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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, July 24, 2009

A jerk is a jerk, no matter who he is

So what is the more reasonable scenario?

A prominent, well-respected Harvard professor, who happens to be a black man, comes home to find he can't get into his house because he forgot his keys, or the door is jammed, or whatever. After several minutes of fiddling with the lock he gets into the house. But, as he is turning on the lights, a police officer is standing at the front door asking to see some identification because he got a call that the house maybe being robbed. "Oh, yes officer," says the distinguished research professor and historical documentarian, "let me get that for you. The lock on the door is not working properly and I had to force it open. Here you go, here's my drivers license and university ID." And then, the cop arrests the professor anyways because he is really a racist.

OR

A prominent, elitist Harvard professor with a racist chip on his shoulder, who sees a Klansman standing behind every cop, comes home to find he can't get into his house because the door is jammed, or what ever. After several minutes fiddling with the lock he finally gets into his house. But, as he is turning on his lights, a police officer is standing at the door asking to see some ID because he received a call that this house looked to be being robbed. "What are you talking about? I live here. Doncha you know who I am? This is nothing but racial profiling. You think because I am a black man I am breaking into a house, you racist. I bet your mama is a bigot, too." And then after several more minutes of this raging, disrespectful tirade, the professor is arrested for disorderly conduct.

The irony in all this, is that after president Barry opened his big mouth by accusing the police involved with the case of "acting stupidly," the arresting officer states that he was a big supporter of the president.

It is my experience that if you act like a jerk, you are going to be treated like a jerk.

I have been confronted by cops on several occasions for a variety of things like loitering, running a stop sign, being somewhere I wasn't suppose to be, and even when there were what I thought to be misunderstandings, never did it occur to me to "press" my rights with the cop by calling him an idiot.

There was one time, early in my college days, that I had long hair. I had that pothead, hippy look. On a particular occasion I was meeting some folks out in the rural part of a county in Arkansas to do some camping in the woods. I couldn't find the meeting place, so I was driving slowly up and down the rural highway looking to where I needed to turn. I got pulled over by a state trooper, who must of thought I was drunk or high, and I can tell you right now he was one of these small town, tobacco chewing, red neck troopers who just loved to hassle long haired hippy potheads. I'm talking "Bull" Conner.

He got me out of the car. He asked me a bunch of questions about where I was going, whose car I was driving, why did I have MO plates instead of AR plates. I got padded down. With out asking, he told me to give him my keys. He opened the trunk. My dad, who was an electrician, had left some pieces of pipe he had cut from a recent job. The trooper looked through the ends (presumably for dope). He smelled them (presumably for dope). He put me in his car while he ran a check on my driver's license. At this point I was beginning to fret about being brutalized in the county lock-up.

Finally, he let me go with a ticket for expired tags. I can't explain it, but I had that feeling this guy was wanting something to stick so he could take me in. Yet, all through the demoralizing experience, I never called him a hick, or a bigot, or even said anything nasty about his mother. I just said yes sir, no sir, and answered his questions clearly and as accurately as I could. And I bet, if I had acted squirrely, I would have been calling my parents from the jail in Bradford, AR.

I guess in my mind, a distinguished Harvard research professor who is big friends with Oprah and the president of the United States, would have a higher regard for the law and law enforcement.

Then again, maybe I am expecting too much from these folks.

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3 Comments:

Blogger The Squirrel said...

Very well stated, Fred. It's that whole "Romans 13" thing.

I recall from just last week a reporter got tear-gassed in Israel while reporting on a demonstration. The crowds had been ordered to disperse, they hadn't, they got gassed. Reporter whined, "But nobody was armed, they weren't doing anything!"

Actually, yes they were, they were disobeying the lawful authority's orders to disperse.

When a police officer asks you to do something, whether it is to identify yourself, or to go home, or to step out of the car, you are supposed to follow their instructions. Period. End of story.

Mr. "I know the President" is a jerk.

~Squirrel

8:49 AM, July 24, 2009  
Blogger The Seeking Disciple said...

President Obama has done nothing to help himself in this case. He should have followed Proverbs and kept his mouth shut until he had all the information. He simply made an assumption that was false about this peace officer.

As for Dr. Gates, he should have done what the officer wanted and then let it go unless the officer continued to harass Mr. Gates.

This whole story just smells bad from the start. Sadly, the cop will not win this fight and will be forced out by the cry from the black community. Thanks again Obama. You destroyed another job!

1:05 PM, July 24, 2009  
Blogger Craig and Heather said...

Yes,
In my younger days I made the mistake of starting to argue with a police officer once. I barely escaped going to jail that night. We forget that police officers put their lives on the line every day. That guy with the smart mouth is a very threatening prospect for them. They can't afford to allow the situation to get out of control, because it only takes once.

We should always remember Romans 13,

Craig

8:03 PM, July 24, 2009  

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