by Latoya Peterson
Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of the nation’s pre-eminent African-American scholars, was arrested Thursday afternoon at his home by Cambridge police investigating a possible break-in. The incident raised concerns among some Harvard faculty that Gates was a victim of racial profiling.
After that, the details get sketchy. According to the police report, Gates was arrested for “loud and tumultuous behavior.” The police report appears to have been removed from the original place of upload, but it claimed that Gates continued to to holler about the officer being racist.
However, colleagues like Melissa Harris Lacewell said that the actions described in the police report did not sound like the Skip Gates she knows. On twitter yesterday, she wrote:
I often disagree politically, ideologically, and academically with #SkipGates
But there is no question that #SkipGates is personally responsible for huge investment by Ivy schools into AfAm programs.
#SkipGates is as much an institution builder as a scholar. He is careful, measured, savvy, and a bit of a #trickster.
#SkipGates convinced white multi-millionaires who never cared about black studies before to become patron’s of the field.
#SkipGates vacations in Martha’s Vineyard and “feels at home” in Harvard yard.
My disagreements with #SkipGates have often been fueled by my sense that he underestimates the continuing impact of racism on black life.
So the idea that #SkipGates is standing in his house yelling racially inflammatory things at white cops is really nuts. I do not believe it.
It’s really clear to me that only racist glasses could produce this radical blackity-black vision of #SkipGates.