Why I don't feel sorry for Henry Louis Gates

I might be kicked out of “The Black scholars club” for saying this, but the truth is that I don’t feel sorry for Henry Louis Gates. America is far more capitalist than it is racist, so a distinguished Harvard University Professor like Gates is likely to get more respect than the average White American. The idea that he is somehow the victim of the same racism that sends poor Black men to prison simply doesn’t fly with me, and Gates should be careful about appearing to exploit the plight of Black men across America to win his battle of egos with the Cambridge Police Department. At worst, Gates has been a victim of racial profiling by the woman who called the police, as well as the officer who may have interpreted his protests as being more belligerent than they actually were. The same thing happens to Black boys in the school system, who are suspended at astronomical rates for bad behavior. The fact that the charges have now been dropped against Gates shows that a mistake has clearly been made…

Basically, this situation may have been a battle of two egos: One of them from a Harvard professor who seemed to feel that he should not be disrespected by a lowly police officer; the other from an officer who seemed to feel that a powerful Black professor could be treated differently from a powerful White professor. What is abundantly clear is that this is NOT the case of a poor Black male being exploited by the racist, classist power structure. Perhaps the next time there is another Jena Six incident, Dr. Gates will fight as diligently for poor Black men as he is fighting for himself, and his fight will go beyond writing papers for academic journals that hardly anyone ever reads. I also hope that Cambridge police officers will give the same credibility to wealthy African Americans as they do to their White counterparts. This situation should never have happened.

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