Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fallout from Harvard Professor's Arrest

It was unsettling to read about the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts the other day. Conflicting stories make it difficult to determine what, exactly, took place and whether the arrest was justified or not.

What should not be in question, however, was the legitimacy of the police response to the report of a suspected break-in at Gates' home. All the complaining and finger-pointing has caused the Cambridge police to back down on pressing charges against Gates and this will inevitibly lead to an increasing reluctance for people to report or for the police to respond to suspected breaking-and-entering situations, especially if they involve African-American suspects.

As a result it seems that if you are an African-American burglar you should consider Cambridge, Massachusetts to be a great place to ply your trade right now. Just be sure to break in at the front door or through a front window of a home in full sight of neighbors. Or, better yet, be sure to choose a home owned by African-Americans. Even if a neighbor had the audacity to call the police you would most likely be able to get them to back off by refusing to show them your ID and threatening them with a law suit.