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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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Tennille Lasker-Scott

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

GATES The Public Trail of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. July 16, 2009

•The police are called to the residence of
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. for a
suspected home invasion.

•The call was made by a “passerby” who
saw Gates and his driver pushing their
shoulder into the jammed door of the home.

•The caller described the suspected burglars
as being “two black men on a porch who
were wedging their shoulders into the door.”

•Police arrive at the residence, find
Professor Gates inside and ask him to
come outside and show identification.

•Gates, admittedly, first refused to show
identification. However, he produced his
Harvard identification shortly thereafter.

•Both parties have different accounts
of what transpired after the initial refusal.
The Black Professor vs. The White Cop •Refused to come outside of residence.
•Showed MA driver’s license and Harvard identification.
• Officer very disrespectful and distrusting when asking for identification.
• Asked for officer’s name and badge number.
• Accused officer of racial profiling. •Responding to call on suspected home invasion.
• Requested for Professor to come outside and produce identification to prove ownership.
• Professor responded with refusal and asking, “Why because I am a black man in America?”
• Professor became increasing belligerent to the point that an arrest for “disorderly conduct” was warranted.
The Public Trial of Henry Louis Gates Jr. Important Statistics for this time period:


•Blacks only made up 2% of tenured (or tenure track) professor positions at Harvard University (The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2007)

•Blacks are 12% the population in Cambridge, MA


•Black men make up 14% of the American population but are 39.5% of the prison population.

•Hate groups rose 4% after Obama decided to run for the Presidency. (Newsweek, 2009)

•Hate crimes against Black rose 8% in 2008. (FBI’s 2008 Hate Crime Statistics).

•Although the Department of Justice reports that due to crimes such as church and home bombings/burnings that are not reported as hates crimes and many people who do not report the crimes because of their distrust of law enforcement the true number of hate crimes are more like 20 to 30 times higher than reported.
Recent Incidents involving African-Americans and Law Enforcement:

•Atlanta police officers shooting 39 bullets at a 92-year old woman, and then planting drugs on her to justify the no-knock warrant that was issued.

•In New York, the shootings of Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo, one receiving 50 bullets and the other 41 respectively, from police officers while both were unarmed civilians.

•New Orleans police of shooting unarmed civilians right after Hurricane Katrina, and then try to cover it up.

What is Your Analysis? Analysis:

Power influencing stereotype - Power- defined as the ability to control outcomes. Associated with a tendency to think stereotypically; power captures attention so powerless people must pay close attention to ones with the power (and not simply rely on stereotypes); powerful people pay considerably less attention to their subordinates and are more vulnerable to stereotypic thinking.

Displaced aggression and scapegoating - when as a society you are hurting, you displace your aggression and become more hostile in your prejudice to out-group members

Why do we develop stereotypes? It’s easier, provides shortcuts. Woman who made 911 call was stereotyping (a Cognitive Source of Prejudice).

Race Profiling - The consideration of race when developing a profile of suspected criminals; by extension, a form of racism involving police focus on people of certain racial groups when seeking suspected criminals. (Dictionary.com)

Implicit stereotyping – The unconscious or unintentional stereotyping in which the person has no conscious recollection of the triggering experience. (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995)

The End References:

Allport, G.W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Conant, E. (2009, April 25). Rebranding hate in the age of Obama. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/id/195085/page/1

CNN. (2009, July 21). Charge against Harvard professor dropped. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/21/massachusetts.harvard.professor.arrested/

CNN. (2009, July 23). Obama: Police who arrested professor ‘acted stupidly.’ Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/index.html

Goodnough, A. (2009, July 20). Harvard professor jailed; officer is accused of bias. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/us/21gates.html?_r=3

Gale CENGAGE Learning. (2009). Biography: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Retrieved from http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/gates_h.htm

Jan, T. (2009, June 20). Harvard professor Gates arrested at Cambridge home. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/07/harvard.html

Jones, M. (2002). The social psychology of prejudice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Levin, S., & Dyer, E. (1988). A racial divide: Young whites, blacks find little common ground. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, A-16.

McPhee, M., Harris, D., & Schabner. D. (2009, July 20) Prominent black scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. arrested after racism charge. ABC News/U.S. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=8131953&page=1

Martineau, J. (2009, July 23). Sgt. James Crowley: Is cop that arrested Gates a profiling expert? Now Public. Retrieved from http://www.nowpublic.com/world/sgt-james-crowley-cop-arrested-gates-profiling-expert.

The Department of Cambridge Community Development. (2006). Demographics & Socioeconomic Profile. Retrieved from http://www.cambridgema.gov/cdd/data/ demosocioprofile2006.pdf
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