Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates
Harvard professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates had locked himself out of his house. Gates, among the nation's pre-eminent African-American academics, managed to open a door, but soon found himself confronted by Cambridge, Mass., police investigating a potential break-in — meaning, of course, his attempt to get back into his own house.
The Boston Globe captures the scene last Thursday:
He was booked for disorderly conduct after "exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior," according to the Cambridge police log.
Atlantic blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates, himself African-American, remarks:
"I bet he did exhibit 'loud and tumultuous behavior.' I likely would too. Actually, I wouldn't. But I don't work for Harvard. And my mother taught me how black men are to address the police."