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Henry Louis Gates Jr. and racial profiling
Why the arrest of the prominent black academic matters even though police have dropped the charges
T

he arrest of eminent Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., said Carol Rose in The Boston Globe, is fresh proof of the evils of racial profiling. Cambridge police, who have wisely dropped all charges, clearly treated Gates as "suspicious"—even though he was in his own home. And the incident illustrated that Gates wasn't being disorderly when he told an officer "this is what happens to black men in America"—he was just speaking the truth.

Few people are naive enough to claim racial profiling doesn't happen, said Kevin Aylward in Wizbang, but that doesn't mean Henry Louis Gates Jr. should be crying victim. Gates says he wasn't yelling or being uncooperative with an officer investigating a report of a burglary at Gates' home—but the police report tells a different story. Anyone who's as "uncooperative" with investigating officers as Gates was could end up in the back of a squad car.

Maybe Henry Louis Gates Jr. was "loud and assertive," said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. If he was, it's easy to understand why. "The real problem is that his color trumped everything else, including his prominence, his familiarity with the house, and his identification showing that he lived there. It demoted him from citizen to suspect."

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