Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Skip Gates

I find myself continuing to be enraged and outraged and every kind of raged over the arrest of Skip Gates and the surrounding commentary. I had written a long post, but then I found that much of what I was saying had been said elsewhere.

I'll point out this post by a lawyer writing about the police officer's actions. Henry at CT already made a similar point.

I find that what I am most interested in is the issue of the officer's abuse of power, which I believe is inflected by racism, but which is endemic in way too many police departments these days. We watch the news from Iran and shudder in horror over the police violence against protesters there, but we hardly blink when a police officer in our own backyard abuses his power because he's pissed off that someone has yelled at him. I'm interested in how immune, how numb we have become to police abuse of power and violations of our civil rights in the name of "safety."

Full disclosure: Gates was my professor as an undergrad and grad student. I wouldn't be in academia if it weren't for him. He's the person who told me to go to grad school and get a PhD in English.

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