Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Friday, July 24, 2009

For Gates and Against the Police

Professor Henry Louis Gates was perfectly justified in being pissed at the cops who ordered him out of his own home. The police sergeant who cuffed and arrested him for disorderly conduct, after he knew who Gates was, was retaliating against him, a black man, for not showing proper deference to a representative of the State. How dare he yell at a policeman who treated him like a street thug? I side with Gates.


RWW said...

"Disorderly conduct" is just a codephrase for not obeying orders.

Gary Chartier said...

Sheldon and RWW: exactly.

Sheldon Richman said...

He wasn't arrested for burglary but for not obeying and for mouthing off to a cop.

Anonymous said...

I don't have all the facts yet so I'll withhold an opinion. However, my first inclination is to side with a individual over an agent of the state. With that said, how should a free-market defense/police company employee behave in the same situtation.

Tom said...

At first glance,it seems that Gates was mistreated. If he and Obama really cared about minorities being abused by the cops, they could call for an end to drug prohibition. Don't hold your breath.

Sheldon Richman said...

A few more observations. This was not a case of racial profiling. No profiling was done whatsoever. Gates, according to accounts of the police report, immediately accused the cop of racism. That was dumb. He helped escalate the situation. The cops got a report of a break-in at the residence, and the men seen forcing in the door were described as black. Gates and his driver were indeed forcing the door, which was jammed.

But, that said, once the cop knew who Gates was, that should have been the end of it. The DO charge looks like a cop asserting his authority over a mere "civilian" who had the nerve not only to flout his orders but to mouth off to boot.

I don't think this was a racial incident. It was a cop lording it over a regular person. I do believe it would have happened had the homeowner been white.

Anon, in a free-market, Gates's own security company would have shown up. The dynamic would have been entirely different.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I was hoping Mr. Richman would comment on this, and I'm shocked that MSN discussions have completely ignored this angle in favor of a discussion about race. The latter is important, no doubt, but the most terrifying thing about the Gates incident--for me, anyway--was seeing how easily police officers dispense with basic notions of privacy (and private property) in carrying out their "duties." Yikes.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that Rad Geek has posted his thoughts on this incident too: http://radgeek.com/gt/2009/07/25/black-man-phd/

Sheldon Richman said...

Good post, as usual, by Rad.