Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival


Talking While Stupid: White Evangelicals, Dr. Gates and President Obama

posted by Brian McLaren

I think President Obama was right to soften the tone of his statement the other day on the Gates arrest incident; the word “stupid” wasn’t a helpful word choice.

But the word, I think, accurately describes the reaction of a lot of white male commentators to the incident.

Let’s assume (for a minute, anyway) that Sgt. Leon Lashley, the African American officer who was present at the arrest, got it right when he said Dr. Gates reacted inappropriately to the investigating white police officer, Sgt. James Crowley. Further, let’s assume that Sgt. Crowley acted “according to protocol” in arresting Dr. Gates for his overreaction. And further, let’s assume that President Obama spoke inappropriately when he used the word “stupidly” without knowing the full story. I’m not saying this is the whole story, or the best way to view the story, but even if we grant these assumptions …

What remains truly stupid, in my opinion, is for the discussion to stop where it seems to stop among many cable news pundits, sanctimoniously blaming Gates, Crowley, or Obama for this or that transgression. It’s especially unwise for white folks like me … many of whom remain surprisingly unaware of the concept of white privilege … to fail to see the background reality into which this incident provides a teachable moment. (For a refreshingly reflective analysis, see this short article.)

Whether it’s the Gates incident or the Sotomayor hearings, I am saddened to hear so many white American Christians (Catholic, Evangelical, etc.) jump on the Hannity/Limbaugh/Buchanan/Beck/Fox News bandwagon. Their reactive move toward finding someone to blame — case closed — reveals to me how much these commentators (rather than Billy Graham, any recent Pope, the Bible, or any denominational headquarters) have become the primary source of spiritual formation (not just political misinformation) for large sectors of the white American church.

Sadly, many commentators in the world of Religious Broadcasting simply apply a thick coat of cosmetic prayer and Bible-talk to the same ideology of their secular thought-leaders. (If your blood pressure is low in this regard and you need to notch it up a few points, watch, listen to, or read Bill Moyers’ recent piece on Right Wing Radio … Rage on the Airwaves. Especially note Bill O’Reilly’s spookily frank comments on the “white male power structure.”)

Thank God for bridge-building leaders like pastor Efrem Smith, seeking to provide the American Christian community a more fair, balanced, and wise perspective. He, like many of my friends of color, understands how Dr. Gates must have felt, because he has his own stories of committing the “crime” of DWB or DWH (Driving While Black, or Driving While Hispanic). Notable quote:

It’s important that my White evangelical brothers and sisters not let Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh give the proper perspective on seeing this issue. Jesus had the ability in Scripture of seeing the world from the vantage point of the child, the woman, the Samaritan, and the poor. Why are some evangelical conservatives only willing to see this from the vantage point of the police officer? I know that Dr. Gates isn’t poor, but he does represent the historically marginalized in our nation. And please don’t down-size this social sin to victimization. I’m not a victim, I’m just an African-American male who gets pulled over by the police from time to time for no reason. This is why, I’m with Dr. Gates on this one and you should be too.

“Jesus had the ability … of seeing the world from the vantage point of the [other],” Smith rightly says. The Biblical word for that ability, I think, is compassion. So, as we assess this situation, may we have compassion for Dr. Gates, for Srgts. Lashley and Crowley, for President Obama, and for all our neighbors of whatever skin color who share an ugly history and a messy present moment and the common challenging of creating a better future.

And yes (I’m preaching to my own soul here), may we also feel compassion for the broadcasters whose punditry serves to reinforce white male privilege and reduce compassion for too many of us. After all, they can only speak what’s in their hearts, and right now, there’s a lot of fear and outrage screaming inside them. Their fear and outrage will only grow as resistance to white male privilege grows, white male privilege being so inherent to reality as they have known it that they consider it normal and the way things ought to be. Unless they are liberated from their fear and freed to discover a better vision of how things can be, their reactions will only get even more shrill and extreme.

