Seeing Black and Seeing Red

The prism of race made Henry Louis Gates Jr. appear to be just another suspect.

Posted:
 
haygoodj2
OhioHistoryCentral.org

I loved living in Cambridge, Mass., except when I didn't. And when I didn't was when I had left my apartment late at night to walk to the all-night corner grocery store with just that $10 bill stuffed into my pocket, having left my wallet on the bookcase in the hallway. Then, strolling along, soon as I spotted a police car, I'd tighten: Dammit, I'm gonna get stopped. Maybe some black guy broke into a home two blocks over. Maybe he was over 6 feet and slim like myself. Maybe there was no black guy two blocks over. I could, in that flash, without any ID, picture myself sitting in the police car, handcuffed. And then when the car would pass, when I'd finally exhale, I dared not look back over my shoulder, lest the officer think I was checking him out checking me out through his rearview mirror, which would have been a telltale sign of some kind of wrongdoing in motion.

Charles Ogletree gives Gates' side of the story.

Karen Grigsby Bates on when apologies aren't enough.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM