July 25, 2009

More Henry Louis Gates: Porch Choice Of Evidence

And then, isn’t this photo the quintessential racial projective — to one eye, shouting harassment, entrapment, racial profiling of the Harvard professor; to another, the picture of “uppity”?

(If you think the presence of the black cop throws things off, perhaps, but he can also fit both scenarios. On the one hand, he could be seen as in denial or co-opted by “the man” (considering “he has his back to it” or he’s in daylight.) To someone else, however, the visual presence of an African-American cop would automatically argue against the claim of a racial thing.

Also wondering, does anybody know the neighbor’s (real) story in (a.) taking the picture, and especially (b.) letting it loose?

(photo: Demotix Images/B. Carter via AP. caption: In this photo taken by a neighbor Thursday July 16, 2009 Henry Louis Gates Jr. center, the director of Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, is arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass. Police say they were called to the home of Gates after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door.)

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Michael Shaw
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