Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Read Stanley Fish on Professor Gates

Sometimes I can't resist sending you to an extraordinary blog!
by Charlie Leck

Stanley Fish writes an excellent blog in the NY Times called Think Again! I rate it among the top 5 blogs I read. His latest post is one you should not miss reading and, therefore, I recommend it to you. It begins this way...

"Henry Louis Gates: Déjà Vu All Over Again

"I’m Skip Gates’s friend, too. That’s probably the only thing I share with President Obama, so when he ended his press conference last Wednesday by answering a question about Gates’s arrest after he was seen trying to get into his own house, my ears perked up.

"As the story unfolded in the press and on the Internet, I flashed back 20 years or so to the time when Gates arrived in Durham, N.C., to take up the position I had offered him in my capacity as chairman of the English department of Duke University. One of the first things Gates did was buy the grandest house in town (owned previously by a movie director) and renovate it. During the renovation workers would often take Gates for a servant and ask to be pointed to the house’s owner. The drivers of delivery trucks made the same mistake.

"The message was unmistakable: What was a black man doing living in a place like this?

"At the university..."
I hope I have piqued your interest. To read the rest click here.

For further reading on the subject, Bob Herbert, of the NY Times wrote a column about the subject that is now getting wide circulation. It's called Innocence is No Defense. It's very much worthwhile reading and helps us better understand the phenomonon of profiling.
"Young, old, innocent as the day is long — it doesn’t matter. Your skin color can leave you perpetually vulnerable to a sudden and devastating criminal injustice."
[Bob Herbert: Innocence is No Defense]

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