Friday, July 24, 2009

CM PRESS # 760

MORE TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF US...
North--Santa Ana--Two boys shot from car.
South--Newport Beach--No boys shot from any car again today.
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TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF US...
North--Santa Ana--Man shot to death this morning on street.
South--Newport Beach--No one shot to death this morning on any street.
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BORDER PATROL AGENT SHOT AND KILLED IN SAN DIEGO WHILE CHASING SUSPECTED ILLEGAL ALIENS
LINK.
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OBAMA SCOLDS CAMBRIDGE COP
Boston Globe article.

Racial matter? Yes and No.

The CM PRESS has looked at this controversy and read the police reports (here) and we have a slightly different take on this than you may have read elsewhere.

Admittedly,we're filling in gaps with what we know of human psychology and the real world, in addition to what we've read, and we're also making tentative but reasonable assumptions as we try to recreate the scene.

Essentially, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is black, believes he was treated unfairly because Sgt. James Crowley, a white cop, is a racist (meaning, here, the white cop hates blacks or in some way treats them with less respect than he treats whites under similar circumstances).

Sgt. Crowley seems genuinely befuddled by the charge and denies it, but is now being pushed into proving that some of his best friends are black.

So, what's really going on here? Maybe something like the following.

From everything we've read and can surmise, Sgt. Crowley seems to be a straight-arrow, by the book cop; a real boy scout and saint--read, he's stiff and uptight.

Our guess is that Crowley would have treated a white professor the same as he treated Gates, but a white professor (being white) would probably not have been as belligerent as Gates and the situation would have been diffused.

Gates seems to have a racial chip on his shoulder, and instead of seeing the cop--and we mean, the cop's facial expressions, body language and everything else--as being the product of that white cop's natural stiffness, he instead saw it as an anti-black attitude.

In other words, we think Gates may have gotten his dander up as a result of many non-verbal cues from the cop, as well as the cop's tone of voice, and that's what set Gates off.

From Gates' perspective, here he was in his own home and Crowley "invaded," that home. Crowley probably also took a dominant, muscles tensed, ready-to-fight stance and probably spoke in a command voice as he was trained to do in order to control the situation.

For his part, Crowley was just doing what he was trained to do and was trying to make sure that Gates really wasn't a burglar.

Crowley apparently saw nothing wrong in what he was doing and race was probably the furthest thing from his mind. That may have been a mistake. Had he been less stiff and formal and understood a little about racial differences, the tension probably would have been diffused.

In other words, we think if Crowley had taken a relaxed but professional stance and had just politely and in a friendly conversational tone of voice asked for ID and explained the situation to Gates, that Gates wouldn't have had his buttons pushed as they apparently were pushed.

So, as we asked at the top of this column, was this a racial matter?

The answer, again, is yes and no. It was racial in the sense that Crowley, as a white person, has a natural stiffness about him, and Gates, as a black person, has less stiffness about him and reacted to the white cop the same way he would have reacted to a black cop if the black cop had acted like the white cop.

Don't get it? Or, perhaps you reject our forensic analysis? Tell us, then, why there was such a difference in opinion between blacks and whites to the Rodney King matter and the O.J trial?

Tell us why Korean grocers in South Central LA are taking classes on how to smile and be less stiff so they won't offend their mostly black customers.

It comes down to psychology and a little understanding of human differences that are both inborn and acquired.

Oh, and white people really can't dance--ah, except for the Irish; if you call that stiff as a board, jumping up and down and not moving your arms stuff, dancing. Neither can Koreans. Sorry. It's that stiffness thing.
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FEDS ARREST 3 MAYORS AND 5 RABBIS IN CORRUPTION PROBE
Involves charities and more.
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LHC SECTOR 56 COOLING DOWN
Despite problems, only Sectors 34/45/67 remain at room temperature.
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