Saturday, July 25, 2009

Henry Gates: Perhaps There's Another Core Issue Here?

We all know the story by now: Dr. Gates attempts to "break into" his own home; a neighbor calls 911; police officers arrive; Gates is mouthy and gets cuffed. Media get the story; Obama inflames it; a meeting has been proposed at which everyone has a beer and leaves friendly.

I found myself focusing on one main element of this story, though: Why did the neighbor call 911?

The answer is fairly obvious: She didn't realize that Dr. Gates actually lived in that house. Which led to another question: Why did the neighbor not recognize Gates?

This answer is also fairly obvious: She didn't recognize him because they are apparently not acquainted, despite being neighbors.

And this, I thought, was a bit odd. Growing up, I recognized everyone who lived within three doors of our house in any direction. There were a few my parents wanted me to steer clear of, but I recognized them nevertheless. Now I live in a subdivision where most people drive straight into their garages...and I still recognize my neighbors. If I saw them trying to open the front door without success, I would probably consider helping them in some way.

But this neighbor lady didn't recognize Gates. Perhaps she is new to the neighborhood. Perhaps she secretly hates the man for some unknown reason and thought this would be an amusing way to torment him (in which case, it's not the policeman who deserves the focus...but I doubt this theory myself). Perhaps she has a mental problem (I doubt that, too, but the media isn't beyond casting such aspersions at people, either).

Or, perhaps Gates is an unfriendly neighbor who hasn't made any effort to get to know those who live on his street. Perhaps he doesn't wave at passersby when he takes a morning or evening walk.

I don't know. But I don't think the MSM has pursued this line of thinking, either.

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