A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama was right, was he?

President Obama expressed concern over the arrest of a Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, who is black, and had been handled in an apparently rough way by white police officers. The police department reacted angrily saying they were not racist and Obama backed down, saying he had used the wrong words, blah, blah.

Now we find there is at least one bad apple in the police department, or at least in neighbouring Boston. A certain Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a " jungle monkey" in a letter, written in reaction to media coverage of Gates's arrest July 16. The 36-year-old policeman, who has been on the job for two years, was stripped of his gun and badge on Tuesday and faces a termination hearing in the next week, said police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll. He has no previous disciplinary record, she said.

So when people were keen to rush to judgement about the President's remarks, he wasn't that far from the truth. Okay, only one errant officer, but people are very keen to put their own judgements onto others. Speak for yourself, was once a retort. This officer spoke for himself and conjured up the thoughts of monkeys and jungles.

I would not think that either the Cambridge or Boston police departments are riddled in prejudice, but there are probably some underlying beliefs that pop out like molten lava from a supposedly dormant volcano. Boston has history. It is not always easy to keep that history hidden from present day activities.


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