Without compassion, without the ability to see the world from the vantage of the other, we’re all TWS (talking while stupid).

cross posted from Brianmclaren.net



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Danette Khomsi

posted July 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm


Thank God someone finally GETS IT! I was born and raised in Kansas, and while I seldom witnessed racism, I believed in my heart that racism was finally coming to an end. That is until I move to North Carolina…Talk about culture shock!!! Now I understand why my father moved away while he was in his 20’s. We are Native American/Caucasian and I have personally had comments made to me about “those ^explicative^ Lumbees.” I witness exactly what you are talking about in every single church I have attended here in N.C. My prayer is that God will use me and give me the strength to endure while fellowshiping with my fellow Christian brothers and sisters. God Bless and have mercy on us all.



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Your Name

posted July 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm


It’s not even that they’re unaware of the concept of white privilege…everybody knows that blacks “allegedly” have it harder than whites in our society…but conservative whites deny that such privilege really exists because they themselves have a bad day once in awhile. The qualitative and quantitative distinctions are completely lost on them. But that’s hardly surprising since if there’s one thing we know about conservatives it’s that they completely lack any ability to empathize.



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Ruth Lindsay

posted July 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm


Denying or being blind to privilege is part of how it works and why it is so darn difficult to amend.
Thank you for this article. After all, the civil rights movement was animated and guided by religious, specifically Christian, principles…all of our great social movements have been, and that is why it is so upsetting to see the religious right take over our spiritual traditions…they have made it seem like to be “Christian” is to be white, protestant, and “socially conservative.”
Strange when you consider what a radical Jesus was!
Those of us who continue to draw on Christ’s message of peace and kindness to spread tolerance and inclusivity need to step up our rhetoric up and reclaim the transformative potential of our faith.



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OneGod1

posted July 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm


Pastor Smith certainly has wonderful things to share with the church! I came against such as thing a few years back (when I was pastoring and holding a secular job at the same time). A Black Pentecostal (I’m Caucasian) pastor friend of mine that was doing the same thing (holding down a secular career)told me of driving to a golf course, which was close to where I lived, actually. Upon getting to the “city limits” of a certain villiage, he was pulled over by the police. His crime? Being a Black individual. And this was one mile north of Detroit! Needless to say, the incident DID NOT set well with me.
The next time, two younger men that were openly homosexual, had attended an evening evangelistic service at the church. They were quite welcome, actually. There wasn’t any “problem” with their presence at the church. Matter of fact, I was counseling one of the couple on a regular basis at the time. Upon their exiting the parking lot of the church and getting onto the public street while in their car, they were pulled over by the police and given a “talking to”. Their crime? Being Gay.
When is the ridiculousness going to stop? Yes — we need law and order and not anarchy. But this hateful, militaristic, nationalistic, white-only, (overweight) conservatime white men-only, if you vote outside of this particular ticket you’re not a true Christian, mentality in a religious cloak come from? When is it going away?



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Your Name

posted July 26, 2009 at 10:21 pm


Shock jocks can spew hate speech causing vulnerable laid off folk to go out and “kill Liberals,” but, O uses “stupid” to describe what happens too often to people of color. Skip was jet-lagged and most of us would be upset if we forgot our keys. Who is the alleged good neighbor who made the call? Isn’t that a reasonable question? Why? Any interest? I’ve seen too many black folk targeted by cops, in my days playing basketball on playgrounds. There is a clear campaign to let hate speech go, and call Obama names for what was overtly inappropriate behavior by cops who drip authority when ever a chance arises. Reagan erased the Fairness Doctrine in 86. There is clear disparity in the use of brutality speech, and Obama’s attempt to sort out what happenend.



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Your Name

posted July 27, 2009 at 7:20 am


RACISM IS IGNORANT, and Obama sure proved he is a racial profile from way back as well as his dear friend? They cannot deny it or cover it up with an apology either? I have seen him in Chicago on a platform while a Senator go totally ghetto on a guy right on the stage! There is no denying that people are creatures of habits, and they are not going to change either. It is nice to wish and talk the game but when it all comes to light the truth will prevail. They are really beating a dead horse here in the media and it is just another case of smoke and mirrors in the Big O administration? Reverend Wrong, was the first clue about Obama? You cannot tell me he was not a follower and that he isn’t an anti semite? I don’t care he is with the Pritzker family? DUH? So they took him in as a token and he played them like a banjo? ha ha The Rothchilds did the same thing with Hitler? DUH? Obama refused to put his hand on the Bible when he took his oath for US Senate in Illinois! Now why is that? Because he is not a Christian! And so what? Who cares? But why lie about it? He has lied about Rev Wright, Acorn, his association with Rivka? His association with the Black Muslims in Chitown? his association with Farkhan? who else? DUH?



