Quotes of the Week: Special Skipgate Edition

There is so much I wanted to say about the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. in his own home, but as the discourse shifted from the important conversation of racial profiling in America to the particulars of this particular situation, I got spent really fast.It was very reminiscent of the race issues that went on in my department over the last two years and the fact that certain people still don’t understand what it means to be a black man in America.

Instead, I present to you some of my favorite sound bites from the debate over the last two weeks:

“The incident involving Professor Gates serves as a perfect example of the complex, emotional, and challenging nature of racial profiling.”
– Ronald Davis: Room For Debate

“No matter how much progress we’ve made, black men still don’t have the right to get upset and indignant, even in their own homes.”
– Keith Boykin via Huffington Post

“The institution of policing is and always has been inherently bias against people of color and low income. And you must accept that as a fact.”
Charles Wilson – National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers

“Be polite in front of the police, your life may depend on it.”
Prof. Paul Butler – George Washington University Law School (and victim of racial profiling)

“It’s a very familiar story, we’ve heard it before. And we can wonder would we be hearing about it if it wasn’t such a prominent person.”
unidentified Cambridge neighbor of Prof. Gates

“Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a 58-year-old African-American male. He is the director of Harvard’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African- American Research. As a Harvard University professor, he failed “Black Man – 101″ don’t argue with the police unless you want a beating and to go to jail! Even when you’re right, if you fail to comply, you’re wrong. Is this fair? No, but it’s real!”
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

“People who have heretofore viewed Mr. Obama as a “postracial” abstraction were no doubt surprised by these remarks. This could be because they were hearing him fully for the first time.”
– Brent Staple: New York Times Editorial Observation

And my personal favorite:

“When we subject our citizens to arrest because they express their opinion, we’re in trouble.”
Roger Clark: Former Lt., L.A. County Sheriff’s Office

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