While charges were dropped in both cases no one should be surprised that racial profiling is alive and well in America. Shankar, while of Indian origin, appeared somewhat Middle Eastern and was referred to as a “sand nigger”. As I’ve read various accounts and opinions concerning the Gates/ Crowley incident I find that every black author has a similar police experience to relate. Not so with white commentators who seem to focus on whether Obama should have reigned in his thoughts until all the facts were in.
My own dust ups with the law concern mostly protest rally incidents although I did have a dubious but frightening arrest in North Carolina in the early 70’s. Pulled over for “crossing a (non-existent) double yellow line” I was held overnight in county jail until money could be wired to pay my fine. Although I was just an unwelcome long hair hippy to shake down, this did give me a vicarious taste of profiling and marginalization by authority.
I wonder if the White House Beer Summit really did any good. Gates may have been disrespectful, but Crowley used his authority to prove he could make you have a really bad day. Race or testosterone? I’m thinking a bit of both, but it’s foolish to believe we are in a post racial America.