Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who the Hell are you living next to?

Lyfe Jennings : I know your style dude… Tell it to the next man!
I ain't buying it ….. Sell it to the next man!
Going Postal…… well mail it to the next Man!
Cause I can't hear that bull shi…..!!!!

I listen to the drums and most of the Black Bloggers pull from the same wells so I didn't post anything about this right away but after reading several of my colleagues pieces and following the Dick Gregory method of listening to the news (Dick Gregory advises to write down the first reports and listen to how the facts get changed.) I have a question that no one else has covered.


Dr. Henry Louis Gates known affectionately as "Skip", a Harvard Professor and writer of several heavy books comes home from a trip and can't get into his home.

Here are the 1st news reports courtesy of NPR: Dr. Gates comes home and can't get the front door open. Something is wrong with either the key or the lock.

2. Dr. Gates asks the cab driver to assist him in opening the door. This does not work.

3. Dr. Gates goes around back while the cab driver remains at the front door with his luggage.

4. Dr. Gates opens the rear door and calls the alarm company.

5. Dr. Gates opens the front door.

Now here's where it gets interesting. It is reported that someone has placed a call to police. Possible Robbery. Nothing wrong with that right?

Question? Did they know or care what Dr. Gates looked like? Did they know their neighbor? Who their neighbor was?

The Police Officer arrived to investigate. No Problem again. However after an explanation had been provided including drivers license and the alarm company phone number it should have ended right there! Thank You Dr. Gates, have a good evening. Right?


Now, words are exchanged between Dr. Gates and the Officer. The Police Officer arrests and handcuffs Dr. Gates.

What Words?

I don't know but I believe that I can find out a fair plausible facsimile using Dr. Funkenstein's Hyper Funken Telakey!

Just give me a few moments to warm up the device.

Device booting up: To Capture a Booty You must attack from the Back!

Password: To the Rear March!

Now we're ready!

Police Officer: Hold it right there!

Dr Gates has his hands up as does the cab driver. He is careful not to make any sudden moves! The cab driver has stopped breathing completely.

Police Officer: We received a possible breaking and entering report from this address!

Dr. Gates: Officer, this is my home. I was just having some trouble getting the front door unlocked.

Officer: Do you have any Id?

Dr. Gates: Yes! This is my House!
Now the rest of the conversation is really speculative. Let's just go over some of the facts.
The Lead officer was a White Man. Did he own or live in a house as nice as Dr. Gates? Was this that Cops neighborhood? And just assuming that the officer could live in the neighborhood how many Black Folks did he know who lived there?
Now, there were two other officers on the scene as well from what I understand. Both were Black! What the hell were they doing when Dr. Gates and the White Officer were having their exchange? Did they emphasize with Dr. Gates, A Black Brother, or did they just act like Cops?
Could that have been the problem?
Then Dr. Gates says the stupidest thing a Black Man can say when dealing with the police.
Dr Gates: "Let me have your badge numbers and name I'm filing a Complaint!"
Any Black person knows that it's not smart to announce you are filing a complaint to the officer.
You might get arrested....just like Dr. Gates!
You wait until the officers leave then you calmly call your attorney then go over to the nearest police station and file a complaint.
Was Racial Profiling involved? Hell yeah! How many Black people live in that neighborhood? How many teach at Harvard? Hell Yeah? Did any of Dr. Gates neighbors come out and to check to make sure Dr. Gates was okay? That's Dr. Gates home? He's out of town, I hope that every things alright? Probably not! That's something for Dr. Gates to examine then maybe he needs to hire a Realtor.
I think that the cop felt that this Nigga was yelling at him, that he didn't know his place and he was gonna teach him a lesson. The lesson was that I'm a Cop and that you better know that you will never be so powerful or high up that I have to give you any respect!
Don't believe me? What did Dr. Gates say to the officers that was an arrestable offense? He already proved it was his home, he already proved no robbery had occurred. So what?
Malcolm X once asked a Black Man on a television forum what do White folks call a Black Doctor or an engineer?
A Nigger!
Think on that!
BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!


Keli said...

I know my neighbors won't have my nosy as the lil old lady who lives downstairs from me is...she would probably call the police if she say some of my male friends walking up the some suspicious activity. Suspicion of what you ask? Walking while black.

But I can't stop to say that everything would be gravy if I were to reside in a predominately black neighborhood either.

The law is still the law...meaning, police officers feel that they have rights above and beyond other citizens...especially those of color.

And black officers...when he uniform...well, most are not going to stand up for what's right...that codes against the code and could potentially be career suicide. Not too mention the fact that some black men put on that badge and uniform, then begins to believe that we should call him "Boss".

Police officers in general fail to realize their job is to protect and serve...not abuse and harass.

Lady K said...

I know each and every one of my neighbors. Personally? No but I know where who lives. That is all I need to know.

However, I agree. People are not gonna help you if you are their neighbor or their good friend especially if they are of different color from you.

As for police, I don't trust them any further than I go to my bathroom. I am right next to it.

AyeCee. said...

My neighbor next door is a pest. Always bugging us..asking for shit. Harrassing me. The neighbor above us..I hardly see the girl...but i always hear her and her man fighting...beating the shit out of her. smh. The other neighbor is cool. Real funny and laid back.

But I argree with the others.

Miss.Stefanie said...

My neighbors are nosy ass old folks who think every man who comes to my door is my lover. -smh-

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hey Jaycee,

I wrote about this same this issue too. I focused on the unspoken rule of "Reverential Deference" a Black man is required to give to anyone in uniform.

Even a brother from Harvard should know that asking a White cop for his name and badge number is like looking up when a pidgeon flies overhead.

I wasn't inside the home of Dr. Gates when this situation went down. Personally, I'm tired of hearing that, "Officer what's his name is a credit to the police department and is not a racist".

I'm tired because this event didn't have to play out the way it did!

A neighbor of Professor Gates called 911 to report a break in?

Harvard Campus Police arrived at the scene and verified Professor Gates as the occupant of the home.

None of Professor Gates neighbors spoke up on his behalf.

What exactly was the tipping point that got Professor Gates arrested, handcuffed, booked and finger printed? What did he say that warranted the arrest of a 58 year old college professor?

If the arrest was warranted, why were the charges dropped?

I guess if this were on the playground, someone would be saying, "No harm, no foul".


ChocolateOrchid said...

Enjoyed this post Mista Jaycee.

It is what it is. We all know what happened (for the most part) without even being present. You spelled it out pretty well.
Now I do speculate the Dr. Gates went off on said white cop so intelligently that this sent the cops anger soaring even higher. After all, have to keep a n-gga in his place. Goodness, the more things change the more the stay the same.

*shakin' my damn head**

Splash said...

when will it end?? this topic frustrates me bad.

i naija, we use to know our neighbours very well. now, we do not send as much. i thank God sha, i have caring neighbours.

in naija the police are cruel to everybody. i'm sure if they were white they'd shoot on sight.