If Dr. Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor and well-known scholar, can be arrested in his home there's one thing to conclude: it's absolutely ridiculous to think we live in a post-racial America and profiling black men is part of the DNA of America.
Dr. Gates misplaced his keys and simply had to break into his own home. A passerby saw the break in and alerted the police. I guess that's what people do when they walk through Cambridge and see a black man break into a home. You know, because a black man, a black professor, the owner of the home, is an evil little thieving monster and if he's not reigned in he might try to steal the gold from your tooth. Now apparently the police asked for Dr. Gates' I.D. and he gave it to them, but quickly expressed his outrage about the intrusion. He called the police officer racist over and over and allegedly surprised the officer and the neighbors with his behavior. I love it. The officer and the neighbors were surprised that Gates, a black man, would express outrage at the relentless profiling that black men endure on a daily. I can just imagine their thoughts: “Why is Dr. Gates so upset? It’s only your classic racial profiling of a black man in America. It’s not like someone toilet-papered his home or kidnapped his pooch.”
Look, I would have screamed, too. I would have called the cop a racist, among other things. I don't know how many times black men have to explain that we're profiled everyday and enough is enough. From being pulled over for allegedly looking like a drug dealer to walking down the street eating an apple, it's all dehumanizing. My paternal grand-uncle was killed by white police for not letting them enter his Georgia home and search for a "fugitive". Incidents like this happen all of the time and the degree of outrage should never be… surprising.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.