I was wrong.  Yes, I was wrong to say racism was not important at the time.  It IS important at all
times.  Honestly, if not now, when?  At the time, I wrote that it wasn’t important, I felt that the media
and some of the american public were feeding so much into what Barack Obama said about the police
in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I said it because I felt that too many people were deviating away from
the issue of
healthcare; a problem that haunts too many americans; both Black and White.  I said it
because …now hold on.  At first, I was not sure of my stance between the prominent Black scholar,
Henry Louis Gates Jr. and arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley.  I waited to give my perspective
until I heard more of the story.  Often times, we need to learn to keep our opinions to ourselves, as
we must not miss a good opportunity to shut up.  Ya know, it’s not always necessary to give your
opinion on every single thing.  Now before anyone says anything, let me calmly state my reasons for
not taking a side - if you will.

















As a Black African american female, living in the State of Colorado, that is only 6% Black, I
have only had five or six encounters with the police.  I say five or six, because I have forgotten if I
have received three moving vehicle violations or two.  The majority of my crimes were committed
over 20 years ago, and due to age and insignificant reasons, I cannot recall.

My experiences with the police in Colorado
From what I can remember, there was the time when I was either driving to or coming from work,
and I was driving near Curtis Park when I noticed a policeman giving this guy a ticket.  While I was
watching someone else get a ticket, I rolled-stopped through a stop sign, and before I knew it, there
were red and blue lights coming up from behind me.  What made me think that there would only be
one officer in that area, is beyond me.  The Curtis Park area was known for some type of criminal
activity, so I should have been aware.  Anyway, I deserved the ticket.  I should not have broken the
law.  Another time, I received a ticket while doing the exact same thing, but only in a different
location.  The next time, was near 32nd and Colorado Boulevard.  Yep, I deserved that ticket too.
Keeba’s Commentary
The next time I received a ticket?  Well, it was only a few years ago and I recall the circumstances very well, but I don’t
wish to discuss it.  Well, let me say that I did not deserve the ticket I received from this white policeman.  Moreover, I did
tell the officer that he was lying on me –which he was – and I did tell the officer that he was only giving me the ticket
because I was Black.  He denied it, but I knew better, because I was not in violation of any law.  Okay, wait.  Only part of
that is the truth.  Nevertheless, he said I was doing something that I was not.  No, it was not a rolling-stop or speeding.  As I
said, I do not want to talk about it.

The next time - which was many years later - I encountered a police officer was during a community meeting.  This officer
was Black and he said something that I thought was egregious so I felt impelled to bring it to his attention.  Would I have
done it if he were not Black?  Yes, I would because I do not believe anyone should receive a pass for their actions; I do not
care who they are.  (If it were the president of these divided states or the queen of England, I would have embraced the first
amendment and spoke my peace.)  Yes, I have been told and reminded that I should have watched my tone as well as the
words I used while speaking to this officer, but I was already enraged by the circumstances.  No excuse, right?  Probably
not, because I have been raised to always respect police officers… especially as a Black person… especially the officers with
guns!  For years, Black people have always had to mind their P’s and Q’s when dealing with the police because we are
always the first to go to jail.  I knew it then and certainly haven’t forgotten it to this very day.  But, I get a kick out of
watching the TV show “
Cops” because on that show, Whites are not exempt from being hog-tied or bum-rushed by a retinue
of police officers and thrown to the ground while receiving the famous policemen-beat-down.  No it is not funny, but the
officers on that show do not discriminate.  On a side note, often times, I think they should give SOME of the criminals a
break.  You know, like the petty crimes of having a single marijuana joint.  And no, I do not wish this for just some of the
Blacks, but the Whites too.  But I guess a crime is a crime no matter if it is a misdemeanor and besides, if it is the criminal’s
first, he or she might have it expunged.  Oh and no, I do not use illegal drugs nor condone its use.  