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churchmouse

posted July 27, 2009 at 11:59 am


Reclaim what Ruth? Do you mean we must embrace sin in a different way? Be more specific.
OneGod1 most the police in Detroit are black, 63%. Do you not think that blacks might use this as an excuse for getting pulled over, using the race card. And Obama was quick to make comment having to eat his words later.
I am a Michigander and at one time used to live around this area. There is a lot of crime. Should police be easier on blacks than whites? Some might say in this area there is reverse discrimination.
You cant tell someone is gay watching them in their car driving down the road? I don’t believe it. Not in a society where half the television programs embrace the gay lifestyle. Not in a town like Detroit.
There is also a double standard today in society. Blacks are afforded freedoms that whites simply do not have. Take the music industry. No white musician can use the lyrics describing blacks the way blacks can. The “N” word is exclusively used by blacks to mean whatever they want it to mean. This trickles down into society into daily language.
The fact is …Obama spoke to soon and eventually had to apologize if that’s what you’d like to call it. He sat in his uncle Wrights racist, anti-America hate filled church for over twenty years and listened to him preach about hating America and whites. He only kicked Wright to the curb because he needed votes and was afraid what his affiliation would do to the campaign. Had he been a Republican the media would have crucified him.
And aren’t their bigger issues that Obama should be concerned with? Like YourName said, he is a liar and the media has purposely ignored his affiliations…Resko, Wright, Farakan, Ayers-who bombed the Pentagon and Capitol in the seventies,Dohrn who was on the FBI most wanted list, his anti-Israeli friend Rahid Khalidi at the University of Columbia, Joe Cari and the list goes on and on and on.
He is a complete fraud and he certainly fooled America. We deserve what we get.



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Your Name

posted July 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm


Where does the anger evident in “Your Name” and “Church Mouse” come from? If change is not possible as said by “your name” then churches may need to change their message about redemption and God’s transforming love? If forgiveness is not possible when someone makes speaks or does wrong, then the church might as well proclaim that sin wins. We live in a very tense time of transition and with a history of centuries of finding scapegoats and some group to look down on. If we are to be biblical faithful followers of the Jesus way, we need to take a closer look at God’s grace, justice, and promise of new life in the context of our sinful, imperfect world and people. If such theology does not inform our socipolitical views, the we need to look again at who we claim to be as followers of Christ.



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NO

posted July 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm


I just found out from an item by P.J. Gladnick at Newsbusters posted on July 23 that the Boston Globe, after removing Officer Crowley’s arrest report from the Web early last week (as I told about here),
posted what it calls a redacted revised docket although it is described as a “police report” at the left side link on its site. And redacted it certainly is since it has redacted out almost the entire narrative section of the original report.
Gladnick then links the copy of the original report that I saved and posted at VFR (which has caused my traffic to increase so much I’ll have to switch to a new hosting plan).
Most of the substitute pdf document, called an “incident supplement,” is an arrest form. On the fourth and last page is a brief paragraph signed by Officer Crowley simply stating that Gates exhibited “loud and tumultuous” behavior which “surprised and alarmed” people on the street in front of his house. This barebones paragraph, giving none of the chronological narrative leading up the arrest, is what the Globe (a subsidiary of the New York Times) deemed Fit To Print. In other words, the Globe tried to fool its readers into thinking that this one-paragraph statement was the “police report” they had been hearing about that contained the real low-down on Gates.
And the liberal media bridle when we call them Communists. But does not the behavior of the Globe show a Comminist mentality? Would these people not be at home working for the old Pravda and Izvestia?
Gladnick also quotes the main part of Crowley’s report, which he must have typed by hand. It’s convenient to have this on the Web in html form where it can be read more easily and the text can be copied.
Here it is, in html at last!
On Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr.—, of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed under arrest at Ware Street, after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.
…When I arrived at Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch stairs toward the front door. As [reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified {} who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand arid told me that it was she who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of• Ware Street. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers while I investigated further.
As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of {} Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel I that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative. I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end of his telephone call to “get the chief’ and “whats the chiefs name?’. Gates was telling the person on the other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home. Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was “messing” with and that I had not heard the last of it. While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me. I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.
With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. Gates again asked for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn’t someone to mess with. At some point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked a third time for my name, I explained to him that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside of the residence.
As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates agai,n demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units. His reply was “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside”. When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, md at least seven unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me outside of the residence.
As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was “disabled” and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were property applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a cane for Gates from within the residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was un securable due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard University maintenance person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was.
Gladnick then remarks:
Not a very pretty picture of the highly abusive Gates was painted here. And this is probably why the Boston Globe felt it had to remove the police report from its website.



