Monday, August 03, 2009

The Gates Episode

I haven't commented on the Skip Gates episode, because, well, what't the point. But I think everyone is missing a vital aspect of it.

Perhaps it is about race -- I'm not sure. Frankly neither party looks very good in this affair. I can't read the mind of the police officer (re: racism), and I can't put myself in the shoes of a black man (though Gates seemed quick to toss the word "mama" around. But it was his house.)

In any case, what the case is about is class. Gates got handled with kid gloves because, regardless of his race, he's a member of the upper class. If you or I were in his situation, the police would have hauled you down to the station and no one would have cared and you'd never get an apology, let alone an acknowledgment that they did anything wrong. The newspapers wouldn't have written about and the President wouldn't have commented about it. You'd just be another of the hundreds (thousands?) of people who are, every day, subject to the arrogance of today's police forces. I've seen that in person, and I'm a "privileged" white guy.

Gates doesn't know how good he has it.

1 comment:

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