We don't necessarily agree that the rather unnecessary arrest of Professor Gages in his own home for disorderly conduct after being questioned on suspicion of breaking and entering into his own home is "reverse Rosa Parks."
But it is with this analysis that we take issue:
By now it is clear that Gates erred in accusing Crowley of racial animus or profiling. The worst that can be said about the officer is that he acted stupidly by remaining on the scene once he had established that Gates had every right to be thereIt was likely an exercise of extremely poor judgment to remain on the scene "once he had established that Gates had every right to be there." (Being as it was his home, and all. We also wonder what was said in the way of apology to Gates, or with respect to the idea that he was no longer under suspicion for breaking and entering into his own home -- something which seems to be woefully absent from even the police report perspective). We even made this suggestion, rather pointedly. But what we think Taranto might be missing, is this rather elementary inquiry:
Why did he remain on the scene? Because someone who is known to have an expertise in the field of racial sensitivities, and even teaches an apparently well received class on racial profiling, did not understand why Gates -- even if he overreacted (and it seems fair to conclude, Gates did) might have been so upset?
Taranto seems so certain that racism was not involved -- we're not at all sure how. But might not racism be one very likely reason as to why the officer remained on the scene after the incident -- that is, after a clear, "classic case" of misunderstanding" -- was cleared up?
Because Gates was mad and giving the officer perhaps some unwarranted grief? Because the officer wanted to exert an authority (clue up Eric Cartman here: You will respect my a tor eh tay!)? We don't know. We only wonder how the WSJ's Taranto, so clearly, does.
On the other hand, while we agree with Gates that [it would be fallacy] to believe that we live in a post racial world -- obviously -- we agree with Taranto that Gates' claims that there have not been fundamental structural changes in America, might be somewhat questionable.
Gates is one of the better known scholars of race in America. We think rather ironically -- even more so than the fact that Crowley, his new drinking buddy with President Obama (if Gates drank) teaches a class on racial profiling and racial sensitivity . We are not sure what he means by this, but we're not at all sure he's completely correct, either.