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OneGod1

posted July 27, 2009 at 5:47 pm


Isn’t all the love and praise between believers here enough to make one wretch? Churchmouse == Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my post so I’ll try to be more discriptive == My Buddy was “pulled over simply for being Black” just as he was leaving Oak Park (the town I live in) and he was just entering Berkeley. I do think that racial profiling of Blacks is surprising in an area where there are so many Blacks, and with Detroit just a mile away. As far as the Gay gentlemen are concerned, like you, I do not believe it is possible to determine the sexual orientation of an individual based upon simply upon how he or she drives. Profiling? You tell me. They had just pulled out of the lot when the polic cruiser’s flashers went on — they hadn’t gone far enough to commit any crimes. Was the officer that pulled them over that evening the same law enforcement officer that stood in the church parking lot a few weeks earlier writing down the license plate numbers of the cars that people had driven to the church? And are we now in the era of the “bleeding heart Republican?” (HAD HE BEEN A REPUBLICAN THE MEDIA WOULD HAVE CRUCIFIED HIM) Oftentimes I’ve wondered, what’s more important to some folks, Jesus Christ, or the Church’s ALLEGED politics?



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Beltran

posted July 28, 2009 at 2:15 pm


This situation was not a racially influenced one the Media has taken it and turned it into one.Also anyone who accuses Obama of making a racial remark by say “I think the Cambridge Police department acted stupidly” clearly doesn’t understand the English language that is a neutral sentence in terms of race. He does asign blame to the white police officer which I think is understandable. The white police officer was the profesional where as Gates is a private citizen in his own home being challenged. Looking at it from that prospective the cop acted stupidly
PS this is only for people who actually know the facts of this case so if you don’t find some neutral source and read that before this writing.



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churchmouse

posted July 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm


Gates knew what he was doing and wanted a big stage. All he had to do was go outside and answer questions. He’s bookin television gigs this very moment.
The white cop had his hands tied behind his back. Had he not followed orders and something had happened to Gates, he would have been crucified for not doing something because the guy was black. Instead he was crucified for trying to do his job.
As for Obama…..he is racist and this shows it and it will come back to haunt him. Things always add up in the end.



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James Gilmore

posted July 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm


Gates knew what he was doing and wanted a big stage.
Yeah. When, after a long and exhausting trip and the frustration of having to get into his own home without his keys, the cop came to his door demanding that he provide justification for being in his own house, Skip Gates totally thought “here’s an opportunity for me to get arrested and get on TV.” That was so obviously his motivation.
The white cop had his hands tied behind his back.
um… how exactly?
Had he not followed orders
What orders were these? Arrest anyone who is impolite to you? Please tell me exactly whose orders he was following here, making explicit reference to either (a) the protocols set down for law enforcement officers by the city of Cambridge, MA, or (b) the name of the superior officer who ordered Gates’s arrest. The fact that they released him without charges is a pretty clear indication that the officer was acting well outside the bounds of any “orders” he might have received.
As for Obama…..he is racist and this shows it
How exactly does this show that Obama is somehow racist? Please provide a detailed explanation that (a) demonstrates an understanding of the 300+ year history of oppression of African Americans in this country that continues to this day, and (b) makes an explicit demonstration using only Obama’s own words and actions – not strawman arguments.
As for the thing itself and your very clear impulse to rush to judgment against Skip Gates, it’s actually a little surprising to me. I thought conservatives believed in the idea of private property, and in the right of a landowner to kick anyone – including the police – off his or her land, unless they have a legal warrant to be there. I thought conservatives were for limitations on government power, including the right to be impolite to law enforcement officers one one’s own property without fearing arrest for merely offending a police officer’s delicate sensibilities.
It’s quite apparent that your belief in private property is trumped by either (a) the authoritarian impulse to believe that anything done by law enforcement officers is automatically right and justified, or (b) an instinctual prejudice against wealthy African Americans, wealthy liberals, or African Americans or liberals in general. I recommend you return to what I thought were conservative principles, despite your apparent personal distaste for those who find themselves on the receiving end of the kind of government overreach that should shock and offend any true conservative.



