This one hits close to home for reasons I’ll explain later in the week. Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, co-founder of AfricanDNA.com and The Root Editor In Chief, Henry Louis Gates, was arrested outside his home Thursday for disorderly conduct after trying to get into his own residence. He most likely was frustrated he actually had to force his way into his own crib and probably surprised the police were called. After all, it was his house! Make sure you read the report which is provided below. If you have ever seen Skip on TV or read his work, he definitely (because of his demeanor) should have received a break that has nothing to do with his status. He was in fact in his own crib! Seems like a pattern is occurring in Cambridge as well. Read on.
Here’s the most accurate account of what happened. It’s a statement on behalf of Henry Louis Gates Jr. by his lawyer Charles Ogletree. An excerpt of what happened after Gates was driven to his residence from a trip to China:
Professor Gates was driven to his home by a driver for a local car company. Professor Gates attempted to enter his front door, but the door was damaged. Professor Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm, and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver they were able to force the front door open, and then the driver carried Professor Gates’s luggage into his home.
Professor Gates immediately called the Harvard Real Estate office to report the damage to his door and requested that it be repaired immediately. As he was talking to the Harvard Real Estate office on his portable phone in his house, he observed a uniformed officer on his front porch. When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there. The officer indicated that he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering in progress at this address. Professor Gates informed the officer that he lived there and was a faculty member at Harvard University. The officer then asked Professor Gates whether he could prove that he lived there and taught at Harvard. Professor Gates said that he could, and turned to walk into his kitchen, where he had left his wallet. The officer followed him. Professor Gates handed both his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license to the officer. Both include Professor Gates’s photograph, and the license includes his address.
It goes on. Continue to the root for the entire statement.
.pdf of police report
They were inside his residence and still arrested him? They didn’t know he lived there? Didn’t recognize him? This caller…how long has she been a resident? She doesn’t know of her neighbors…especially one of the preeminent scholars in America? I’m so sick of racism. It totally disgusts me. I’m so sick of talking about it. I hate writing about it (but I mos def will). Personally, this is a matter of respect. Seems like you have to take it in this society or you will always be considered a nigger no matter who the hell you are.