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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's the matter with Cambridge?

I wanted to hold my fire on the bizarre case of Henry Louis Gates and the Cambridge Police until all the facts were. Thankfully it didn't take long. Unfortunately, my suspicions were true.

After the great strides Boston, Cambridge and the rest of the Massachusetts has made in living down the bitter past of busing and racism, it's still out there. And the actions of a handful of people still make us all look awful.

This one is bizarre from the get go. Who called the police at the site of Gates trying to get into his own home? A neighbor, who ostensibly should have known him? A passerby?

Accepting that a call may have been appropriate, the police response was not. Once Gates produced identification, the whole thing should have ended. Even if Gates was (justifiably) outraged at being challenged to identify himself in his own living room, the police officer should have had enough common sense to apologize for the inconvenience, say he was doing his job and walk away.

That's where things get truly bizarre in the "he said, he said" phase -- and why the matter should not be dropped with charges.
  • Did Sgt. James Crowley refuse to identify himself?
  • Did Gates, who says he had bronchitis, really shout at the sergeant?
There seem to be some basic discrepancies between Gates account and the police report. And the speed with which the charge was dropped suggests rather clearly whose story was more believable.

I sighed with frustration when I heard that Rasheed Wallace, like Kevin Garnett before him, questioned Boston's past before agreeing to sign with the Celtics. Ancient history, I thought, but still out there.

Maybe not so ancient after all.

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Blogger Chris Rich said...

Cambridge is a strange meddlesome ditz bubble with high incidence of what I've come to call, dynamic dysfunction.

The convergence of all these manic meddlesome ditzes makes for bizarre unraveling.

Skip's place is a block from Harvard and it is not the sort of neighborhood where a broad daylight front door break in is likely.

Any person with the clue God gave a gnat would know this but, this is Cambridge.

July 22, 2009 9:11 AM  

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