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Charles Carreon

posted July 31, 2009 at 3:05 am


Props to James Gilmore.
The 4th Amendment was violated here, the right of the people to be safe in their houses. The 14th Amendment, guaranteeing equal treatment under the law, may have been violated; although, truth be told, cops arrest whites and blacks alike when they’re surly — and that’s not right! Cops haven’t any more right to arrest people who are surly or noisy than you or I.
It’s funny, but shows how words become powerful, that white people now use the word “racist.” I remember, back in the sixties, when only a “radical” or a “Black Panther” or a “Patty Herst” would use the word “racist.” It sounded strange in the ears. Now Rush Limbaugh throws it around. Kind of shows that when a word grows up and becomes acceptable, it begins to lose its meaning.



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churchmouse

posted August 1, 2009 at 2:03 am


Your Name said, “churches may need to change their message about redemption and God’s transforming love?”
You cant change Gods message to fit society. Society says abortion and murder are wrong. Yet today our society says its ok to murder. God does say to love but He never implied that we should sugar coat sin to make people feel better.
“If forgiveness is not possible when someone makes speaks or does wrong, then the church might as well proclaim that sin wins.”
Did Obama ask to be forgiven? Did he admit he was wrong and did he apologize? If he did I missed it. We should forgive because unforgiveness separates you from God if you don’t.
James Gilmore, what should the officer have done after getting the call. Should he have not gone to the home and asked for information, proof that Gates was who he said he was? What should he have done? What should white police officers do when faced in situations like this? Give blacks a pass because they simple happen to be black? I am sure Gates was frustrated. But he did not handle the situation properly and he made a mole hill into a mountain and Obama jumped on board before getting the facts.
Did they find out who made the call that got the officers there? As I said he is all over the news.
Obama has surrounded himself with people who are racist. The fact alone that for over twenty years he attended a church headed by a racist preacher who hates whites and America. Obama refers to Rev. Wright as Uncle. He married Obama and he baptized his children. For over twenty years he listened to sermons full of hatred focused on whites. And you think this would not impact Obama at all? The only reason Obama ditched Wright for awhile is being he did not want Joe Public to know the connection between the two for obvious reasons. He might have lost the election.
I do not deny that there are racist cops out there……..and out there on both sides. Obama put his foot in his mouth and jumped the gun in this case. And Gates will milk this for all its worth.



