Good piece in the WSJ today about the Gates arrest saga about the black Harvard Professor who was arrested, the friend of Obama who was the subject of the final question of last night's press conference on health care. The question from the hometown paper of President Obama, the Chicago Sun-Times. The question which painted the final picture of the evening, that reminded all Americans that Barack Obama is a black man and there is still too much wrong with how black men are treated in this country of ours. Those white Republicans are just keeping the black man down, standing in the way of health care reform.
I'm about to share with you a deep, dark secret from my past.
I was arrested-- Okay, I wasn't arrested, but I was thrown in the back of a cop car in college. Oh, yes I was.
I have a big mouth, always have. I was at my dear husband Todd's fraternity house-- it must have been my junior year in college. We were peacefully gathered for a party. It was a decent-sized party and as I recall I had been studying that night and arrived late. I had perhaps one beer- lucky for me- before the cops broke up the party. Two of them came into the Pi Kappa Alpha house and started addressing the large circle of coeds as the underage in the group nervously wondered whether they'd start busting people. I quietly ask a person next to me- "don't they need a warrant to be in the house?"
Big mistake. From about fifteen feet away, one of the officers marched over, grabbed me by the arm and literally dragged me out of the room and down the stairs while I kept saying, "Officer, what did I do? Please officer, what did I do? Please let me go, you're hurting me." He just bellowed "You G-damn college kids, you think you're so smart."
I'll never forget Todd's look of what did you do?/what are they doing to you? I actually laugh when I tell this story now. I wasn't laughing then, I started crying.
I was in the back of the car with two other guys from the fraternity who were also deemed culprits. One of them was about the sweetest guy you'd ever meet but he was an officer in the fraternity so I guess that was his crime.
Then there was a little good cop/bad cop. One of the officers saying "I'm going to bring you downtown, you're going to jail." I was really crying now. The other one assured me, "it's just a petty misdemeanor, just pay the ticket and it will be fine." They let us go after scaring the crap out of us.
Do you think I paid that ticket? Hell no, I didn't.
I went to the U of M Law Library the next day and looked up the ordinance under which I was cited...it was a Noise Ordinance and you needed to be the owner of the home in order to be charged with the crime. Oh, and it was a misdemeanor, not a petty misdemeanor as the officer told me. I headed to the Hennepin County Courthouse in my little green suit from Express and they assigned me a public defender. The judge threw out the ticket and misdemeanor.
Another story...when my brother was in college, he and a friend were walking back from a St. Joe's bar to his St. John's University campus. It was winter, a cop pulled up along side of them and asked if they wanted a ride. "Sure." Another big mistake, he drove them back to campus and then gave them both a breath-a-lizer test and cited them for underage drinking. Entrapment much?
My cousin was beaten by cops down in Arizona in his fraternity days. Beaten unconscious and left in a park-- I kid you not. So although I certainly respect the police, I know that they are individual human beings. There are good cops, there are not-so-good cops.
Oh- by the way....I'm white, my brother's white, my cousin's white.
Is there racism? Sure. Is there discrimination? Yup. Is there bias? Uh-huh. But I am so sick of the politically correct B.S. on the T.V. with this Gates story. I don't know all the facts, but I do know this: black people are not the only people who have to deal with over-reaching police. Was this guy dragged forcibly by the arm down steps and literally pushed into the back of a cop car by the cops? I was.
It was in his home you say?
One last story: my parents were staying at my sister's house a few years back. Her fax machine line somehow got crossed with her security alarm line and phoned in an alarm call in the middle of the night. Two cops entered the house with guns drawn and walked up the stairs. My dad heard the commotion, got up and heard "get your hands up in the air!" He did.
I'm not an attorney, I don't know the law that Gates was cited under so I can't make any judgements about the case. But I can judge the President of the United States and his continual use of the race card to advance an agenda.
I'm sick of it.