[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/07/21/massachusetts.harvard.professor.arrested/art.henry.louis.gates.jr.gi.jpg" caption="Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week on a charge of disorderly conduct, but the charges have been dropped."]
The Chicago Tribune
Is this what it means to be a black man in America? This is the question that Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. asked police who arrested him last week-charges were dropped on Tuesday-while he was trying to enter his home. Gates is the director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Apparently, Gates had returned home from a trip to China to find the door to his home jammed. A neighbor saw Gates trying to enter his home and called the police, suspecting an intruder was prying open his front door. Gates forced open the door with the help of his cab driver, according to the New York Times.
Cambridge police told the Associated Press that they ordered the man to identify himself, and Gates refused. According to a police report, Gates then called the officer a racist and said, "This is what happens to black men in America." He accused the officer of racial profiling.
President Obama once wrote that he calls himself “African-American” because when he tries to hail a cab the driver sees a black man first-not a graduate of Harvard Law, nor a mixed-race person. (Of course, Obama may never have to hail a cab again.)
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