My next two experiences with the police were both very different and most appreciated.  On a very hot summer day, both
my spouse and our friend were doing something that a neighbor thought was questionable.  If I were that neighbor, I too
would have wondered what they were doing.  Anyway, there these two monitories were…thinking they were getting away
with something.  Instead of parking in front of our home or in the driveway, our friend had parked his van across the street
on the side of a corner house.  Both "suspects" exited the vehicle, removed the seats from the back of the vehicle, walked
across the street to a home where they entered the garage and were now inside the home.

After awhile, both my spouse and our friend were sitting downstairs in our home; taking a break from the scorching heat.  At
some point, our friend said that someone was outside.  Jokingly, he said, “
It’s the police.”  As they continue to sit inside, they
notice a shadow or some movement outside and moments later, my spouse decided to open the door and casually look out.  
When he did, he was confronted by four, five or six policemen with their guns drawn who demanded that he step outside.  
He complied and they questioned who he was.  He said he was the owner of the home and they promptly demanded his ID.  
Again, he complied, but this was not until after they had frisked him with his hands on top of his head.  They asked if anyone
else was inside the house with him.  Now this part is funny.  My spouse replied, “
Yes, my wife” and at this point, our friend
was standing in the doorway in shock.  One of the policemen asked, “
So, is that your wife?”  

Now mind you, our friend is a Mexican american male with a medium haircut and a nicely trimmed beard.  He hardly
looks like a woman or someone’s wife.  I do not know what my spouse said to the policemen, but by the time I made my
way from the upstairs back bedroom to the front door, I found myself looking down at my spouse and friend with their
hands on their heads and a team of policemen guarding them.

The neighbor across the street had reported that she believed someone was robbing our home.  
I do not recall when our neighbor moved into the neighborhood, but she has seen my husband - and possibly our friend too –
on several occasions but for whatever reason, on this day, she was not sure.  Anyway, after the interrogation, the policemen
left.  Had my spouse and our friend acted differently, then I honestly believe they would have ended up in the same place as
Gates; JAIL!

I was not mad at this neighbor, but wrote her a note and personally thanked her for keeping an eye on our home.  While I
appreciated the police’s thorough investigation, it is too bad that Gates’ experience was not as pleasant.  (Oh and by the way,
our friend was attempting to remove some of his things from his apartment that he shared with his soon to be ex-wife.)

The last time I came in contact with the police was on a weekend at about 1 or 2 in the morning.
I was home alone when I suspected someone was trying to break into my home.  When the police arrived, they came in the
same manner as before - four, five or six at a time.  They entered my home, walked up the steps of my bi-level home, into
the kitchen and out into the backyard.  I was certain they would ruin the little 1-foot divider-fence or trample my plants or the
decorative lights, but they did not.  They thoroughly investigated, vacated my home and even after I thought they had driven
away, I noticed that they were still walking the neighborhood shining their flashlights and checking the vacant home next
door.  It was a very terrifying experience, but I was relieved that the police took a great deal of time to make sure that no one
was trying to get me.  I am not one who easily becomes unsettled, but I was alarmed.  On the last two occasions, I was very
grateful that the
Denver police department where there to protect and serve ME.

