Sunday, August 30, 2009

Was Harvard professor bullied or bullying?

We learned from this single incident that certain behaviors are not acceptable and should be checked. Nationally renowned social-anthropologist, Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested on his front porch for misbehavior toward a police officer. Prof. Gates is of African-American ethnicity. The arresting officer was many years the professor’s junior, a police instructor of profiling techniques, and Caucasian."

The question remains: Should Professor Gates sue for racial discrimination?

"Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, an organization that has sued the New York Police Department many times on behalf of individuals and groups, told [the ethicist] that lawsuits can be ‘an important tool for reform when coupled with advocacy and public education efforts and when the circumstances are conducive to change.’”

Barack Obama called this incident a “teachable moment." Can we Americans learn from this incident about the racism that continues to haunt this country? Or do we just take sides?

Black, Latino, and Native American mothers and fathers teach their sons about what to do when they will be arrested for crimes not committed. The problem is just this common.

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