racist. Which is true?

The problem is that we harbor so much mistrust of each other that we subconsciously can’t get past it. This is the core of our problem with race, religion and politics in this country and world; trust.

Some read this blog and only comment when they see an opening for disagreement. I’m suspicious of those individuals because over time that pattern exposes them. Although I sincerely strive not to consider them and it’s a challenge, I have to constantly remind myself to take advantage of the mistrust as an opportunity to teach and learn instead of get even.

The arrest of Dr. Henry Louis Gates is classic of what it is to be a Black man in America. Many Black people (and for those who don’t know I’m Black too) are tired of enduring this, but it’s not contained to just Blacks because our Latino friends receive the same level of suspicion too.

So as Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) who is proposing a resolution to make the President apologize, other Republicans in the House & Senate seek to score cheap political points. This is ridiculous.

It’s refreshing to have a President that’s considerate, although it can be a political liability at times if not properly applied. But I like what the President is doing.

Those who are so filled with their misunderstanding and lack of consideration for others will miss what the President’s gesture will accomplish. To have Dr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley come to the White House for a beer is a modern example of what went on long ago after the demonstrations in places like Birmingham and Montgomery for those who have really studied all of American History. The President is using the opportunity not to bully or gain any points, but as an opportunity to teach and for everyone to learn.

Reconciliation, consideration of others and helping to close the bridge of mistrust we continue to harbor towards one another is the lesson to be taught and learned. Will you receive it and how will you apply it?

References & Inspirations
Boston Globe – 07/28/09 “Gates, Crowley Meeting at White House set for 6pm Thursday
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STORY UPDATE:
CNN – 07/30/09 “Boston Officer’s Apparent Racial Slur May Get Him Fired
Quick Comment:
Now isn’t this what I’ve been talking about. Isn’t there a NY Post editor or someone who could have whispered in this guy’s ear to tell him that “if you’re not a racist, then don’t make a comment like the one you’re sending in an email.”
What part of calling Dr. Gates a “banana-eating jungle monkey” do you not understand as being racist?
Were you that isolated that you don’t realize the historical racial implications of such a statement?
This is exactly what I’m talking about everyone. Officer Justin Barrett may not be racist; his “best friend may be black”. But that doesn’t mean that he’s immune from making or suggesting something that he may be culturally unaware of, because he has not had to confront it in his daily activities. I just shake my head.
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5 thoughts on “Racial Profiling

  1. The other day you wrote to me about the way President Obama answered the question. I mulled it over, agreed, and accepted it … and still do. On the other hand, as the president, I still believe he made an error. Saying you don’t know the facts, but then following with a stinging comment was a poor choice of words. I caught that right away and haven’t been convinced otherwise since.

    Reconciliation is powerful, but before reconciling can occur, a person must admit something wasn’t right about their own behavior. For instance, before one can reconcile aspects about their racial views, they must be willing to admit their own racist attitude.

    As always, good thoughts Tim!

    1. I agree that the President shouldn’t have said it in the way he did, being who he is. Primarily because he is the President and not ‘just some dude giving his opinion’. I still think there’s a need for a Cultural Adviser, Secretary or Czar of Cultural Affairs or just some entity that can help mode the conversation and relations in the country on these types of issues. Most of our racial, religious and cultural issues are due to a lack of communication, consideration and socialization. The President should have answered the question as a President and not as a Black man who is President. Politically poor choice of words, but I agree that this wouldn’t have happen if Dr. Gates was not Black. Many may not believe me, but it’s unfortunately true more often than false.

      The one thing that I believe Dr. Gates has missed is recognizing the level of his prominence among well connected Blacks, such as Dr. Charles Olgatree who’s representing him, Dr. Cornell West, Dr. Eddie Glaude and President Obama. These are some highly intelligent, successful and connected people, one being the top politician. Many people outside of the circle and/or pays little attention to what these people have to say may begin to pay attention more. If this was me it wouldn’t get a mention, but since it was Henry L. Gates it got the attention of all of these people, the press all the way to the President. That says something about who Dr. Gates is.

      I absolutely agree to your comments about reconciliation. Half the battle is getting people to recognize the problem from all sides before they can admit anything. We both know of someone like that 🙂 but I’m not saying any names.

      Anyway, I have another week of touchy subjects to cover and more people to upset before I get off into something else. I greatly appreciate you taking time to even consider my response. I knew you wasn’t bashing anyone, my comment was more for those who may read it than directed towards you. We’ll see how the “Beer Summit” goes.

  2. I tend to agree with both of your comments,
    The President should have refrained from extra comments after saying he did not have the facts.
    I do wonder if Dr Gates would have been arrested if he did not get as angry as he has reportedly did at Officer Crowley. That may have fueled the situation. But of course The officer may have been treating Professor Gates different because he was Black, and there is the problem that we face as a Country.
    Now as far as the meeting goes, I think President Obama is attempting to turn this into a positive and I hope it works,
    But I have heard alot of people (all white) say they believe Obama is a racist and nothing will change their mind, But they did not this issue to make them feel that way, 90% of those hate Obama for one reason and one reason only.
    I do believe that if a Republican Black President (Say J C Watts) had been the 1st one elected the hatred would becoming from many of the same groups, and that shows all of us that we have a long way to go in this country and I am afraid it will take at least one to 2 generations of people to pass on till this improves dramatically.

    1. I agree with you Larry.

      You also surprised me with one statement. I think those who ignorantly claim that President Obama is racist, which is funny to even say knowing his heritage, are unwilling to admit a truth to and about themselves in regards to race. I would invite them to a conversation about race, but I doubt they would be willing to take me up on that. People such as Glenn Beck and many others at FOX News are not in the business of reconciliation, but division. I will even include MSNBC in that too. The token Republican on MSNBC, “Morning Joe” is just like the token Democrat on FOX “Colmes of Hannity & Colmes”. They made their points, but neither are credible among the majority of the viewing audience. Glenn Beck (a clown) calls Obama a racist. I laughed at him because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      Now the GOP have someone that could have easily become President who is Black; Colin Powell. BTW, I like J.C. Watts too. But the problem regarding race will not be solved over a beer, if so Dr. King would be here today. I think it’s a good gesture, but I would absolutely love to just talk about race with the world. I think one harsh way to help people see the problem is by replacing Black with White or even White Women and determine how different the response from all parties would have been. Many believe it would be the same, but I bet it wouldn’t.

      I love the fact Barack Obama is President, because it forces people to confront race in ways many are not accustom to accepting. I’ll write on that very soon.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments Larry. I agree with your analysis.

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