I'll be writing a larger post about the post-racial thing tomorrow, but in an effort to assail Barack Obama for not providing the post-racial presidency he never promised, Tom Maguire says the following about Skip Gates' arrest:
[AS CLOSE AS I WILL COME TO ORIGINAL: On the question of whether the police should have simply said good night and moved on or stayed and asked a few questionS after Gates (allegedly) produced a driver's license showing his residence at that address:
Is it inconceivable that Gates was an angry husband in the midst of a ghastly separation from his wife? Not every woman who kicks her husband out and changes the locks also gets a temporary restraining order, and perhaps the police don't check for TROs in their immediate response to a break-in call. My question - is it the official position of domestic violence workers and the feminist movement that henceforth, police should simply move on if the apparent man of the house says all is well and refuses to answer any questions?]
Stay unoriginal, my man. Please.
If you believe that a man can prove he didn't break and enter into his own home by providing proof that he lives there, it's the same thing as believing a man can prove he didn't batter his wife by...saying that nothing's wrong? Do we now just assume that any time someone says they saw two black men with backpacks breaking into a house, when a cop finds one black man with proper identification inside the house, he should also assume that the black man is in the middle of committing every other crime imaginable? I mean, sure, Skip Gates said that everything was okey-dokey, but what if it was a fake ID he'd used to gain access to the house in order to set up a meth lab in the basement? Yeah, that black guy in the late-model Audi had proper license and registration, but can you take his word for it that there isn't a scared six-year-old white girl in the trunk?
Let's even transcend race (choir, sing!) - sure, nice lady, you can prove that the bag you're carrying is yours, but can you prove that you have those Pepcids in there because of heartburn and not because you're trying to keep from vomiting up the potential condom full of heroin in your stomach? If you want to prove that the mean black man got all crazy uppity because he wanted to be the modern-day Rosa Parks, you may want to try something that doesn't result in advocacy of a police state. (None of this is even mentioning the fact that there was no indication there was anyone in the house for Gates to have been domestically violent against, but I'm sure that lack of evidence was actually even more reason for the cop to search the house and find the mysterious baggie of crack that Gates keeps in his sock drawer.)
Even as far as shitty hypotheticals designed to set one liberal group up against another go, this is spectacularly shitty. Well done, Tom.