Friday, July 24, 2009

YouTube users respond to "Gates-Gate"

You've probably heard about the controversial arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr - an esteemed scholar of African-American history and literature at Harvard - who was taken into custody last week by Cambridge police officer, James Crowley, for "disorderly conduct." The quick backstory is that Gates had lost his keys and was trying to get into his own home, and a neighbor who did not recognize him decided to call the police and report a possible break-in attempt. Crowley was the police officer who responded to the call, and when he approached the house, he found a very angry Gates who was not happy about having to explain himself. After some allegedly heated back-and-forth (the details are still not entirely clear), Crowley ended up arresting Gates in front of his home, and Gates ended up accusing Crowley of being a racist. Though charges have been dropped, Gates is still mad, and Crowley refuses to apologize.

The incident has set the blogosphere ablaze about whether or not the color of Gates' skin had an impact on how events played out. Was it racial profiling? Was Office Crowley doing his job? Would this have happened if Gates had lighter skin? Even President Obama offered his two cents during his press conference on Wednesday, stirring up even more discussion and debate.

Members of the YouTube community are joining the national conversation, too, and posting video responses to YouTube. Check out a few below:

Xpandergt argues that what happened is not "racial profiling":

Zennie62 weighs in with his perspective about how race may have played a role:

TheArtofTheComment blames the media and public discourse for pushing "aside our efforts at critical thinking in favor of making broad partisan statements about race relations":

User joegully calls Gates a "disgrace" for using race to draw attention to himself:

A representative from ConservativeNewMedia shares his thoughts on Obama's remarks about the Gates incident:


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