The arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., not known for fiery rhetoric on racial issues, proves to be another divisive moment for uneasy Americans. Some rush to defend the white police officer who arrested Gates in his own home, while others express anger over the unfair treatment of a respected intellectual. Gary Younge wrote, “[T]he fact that racism might affect a Harvard professor is amazing only if one buys into the idea that black people who have reached a certain status should be exempt from racism. If you believe that, then the problem with Gates’s arrest is not racism. It’s that he was treated like a regular black person.”
President Obama tries to broker peace by inviting Gates and Officer Crowley to the White House for a beer, but the incident only reopens barely-healed racial wounds.
Photo courtesy of the White House.