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Black, White and Gray July 27, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics.

ZEBAtitleYes, I have been uncharacteristically silent over the Crowley/Gatesgate brouhaha. How come, you say?  Well, I have been thinking about the issue almost nonstop and am constantly changing my mind. What, you say?  How could a left wing, protest marching, peacenik not have a firm opinion?

The short answer is that I have a very good friend who is a cop (Hi Matt).  I have heard stories from him that would make your hair curl (mine is already curly). I have learned over the years that there are two sides (sometimes more) to a story and that things that you see and hear, at first glance, are not always the truth.

There is no doubt in my mind that if a trickle of DNA fate had been different, and I was born a black man, I would probably be dead by now. My rage would most likely had gotten me killed.  But I turned out a placard holding, socialist leaning, lefty female who has never even gotten arrested (and I have tried).

I think the President’s usage of the word ‘stupidly’ in his press conference, was ill chosen.  I applaud his quick turn around and offering of an olive branch (although in this case the olive branch turns out to be a beer).

So what happened?  I think both Officer Crowley and Professor Gates allowed a situation to get out of hand.  Professor Gates had jet lag, could not get into his own house and was pissed. Who knows what other things Officer Crowley had to deal with on that day to shorten his temper?  Both men could have diffused the situation – but did not.  Luckily, no one got shot.

The incident has reopened a  much needed dialogue about this issue.  Driving while black or Latino should not make you subject to stops and searches at the high percentage rates that exist.  You should be able to get a taxi in NYC if you are black.  You should not be put at a restaurant table near the kitchen if you are a minority.  Black camp children should definitely not be asked to leave an all white swimming pool in Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in this vast land.

Racism is alive and sadly thriving in America and we have a long way to go.  It would be a good idea if we all stepped back, took some deep breaths and put ourselves in the other persons shoes.  How would you feel?



1. Bonnie Luria - July 27, 2009

The grey area is the very one that makes me reticent to be on a jury.
I don’t want to judge a situation that I didn’t witness first hand.
Or was directly involved in.
I suspect that the only reason it’s worked it’s way up to Pennsylvania Avenue is because of Gates’ stature and position in life. If he was a store clerk, or a gypsy cabbie or just a dad trying to get into his house would it have gone this far?
So in the end, is it race or is it class that will diminish the flames?

I sense that they both have their salient points and because it gets top billing, both sides will have an opportunity to lift a glass and clear the air.

Others will not be so lucky.

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