Mark Steyn on why Henry Louis Gates was “plain stupid”

Why Obama shouldn’t be defending the Harvard prof


Last week’s encounter between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and a Cambridge police officer called to Gates’s home over reports of a break-in remind Mark Steyn of his own run-in with a surly Vermont police officer. After being called a “liar” by the officer, Steyn considered his options: he could either “get hot under the collar” and end up in a violent confrontation, or he could write a letter to the cop’s boss complaining about the treatment he received. “I chose the latter course, and received a letter back offering partial satisfaction,” he writes. But Gates went with the former, which according to Steyn “is just plain stupid” if one puts any sort of premium on one’s personal safety. And yet, Steyn fumes, in spite of the poor choices Gates made, several high-profile politicians have publicly sided with the professor. “A black president, a black governor and a black mayor all agree with a black Harvard professor that he was racially profiled by a white-Latino-black police team, headed by a cop who teaches courses in how to avoid racial profiling. The boundless elasticity of such endemic racism suggests that the ‘post-racial America’ will be living with blowhard grievance-mongers like professor Gates unto the end of time.”

Orange County Register

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Mark Steyn on why Henry Louis Gates was “plain stupid”

  1. Disappointing choice by Steyn.

    • Are you surprised? Anything else from Steyn would have been quite shocking. In fact, I didn't expect him to be this mild in his criticism of Gates. Steyn must be getting old.

  2. The President decided to step on this racial rake, and it snapped up and popped him in the nose like some literally placed cartoon slapstick–later on admitting that he didn't have all the "facts of the matter" in hand, etc. Well–then why open one's mouth?

  3. Even when close relatives call from the jailhouse or "find" themselves in cuffs, the policy is to seek out all the facts and even after that refain from pulling one's weight around and barking at the cops and the authorities. NOT COOL.

    Well, THAT was stupid on the part of the POTUS. That was the transparently political albeit really dumb part–not the actions of the cops.

    I realize that in what seem to be some busybodies' continual urge to make most anything racial (we call them race baiters and race hustlers down here), the temptation must have been overwhelming for a friend in good standing to Dr. Gates felt the need to step in.

  4. Only, sometimes we have to watch where we step. There is no convincing evidence the police acted in a manner inconsistent with the routing things done when a call is placed and not all the people are ID.

    I don't know if Gates-Gate has any more legs to it or will turn things sour. Let's hope not. But it points out certainly the upper limited on trying to portray white America as just damn chemically racist in all fronts and all contexts to make some thin ideological point that, as with studies on about ants and stem cells, is just another dig at individualist thought.

    Now the POTUS wants a beer with the cops! Well, hell-s now it's time to hit the pub!

    WOW. What a transformation.

  5. Steyn has a point – we all have a responsibility to kiss cops' asses and if we don't we shouldn't be upset if they abuse their discretionary powers.

    Think I've captured that about correctly?

    • No, not even in the same ballpark.

      So, you consider the term "I'll see your mama outside!" to be an appropriate response to a cop. Or ""You don't know who you're messin' with."

      Frankly, I know what would happen if I said that to a local cop – the same thing that happened to Gates. I'm white.

  6. Come visit Richland County SC, during any football Friday, and watch the careful restraint on the cops faces and in their actions as they quietly call for a little backup when some of the teen punks say things to the effect of, oh…let's see here…ah yes:

    "I'm gonna put a cap in your A**, homeboy MUTHA****er, and yer gonna be my b**CH, "

    and sometimes "Come on with it, you white country, G–damned cracker"

    At this point, it is entirely possible the average person, so armed with mace and billy clubs, to face the overwhelming temptation to shove one of these things were the sun ain't shinin' and to make a cringing, human popsicle of of these punks. And this is about every Friday night.

    You never know what you're getting into as a cop.

    The POTUS popped his mouth off without all the facts in, because he knew that mileage is yet to be gained from the ignoble but always effective race card.

  7. Mr. Cook.

    I am the last person on the planet to be an ass-kisser, and I think Mr. Steyn would fall into that category as well.

    But there is an old English saying "discretion is the better part of valor" that might apply here.

    Cops are local enforcers and so we don't necessarily have to worry about Big Brother doing his latest manifestation in pestering Everyman at that level. They are also long-suffering when tolerating people's crap.

  8. Here we go again– as soon as one person is white & the other a -different shade–anything that happens– is called "racist" If wron g is done in by either–the law should prevail. A president should not get involved in such matters–it's a police matter. This will come again & again–he was voted in–now U hav e to deal with him.that's what U get when someone is put on a pedastol.He has much to learn about mankind–yet!!!

    • the law did prevail….all charges against Gates were dropped… but he is still at fault right?

      • Of course. In America you're guilty until you've found Jesus.