Are all police officers racist?  No, but I am sure there are a few right here in the Mile High City.  Was Henry Gates absurd
or was Officer James Crowley?  I do not know.  I do not know whom to believe, as both seem to be very credible.  I do not
know if Mr. Gates said something about Mr. Crowley’s mamma, but so what if he did.  Either or, I would not be surprised.  
Crowley is a police officer and the majority of them love to flaunt their credentials and make sure that you recognize them
because they have the authority to flash their badge and guns.  The same with men like Gates who is a professor at Harvard
and he may have felt that he is just as much as an authority figure that should be recognized.  But, this story made me
wonder if the situation played out like this: the police officer (Crowley) arrived at the scene to investigate a possible break-in.  
(According to the report, there were two suspects inside the home.)  Officer Crowley entered the home and was confronted
by a Black man who might be one of the perpetrators.  No, not because he is Black, but because the 911 caller said "two
men."  She did not say two Black men or two White men, just
two men.  While inside, Crowley is looking for two men.  How
is he to know that Gates is not one of the two suspects?  Crowley just knows he is there to investigate.  Anyway, after Gates
identifies himself as the homeowner, perhaps Gates is irritated that Crowley just will not leave.  …I do not know.  Most
professors are hotheaded.  Perhaps Gates was disappointed that he was not recognized as a professor of a prestige college.  
Equally, I have known a mass majority of police officers – both men and women- to be arrogant as well.  Either or, we were
taught that cops are to be respected.  No, not just for their badges, but because they have guns!  Guns do not kill people, but
people with guns kill people and there have been way too many “accidents” when it comes to guns going off.  (Especially
when Black men are in the presence of a White police officer.)  And besides, when has a police officer ever been tried and
convicted of
police brutality?  Whatever happened to that case with the man who was abused by the police with a broom
handle?  What about the case where the young girl died in the cell, or the one with the young Mexican kid who suffered a
lacerated liver among other severe life-threatening problems?  (I will never forget
Paul Childs.)  

Although the mass majority of police brutality cases are never in favor of the victim, I honestly believe that both Gates
and Crowley are fabricating their stories and somewhere between the two, there is the truth.  Only God knows.  Neither
Gates nor Crowley has agreed to apologize and perhaps they should not.  However, I do believe I would have just to be the
better person - because that is the type of person I am.  No, not out of fear of a White police officer, but because it is the
right thing to do.  When confronted by police officers, a man or woman in the grocery store, the person that delivers my
mail, or any stranger I do not know, I have always addressed them as Sir or Ma’am.  I address them in that manner because
I do not personally know them.  I do it because it is a sign of respect.  I do it because they are human.

I think both Gates and Crowley are wrong.  Yes they are both authoritative figures, but I believe both of them are lying.  
Please, Bill Clinton lied about his sexual relations with “that woman-Monica Lewinsky.”  What about the other sexual affairs
and improper conduct committed by other government officials and authoritative figures?  Just because Henry Gates is a
Harvard Professor and James Crowley is a police officer, people like them are capable and have committed fraud, theft,
bribery, self-dealings and other acts of improper conduct.  Likewise, authoritative figures are guilty of racism.  I will not go
into the hard facts about being a bigot, but we are human and are not exempt due to titles and/or positions or the color of our
skin.

When I first heard the Gates and Crowley story, I only heard parts of it and when I did, I thought there might be more to it
as there always is.  I then tried hard to recall a case a few years ago so when this Black man said this police officer was
racist but then later learned that the White officer was married to a Sista.  No, not a Black woman - a sista!  (There is a
difference.)  This Black woman looked as if she would jack up her White husband if he even THOUGHT of getting out of
line.  And if anyone was gonna be called the "N" word in that house, ya best would believe that it was not gonna be her!  No
sir!
























When Barack Obama was answering the question about the Gates and Crowley case, he should have said EVERYTHING
he said EXCEPT for the remark about the cops acting stupidly.  He was not there.  I applauded him for addressing the fact
that racism still exists in this country.  It needed to be said as a reminder.  Some people still need it as it is laughable that too
many non-Black African americans feel that racism is not such a big deal since we have a Black African american as
president of these divided states.  I know that it was not the Black vote that voted in a Black president and if I know it, then
everyone else should too.

The race issue is not going anywhere
Often times, we do not want to discuss it as if it will go away.  We have to stop sweeping it under the rug and tackle it head-
on.  And no, Blacks are not paranoid.  Instead, we are just tired of racism being marginalized; an honest, open and sincere
discussion has long been warranted.

