Bob Herbert has the definite analysis and commentary on the Gates-Crowley incident in “Anger Has Its Place“:
The very first lesson that should be drawn from the encounter between Mr. Gates and the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, is that Professor Gates did absolutely nothing wrong. He did not swear at the officer or threaten him. He was never a danger to anyone. At worst, if you believe the police report, he yelled at Sergeant Crowley. He demanded to know if he was being treated the way he was being treated because he was black.
You can yell at a cop in America. This is not Iran. And if some people donâ€™t like what youâ€™re saying, too bad. You can even be wrong in what you are saying. There is no law against that. It is not an offense for which you are supposed to be arrested.
I would probably replace “nothing wrong” with “nothing remotely warranting arrest”, but the point still stands. Even if Gates overreacted, he was most certainly the person who was “wronged” in this situation.
And this quote (although I’d like to see a citation) really makes me angry:
As of mid-2008, there were 4,777 black men imprisoned in America for every 100,000 black men in the population. By comparison, there were only 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white men.
While whites use illegal drugs at substantially higher percentages than blacks, black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of white men.