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James Gilmore

posted August 1, 2009 at 9:01 am


James Gilmore, what should the officer have done after getting the call. Should he have not gone to the home and asked for information, proof that Gates was who he said he was?
Yes, and once he got it, he should have left. The fact that Gates was peeved at being asked to justify the fact that he was in his own home – as any of us would have been – does not mean he should have been arrested.
What should he have done? What should white police officers do when faced in situations like this?
The same thing any other police officer does when faced with a situation like this. Once they’ve figured out that the person in question is the rightful homeowner, they should apologize for taking up the homeowner’s time and leave the property. The fact that Crowley was a police officer did not give him a right to trespass on Gates’s property after Gates had made it quite clear he wanted Crowley to leave. Only a warrant issued by a judge could give Crowley that right. I thought conservatives believed in private property and limitations on government power.
Give blacks a pass because they simple happen to be black?
A pass for what? For being in his own house? What did Gates do that he would have needed a “pass” for?
I am sure Gates was frustrated. But he did not handle the situation properly and he made a mole hill into a mountain and Obama jumped on board before getting the facts.
Odd that you say that, because that conflicts with your earlier claim that Gates got arrested on purpose in order to get on TV. Which is it? Was he frustrated and didn’t handle the situation properly, or was he intentionally trying to get arrested?
Did they find out who made the call that got the officers there? As I said he is all over the news.
Odd you should mention that. The police report talks about the 911 call, and mentions that the caller had said there were two black men breaking into the house. However, a recording of the call – and the later testimony of the woman who made the call – clearly indicates that she didn’t indicate the ethnicity of the men breaking in. Why would Crowley lie about that?
Also, you have yet to present Crowley’s orders from a superior officer or from the Cambridge PD’s code that indicate that he was under orders to arrest Gates. Please provide those, retract your claim, or be known as a liar.
Obama has surrounded himself with people who are racist. The fact alone that for over twenty years he attended a church headed by a racist preacher who hates whites and America. Obama refers to Rev. Wright as Uncle. He married Obama and he baptized his children. For over twenty years he listened to sermons full of hatred focused on whites. And you think this would not impact Obama at all?
Rev. Wright was about as clear a sign of the racial double standard that exists in this country as there ever could be. Right-wing hate preachers like Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, and Parsley spewed (and continue to spew) streams of hate against anyone who disagreed with them politically and pretty clearly (in Falwell and Robertson’s case, at least) said that their political enemies are causing the damnation of America. They’ve done nothing but preach hate for the past 40 years, and yet prominent Republicans not only can associate with them but have to in order to gain political viability in the Republican Party. And yet what does the media play? Looped clips of “God damn America!” from Rev. Wright over and over and over again.
White America is pretty good at looking out for its own, and because it’s the hegemonic power, it can look out for its own while keeping that fact quite invisible. Whiteness is assumed, not stated.
The only reason Obama ditched Wright for awhile is being he did not want Joe Public to know the connection between the two for obvious reasons. He might have lost the election.
You’re right. He did have to ditch Wright for political reasons. But that is an indictment against us, not against him – and it’s particularly an indictment against white conservative Christians, who chose to let their brother in Christ Jeremiah Wright and his prophetic preaching twist in the wind rather than come to the defense of someone who disagreed with them politically. The fact that it was necessary for President Obama to ditch Wright, while John McCain can happily accept the endorsement of people like Pat Robertson, is as much evidence as anyone needs to see the racial double standard that exists in this country.
President Obama knew that if a black man was going to win the presidency, the last thing he’d be allowed to do was to be or appear angry – because racist whites, including racist white Christian leaders and racist Republican leaders going back to Nixon and Reagan, have been stoking the fears of white America against angry black men for decades now. And yet people can associate with those racists all they want without being called racist.
I do not deny that there are racist cops out there……..and out there on both sides.
Both sides? Please point me to one verifiable instance of a white man being pulled over for driving while white. Just one. This “both sides” crap is a really convenient way to avoid the monstrous plank in white America’s eye. I for one choose not to ignore it, and choose to work on removing it by not allowing racism to go unchallenged, and by continually questioning my own attitudes and white privilege. Won’t you join me in that, instead of continuing to make excuses for the oppression that continues to this day?
Obama put his foot in his mouth and jumped the gun in this case. And Gates will milk this for all its worth.
You seem to assume the worst of both of them. Why is that?