It is obvious where I stand or feel about the Gates and Crowley case.  I just feel there was a huge misunderstanding
between the two men; somehow, somewhere.  Nevertheless, I hope Obama and the two men will make some headway while
they may continue to agree to disagree – without apologizing to one another.  But, at the same time, I hope they are able to
put their egos aside and come to some sensible resolution.  Perhaps Obama will start the discussion by first apologizing to
Crowley and then perhaps Gates and Crowley will start to talk, learn a little about one another and then between beers,
apologize – without evening realizing it.  And even
before the beers, they might be able to bridge their differences and just
might learn they have something in common.  Perhaps after their white house visit, the two will meet by themselves and
become casual acquaintances.  It will not end racism, but at least the two can share their experiences.
Dr. Henry Gates
Sgt. James Crowley
President Barack Obama
Crowley, Obama, Gates
---------------------
Obama, Gates And Crowley To Meet At White House
President will Bring Black Professor, White Officer to White House
(CBS) President Obama will meet with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley at the White House Thursday, CBS
News reports.

The meeting, which has been rumored for the past few days, comes as scrutiny intensifies over Crowley's arrest of the prominent black scholar and
Harvard professor.

The chief White House spokesman says the Thursday meeting among the president, the Harvard University scholar and the policeman who arrested
him will be "about having a beer and de-escalation."

Robert Gibbs says the session, weather permitting, is planned for a picnic table outside the Oval Office. According to Gibbs, "The president wants
to continue to take down the temperature a bit."

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is black, was arrested last week by Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass., police department,
who is white, after an investigation into a suspected burglary found no burglars but escalated into a heated exchange between the men at Gates' home.

Crowley, who is white, arrested Gates, who is black, after an investigation into a suspected burglary found no burglars but escalated into a heated
exchange between the men at Gates' home. When Mr. Obama said last Wednesday that the police had "acted stupidly," the national debate over
racial profiling become so fierce that the president had to intercede again on Friday to get the public's attention back to his health care agenda.

Thus did a brief afternoon encounter turn into an ardently debated conflict in which other Americans drew their own conclusions about racial bias,
proper deference to police and a president's appropriate role in a local law enforcement matter.

Mr. Obama phoned Crowley, who suggested the three men sit down for a beer at the White House. The president said he liked the idea, and Gates
reportedly concurred when Mr. Obama phoned him next.

Appearing on CBS' "The Early Show," Rev. Jesse Jackson said that Thursday's meeting should be bigger than the meeting of men caught in the
national spotlight.

"It's a big subject for a small meeting," Jackson said. "If Rosa Parks and James Blake, the bus driver, had met at the White House and did not deal
with the issue of the accommodations, it would have been personal and not politics. And so, this issue of Dr. Gates being a victim of excessive force
and bad judgment is a much bigger subject."

"This is a teachable moment," Jackson said, for America to address the issue of profiling. "Racial profiling is deadly, it's costly, expensive and really
bad for your health."

(© 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated
Press contributed to this report.)
MORE ON THIS STORY
 Video:
Interview With Sgt. James Crowley
 Video: President Obama's Comments On Story
 View   The Police Report At The Smoking Gun
 Read   Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Statement
Read    Henry Gates Jr.'s Bio On Harvard's Web Site

