The idea that police, or judges, or any profession should include a diversity of racial and ethnic groups outraged Republicans in the recent Sotomayor hearings. At least Judge Sotomayor's expression of this idea, the "wise Latina" speech, absurdly became the focus of their baseless charge that she was racist.
Now comes news that, yesterday at about noon, Harvard history professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested in his own home by a Cambridge police officer investigating if the house was being burglarized. The white officer felt that Gates was not deferential enough to him. (Read here.) At the time of his arrest, Gates was in the process of trying to identify the police officer (who had refused to show his badge or i.d.) and was calling the chief of the Harvard Police. The arrest appears to have been designed as much to prevent Gates from filing a complaint against the officer as to punish the distinguished African-American professor for talking back to a white policeman.
Here is what I would like to ask the Republicans who raked Judge Sotomayor over the coals for her "wise Latina" speech. Do you think that a wise African-American police officer would have made a better decision than that made by this white one?
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- Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA)
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