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churchmouse

posted August 2, 2009 at 2:28 am


Why did Obama ditch him then? Wright was kicked off his spiritual advisory committee. Why?
Why did he ask Warren to read the prayer at his inauguration and not Wright?
Obama tried to get out of it and made lame excuses for Wright. He said he never heard him say anything in church when he was there but the fact is, he was there. Falwell and Robertson and Parsley were not running for president…….Obama is and the people he hangs around with should be looked into. And if some Republican was the nominee and his friends were friends of an anti black group he would be crucified by the media. Obama is friends with the Black Panthers and Farrakan.
He said he was close to Wright and he was like family…. that you don’t ditch family if they put their foot in mouth. BUT HE DITCHED HIM for personal gain. Sweet guy isn’t he.
And give me quotes said by the men you say are racist.
You imply that Republicans are racist. Not so quick.
The Republican party is the party that helped stopped racism against blacks in America. I did some research on this.
A few facts…
In 1865, Congressional Republicans unanimously backed the 13th Amendment, which made slavery unconstitutional. Among Democrats, 63 percent of senators and 78 percent of House members voted: “No.”
In 1866, 94 percent of GOP senators and 96 percent of GOP House members approved the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing all Americans equal protection of the law. Every congressional Democrat voted: “No.”
February 28, 1871: The GOP Congress passed the Enforcement Act, giving black voters federal protection.
February 8, 1894: Democratic President Grover Cleveland and a Democratic Congress repealed the GOP’s Enforcement Act, denying black voters federal protection.
January 26, 1922: The U.S. House adopted Rep. Leonia’s Dyer’s (R., Mo.) bill making lynching a federal crime. Filibustering Senate Democrats killed the measure.
May 17, 1954: As chief justice, former three-term governor Earl Warren (R., Calif.) led the U.S. Supreme Court’s desegregation of government schools via the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. GOP President Dwight Eisenhower’s Justice Department argued for Topeka, Kansas’s black school children. Democrat John W. Davis, who lost a presidential bid to incumbent Republican Calvin Coolidge in 1924, defended “separate but equal” classrooms.
September 24, 1957: Eisenhower deployed the 82nd Airborne Division to desegregate Little Rock’s government schools over the strenuous resistance of Governor Orval Faubus (D., Ark.).
May 6, 1960: Eisenhower signs the GOP’s 1960 Civil Rights Act after it survived a five-day, five-hour filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats.
August 8, 1878: GOP supply-siders may hate to admit it, but America’s first black Collector of Internal Revenue was former U.S. Rep. James Rapier (R., Ala.).
GOP presidents Gerald Ford in 1975 and Ronald Reagan in 1982 promoted Daniel James and Roscoe Robinson to become, respectively, the Air Force’s and Army’s first black four-star generals.
November 2, 1983: President Reagan established Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday, the first such honor for a black American.
President Reagan named Colin Powell America’s first black national-security adviser while GOP President George W. Bush appointed him our first black secretary of state.
President G.W. Bush named Condoleezza Rice America’s first black female NSC chief, then our second (consecutive) black secretary of State. Just last month, one-time Klansman Robert Byrd and other Senate Democrats stalled Rice’s confirmation for a week. Amid unanimous GOP support, 12 Democrats and Vermont Independent James Jeffords opposed Rice — the most “No” votes for a State designee since 14 senators frowned on Henry Clay in 1825.
These were compiled by Deroy Murdock……..a black.
http://nationalreview.com/murdock/murdock200502180737.asp
So it seems that it was Republicans who fought to end slavery, while the Democrats fought for States rights and keeping slavery alive. It was the Democrats who fought FOR segregation and as a percentage more Republicans voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I also think it was Wallace a Democratic leader in the 60’s who was credited with saying, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
It was J. Edgar Hoover head of the FBI who wiretapped MLK. Who gave him permission? Robert Kennedy, a Democrat. It was Truman, a democrat who called fellow Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, “That damned n—– preacher.” AND….it was Lyndon Johnson a Democrat who said, “I talk everything over with my wife…of course…I have a N—– maid, and I talk my problems over with her too.”
Now I am sure there are racist politicians on both sides, but to say Republicans are all racist and that the party is racist simply is a lie. IMO based on all the information I have ever read about this issue it’s the Republicans who care least about color of skin.
I can say this……I don’t think a former KKK member has ever been elected to a high office in the Republican party.



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tugofwar

posted August 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm


One problem is that too many citizens cannot get it into their heads that a policeman has a mandate from the state [which is the entire society] to issue orders to any citizen that must be obeyed under all circumstances. Had the policeman’s order been obeyed, it is not likely that a nasty incident would have developed. Another problem is that too many people still cannot see that this is not a men against women, or white people against black people proposition. It is a power struggle pitting everyone against everyone, because no one wants to be a slave and no ruler will be kind to a slave. Since the second part of the 20th century, we have been witnessing certain races and women’s groups gaining power and entering the mainstream of societies and what we see is not what the day-dreamers would have liked to see; namely that they are better than the previous power brokers. What we are actually seeing is what rational thinkers could easily have predicted; they were given the opportunity to prove that they are better and all failed to do so. Surely, it is not about gender or colour, it is about the inescapable reality of our existence that no religious or political ideology can adequately sugar-coat: we can only live at each other’s expense. Had a white male made a statement similar to that of Mrs. Sotomayer’s, he would, in all probability, have been attacked from all sides and not nominated to any office , let alone the Supreme Court of the United States. The pointing of fingers should have ended a long time ago but, if we can accept REAL LIFE as a REAL WITNESS, then we know it will not happen.



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