---------------------
Powell: Harvard scholar might have reacted quickly
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid, Ap Diplomatic Writer – 07/28/09  WASHINGTON –
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was mildly critical Tuesday of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., whose angry response to a
Cambridge, Mass., police officer touched off a national debate involving President Barack Obama.
Powell, interviewed by CNN's Larry King, criticized the way Gates dealt with Sgt. James Crowley, a white officer who responded to reports of a
possible break-in by arresting the black professor at his home on a charge of disorderly conduct. The charge was soon dropped. Gates "might have
waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer, and that might have been the end of it," said Powell, one of the nation's most prominent African
Americans.
"I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal," he said. But, Powell said, Gates was just home from
China and New York and "all he wanted to do was get to bed."
When asked about the incident at a news conference, Obama said the police acted stupidly. The president subsequently toned down his criticism but
not his denunciation of racial profiling generally. Powell said he was the target of racial profiling many times and he sometimes got mad.
On one such occasion, he said, he tried to meet someone at Reagan National Airport "and nobody thought I could be the national security adviser to
the president. I was just a black guy." Asked how he dealt with the situation, Powell said "You just suck it up. What are you going to do?" "There is
no African American in this country who has not been exposed to this kind of situation," Powell said. But, he said, "when you are faced with an
officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something, this is not the time to get in an argument with him. I was taught that as a child. "You
don't argue with a police officer," Powell said.  
A racist political campaign
poster from the 1866
Pennsylvania gubernatorial
election
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Comments
Alternatively I was Wrong
You know, that was very well written.  Yes, there are three sides to what actually happened.  I agree that Obama should not have said what he did but am glad that he tried to "clear the air" with both parties.  Bush would have never apologized for saying what Obama did.  Obama realized he spoke too fast or out of place.  This could continue to go on in the news but who would care now that the 2 men involved sat down together.  Though I did not read what occurred between them, I know no one apologized and that's alright.  I too, like you would have just to put it behind me.  Obviously both men believe they were truly in the right.  That may never change.  I think it was very interesting that a cop ended up losing his job over racial slurs regarding the incident.  I think that was more important than anything else that occurred.  It shows racism is still very strong in the United States.  Some people believe it has actually gone away as you stated, now that we have a black president.  No.  I heard so many slurs against Obama since he became president that I know racism is as bad as ever.  Again, well written. LS  
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July 27, 2009
Filed under
Commentary
This entry was posted on Monday, July 27, 2009 and is filed under Keeba’s Commentary     
To post a comment, click
here.  (other comments are posted here)
Keeba Smith is a published writer and desired screenplay artist.  She is the author of “Shades of Bright Pale,” and many other
unacquainted writings. Please visit
www.Keeba.org to find out more about Keeba Smith, read additional critiques and her
unpublished autobiography,
“Spirit in the Dark.”
© 2009
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras, Associated Press Writer – 07/27/09
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A Cambridge police sergeant who responded to a 911 call about a possible break-in at the home of black Harvard scholar
Henry Louis Gates Jr. told dispatchers that Gates was being uncooperative and to "keep the cars coming."
Another voice can be heard in the background of the transmission, but it is unintelligible and unclear if it is Gates.
Cambridge police released recordings of police radio transmissions and of the 911 call Monday following more than a week of controversy over
Gates' July 16 arrest on a disorderly conduct charge. The charge was dropped, but the encounter sparked a national debate about racial profiling.
Gates' supporters called his arrest by Sgt. James Crowley an outrageous act of racial profiling. Crowley's supporters say Gates was arrested because
he was belligerent and that race was not a factor.
Interest in the case intensified when President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference last week that Cambridge police "acted
stupidly" in arresting Gates. He later tried to quell the uproar about his comments and invited both Gates and Crowley to the White House for a
beer, a meeting that could happen this week, according to the White House.
In the 911 recording released Monday, caller Lucia Whalen tells police she saw two men pressing on the door of a home, but says she is unsure
whether the men live there or if they were trying to break in. She said she saw two suitcases on the porch.
"I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key. But I did notice they used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got
in. I don't know if they had a key or not cause I couldn't see from my angle," Whalen said.
Whalen does not mention the race of the men she saw until pressed by a dispatcher to describe them. At that point, she said one of the men may
have been Hispanic.
In Crowley's report, he said he spoke to Whalen at the scene and she reported seeing two black men on the porch.
Whalen's attorney, Wendy Murphy, said her client did not mention the men's race to Crowley and is upset by news reports she believes have
unfairly depicted her as a racist.
"She doesn't live in the area. She is by no means the entitled white neighbor. ... That has been the theme in the blogs and the implication in some of
the mainstream news media," Murphy said in a phone interview Monday.
In the radio transmissions, Crowley tells a dispatcher he is at the home where the possible break-in was reported.
"I'm up with a gentleman, says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming," Crowley said.
In his written police report, Crowley said Gates became angry when he told him he was investigating a report of a break-in, then yelled at him and
called him a racist.

