All Henry Louis Gates headline needed was sex


At this late stage of the game you really do have to wonder just how much more ridiculous is this mess gonna get with Henry Louis Gates. This story should have been an ex-story the day after it happened. But then, of course, we are now living in  the age of infotainment.

Walter Cronkite is dead, outliving the death of his profession by a good decade or so.

Gates is a big name, which makes him big game in the news world. And in the New Math of what makes a never-let-it-die leading story, his arrest had all the ingredients necessary to stretch this thing out to the bitter end.  Well almost everything. The one thing missing was the interracial sex aspect. Now THAT would have made for a real KILLER story. Say, for example, that white woman across the street who reported the break-in had actually been a disgruntled lover of Gates and was using this as a chance to make that uppity negro pay for toying with her white woman affections.

See how this goes?

But alas, it was not to be. All we got was a HNIC (Head Negro In Charge) getting arrested by a white cop who was under the impression that an elderly black man walking on a cane was somehow a cat burglar who had managed to break into the home – and then who answered the door when  the doorbell rang. Do burglars do that normally? Answer the doorbell when they’re still on the clock and on site?

Portrait of a cat burglar --PHOTO COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE

Portrait of a cat burglar --PHOTO COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE

Didn’t think so. But anyway, by now you probably know the rest. Which means you know President Obama has now asked for Gates and the cop to join him at the White House for a beer and to, well, you know, just kinda chill. Just kickin’ it with the Prez. Which, I hope you will agree, is kinda ridiculous. As in this shit has really gone waaaay too far.

And now some Congressman is saying the President needs to apologize to the cop for saying he acted “stupidly”.  Seriously? I mean,  for real?

Look, Gates got caught in the web that black men elsewhere in the nation get caught in every day all day. It’s too bad, it’s fucked up, but it’s not earth-shaking. The fact that white folks and black folks in America still don’t quite ‘get’ each other is no longer a news story. The fact that racism still exists, and can even reach out and touch a Big Game Harvard professor, is still not worthy of  a week’s worth of media headlines and discussion. Not hardly.

Because these are the same headlines I’ve been seeing for at least 30 years ever since I was head of the Black Student Union in college. Which, to me anyway, means it’s just not big news anymore. Have things changed? Just glance over at the White House. But some shit is just gonna take a whole lot longer to put behind us – if ever.

And as far as making this a national race relations teachable moment that should be the subject of a documentary? And the source of new course material?

I love ya, Prof. Gates, and respect you. But you gotta be kidding me.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux


~ by Keith A. Owens on July 27, 2009.

2 Responses to “All Henry Louis Gates headline needed was sex”

  1. I have HQ audio of the 911 call, Moderator, If you are interested

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