Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dr Boyce: Henry Louis Gates and His “Teachable Moment”

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week on a charge of disorderly conduct.

Boyce Watkins
Professor, Syracuse University

Dr Watkins' comments on the Anderson Cooper 360 Blog

I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are infected with a disease. The disease that has infected you is called racism. The disease is a silent killer, not of our bodies, but of our society. It also deteriorates the brain and makes us delusional, as we sometimes see things that are not really there or refuse to see things that are actually right in front of us. What’s worse is that we know the disease is in the fabric of our institutions, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location. This leads to sloppy missteps, embarrassments and damaging accusations.

Henry Louis Gates, the Prominent Harvard University Professor who was arrested this week at his home by Cambridge Police Officer James Crawley, may have been a victim of the disease of racism. Even he has gotten to the point of stating that this story is no longer about race and his buddy, President Obama, has been back-peddling faster than a free safety in the NFL. In the midst of letting go of his allegations of racism against Sgt. Crawley (which I thought was a very good idea) Professor Gates has stated that we should use this situation as a “teaching moment.” It is also my hope that Dr. Gates understands that the first step toward being a good professor is to learn how to be a good student. As a professor myself, I am hopeful that he will allow me to teach the first class.

Click to read.


Anonymous said...

I am a proud Black woman, and I do not care what anyone says about "allegations of racism" regarding Professor Gates' arrest! A fundamental and undisputed fact remains; more often than not, Black men (women and children) are unfairly profiled and stereotyped in this country. NO ONE should have to PROVE their identity IN THEIR OWN HOME.

When questioned about this unfortunate incident, President Obama described the Cambridge Police Department's actions as "stupid". Once stated, the truth cannot be taken back -- apologizing with beer or not. The policeman arresting, hand-cuffing and booking Professor Gates, a disabled man, is absolutely wrong!

While I'm no scholar (prominent or otherwise), and not a homeowner, I'd probably express and feel outrage too. Whether we know all the facts or not, what took place was IN the Professor's home. Whatever Gates said while in his house is his right -- just as the right to shoot threatening and/or unlawful intruders in one's home. Even if the Professor called police Mother F'ers or said, "Get the F OUT of my house," its his prerogative.

President Obama's response is fuel for Republican racists, and he supposedly offended ALL police departments in America. This is such a load of crap and another excuse to "hate on" the President. There seems to be an unbelievable and ongoing shock to many Republicans, bigots, and extremists about our President. A Black man is actually living in the White house, running things, and the HNIC (if you're Black you understand this abbreviation; if not, go figure). According to the "BIRTHERS," with the support of a few White Congressmen and media folks, Obama was not born in the U.S.A. and is not a citizen. Their theory: Obama is not the President of the United States and needs to show a birth certificate. A white woman in Delaware declared: "I want my country back." This is ridiculous! Ignorance, envy, hatred, racism, cowardice and fear keep this stupidity alive. The hatred of Blacks and Latinos in this country is sickening and sad!

I'd like to say to Professor Gates: I'm glad you stood up for yourself, and I'm sorry that many are tryng to minimize your right to do so. The degradation you experienced, upon your return from China, is familiar to many Blacks in America. I'm proud of your courage in exposing the never-ending profiling of Black people while driving, walking, shopping, and now, while at home!
Thank you, Professor Gates.

Yo said...

Anonymous - you hit the nail on the head - you took the words right out of my mouth! Citizens have a right to get angry in their OWN HOME!!!!!


Yo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yo said...

Anonymous - You took the words right out of my mouth! That is exactly what I was thinking! Citizens can be angry in their OWN HOME!!!!!