---------------------
Gates 911 call: Witness not sure she sees crime
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press Writer Russell Contreras, Associated Press Writer – 07/27/09 46 mins ago
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 911 caller who reported two men possibly breaking into the home of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. did
not describe their race, acknowledged they might just be having a hard time with the door and said she saw two suitcases on the porch.
Cambridge police on Monday released the 911 recording and radio transmissions from the scene in an effort to show they had nothing to hide, but
the tapes raised new questions about how and why the situation escalated.
Gates' July 16 arrest on a disorderly conduct charge sparked a national debate about whether the professor was a victim of racial profiling. Gates,
returning from a trip to China, and his driver had forced their way through the front door because it was jammed, and the charge was later dropped.
In her 911 call, Lucia Whalen, who works at the Harvard alumni magazine, repeatedly tells the operator she is not sure what is happening.
Speaking calmly, she tells the operator that she was stopped by an elderly woman who told her she noticed two men trying to get into a house.
Whalen initially says she saw two men pushing on the door, but later says one of the men entered the home and she didn't get a good look at him.
She says she noticed two suitcases.
"I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key. But I did notice they used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got
in. I don't know if they had a key or not, 'cause I couldn't see from my angle," Whalen says.
She does not mention the race of the men until pressed by a dispatcher to describe them.
"Um, well, there were two larger men," Whalen says. "One looked kind of Hispanic, but I'm not really sure. And the other one entered and I didn't
see what he looked like at all. I just saw it from a distance and this older woman was worried, thinking, 'Someone's been breaking in someone's house.
They've been barging in.'"
The officer who arrested Gates, Sgt. James Crowley, said in his police report that he talked to Whalen soon after he arrived at Gates' home. "She
went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch," Crowley, who's white, wrote in his report.
Whalen's attorney, Wendy Murphy, said her client never mentioned the men's race to Crowley and is upset by news reports she believes have
unfairly depicted her as a racist.
"She doesn't live in the area. She is by no means the entitled white neighbor. ... That has been the theme in the blogs and the implication in some of
the mainstream news media," Murphy said in a phone interview Monday.
In his written report, Crowley said Gates became angry when he told him he was investigating a report of a break-in, then yelled at him and called
him a racist.
In a radio communication with a dispatcher, also released Monday, Crowley said Gates was not cooperating.
"I'm up with a gentleman, says he resides here, but was uncooperative, but keep the cars coming," Crowley said.
Another voice can be heard in the background of the transmission, but it is unintelligible and unclear if it is Gates.
Cambridge police Commissioner Robert Haas acknowledged that the police report contains a reference to race, but said the report is merely a
summary of events.
Gates did not immediately return an e-mail message, and his spokesman did not return e-mail and telephone messages.
Crowley could not be reached for comment. A message left at the police station was not returned, and no one answered the phone at his Natick
home.
The professor's supporters called his arrest an outrageous act of racial profiling. Crowley's supporters say Gates was arrested because he was
belligerent and that race was not a factor.
Interest in the case intensified when President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference last week that Cambridge police "acted
stupidly" in arresting Gates. He later tried to quell the uproar about his comments and invited both Gates and Crowley to the White House for a
beer, a meeting that could happen this week, according to the White House.
David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said he did not think
the latest revelations related to the 911 caller would change many opinions on the case.
"My guess is that that adds nothing to the conviction of black Americans that the cops like to lie a lot," Kennedy said. "It's just another example of
something they already thoroughly believe, and that if it affects the views of those who generally trust the police, it would affect it in a very small
way at most."
Gov. Deval Patrick, a black friend of Gates who last week called the arrest "every black man's nightmare," said Monday he wouldn't apologize for
his remarks.
A multiracial group of police officers and union officials supporting Crowley had called on the governor to say he was sorry. But the governor said
he wasn't sure why he was being asked to apologize.
Patrick said he acknowledged from the beginning he wasn't at Gates' home to witness the arrest, and he said Crowley seemed to be "a pretty good
guy."
___ Associated Press writer Denise Lavoie contributed from Boston.