Pretty gutsy stuff from Buzz Bisinger in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
A black thing? A racial-profiling thing? A racist thing?
Those are the motivations most often proffered in the saga of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. vs. the Cambridge police. What other possible explanations are there for a white officer stopping a 58-year-old black man with a cane, in the heinous act of trying to open the door of his own house? But it wasn’t a black thing. Or a racial-profiling thing. Or a racist thing.
It was a cop thing.
It was a thing motivated by the very nature of many police officers – more thin-skinned than a supermodel, filled with self-pity and feelings of persecution over a perceived lack of appreciation, poised to disturb the peace rather than try at all costs to keep it because of their innate aggressiveness and thirst for action, disdainful of the public regardless of race and color and creed.
They are cops. And if you have dealt with a cop in your lifetime, you know their propensity, the nervousness you feel in even approaching one for a traffic direction and the look given in return, as if you have just interrupted the study of the Talmud. You know that the interaction has too many times been unpleasant, unless you are some law and order right-wing radio show snake-oil salesman crafting your beliefs to the reactionary masses who would like to change the name of the tooth fairy to the tooth don’t-ask-don’t-tell.
And he goes on from there. Definitely worth reading.
I’m hoping regular commenter Carl P. will chip in when he gets back from his latest travels; as a former law enforcement type, he has some strong feelings on this issue.
We really need to know when “he disrespected me” became a crime subject to arrest.
PS: For what it’s worth, I was incredibly impressed by Sgt. James Crowley in his news conference following the silly Beer Summit; smart, articulate and clearly a man with a future in politics if he wants it. It’s almost shocking that he would have gotten caught up in this imbroglio.