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20 July 2009



maybe this will radicalize skip. he's the epitome of black bourgeois.


It is reasonable for him to be upset and angry with the police. When the police arrived, he was already in the house. He showed them his state id and Harvard id. A white professor would not have had to suffer such an indignity of showing his id in his own home.

I would have been shouting all kinds of expletives if they threatened to arrest me and then actually arrested me for entering my very own house. I'm glad that they didn't cause any physical harm to Dr. Gates. This man ranks high amount the most important historians of all time.


Typical police reaction. I would question the woman who called the police. Did she know who lived at that house? No matter who you are, they only see black. I hope Dr. Gates sues the pants off of them. Cambridge police has come under fire in the past for racial profiling and harassment.


we like the black bourgeois. they serve a purpose too. the racist cop on the other hand is catching hell and showing the world that even with a black president, america has a long way to go when it comes to equality and color blind justice.


I hope he sues them also. The idea that they would arrest someone AFTER they are settled in their own home. What would a burgler say? That he broke in so he could get a drink and relax on the couch?

It's ridiculous. They only understand money and power and Prof. Gates has both, as well as many influential people of all races behind him. Sue, sue, sue!!!


I took a class with Prof Gates while I was at Stanford. He is brilliant. Cambridge is crazy racist. I'm a mexican-american female (but very light skinned) and this incident reminds me of a time that my black male friend and I went to eat in cambridge. They sat four white couples in front of us, gave us dirty looks, and only sat us after I made a big deal.


Sorry - I meant while I was at Harvard - I did my undergrad at Stanford and my Masters at Harvard.


he may be bourgeois but he has done more to educate people of african descent -- and for that matter any descent -- about africa and its people and heritage than all the radicals at harvard put together and you can throw in yale too


After reading the police report, the white woman who called the police initially told the police that she saw two black men with backpacks on the porch of Dr. Gates' home. Then she said she saw ONE of the men prying the front door open. Where was the other black guy with a backpack at? Did Dr. Gates have a backpack as well? Dr. Gates also uses a cane.


I hope this will get Skip to wake up. He has been the epitome of the helpful/useless black intellectual-- unwilling to take any stand that would put him at odds with the power brokers he worships and needs to fuel his success. Besides the fact that for the last few years he has been on a rampage talking about how much white blood he has in him (so his interracial marriages aren't so interracial?).

Guess he really is black after all. The alarm has sounded, Skip-- it's time to wake up!!


I doubt that well-paid Skip Gates is technically "bourgeois" in the political-economic sense, even if he is exceedingly elitist-- i.e., in love with the Talented Tenth. I am glad he got treated like poor, wage-slave, hyper-educated (faggot) Niggas like me.

Is Skip called "bourgeois" because he is educated, or because of his income?

Is the bourgeoisie the American ruling elite of thousands of billionaire and multi-millionaire families, or does it include well-paid black college professors, whether radical egalitarian (like Cornel West), liberal (like Gates) or Conservative (like Shelby Steele)???

Is Obama bourgeois,or rather the highly symbolic representative of the mostly White bourgeoisie (the rich, ruling elite) in America? Can Obama represent a poor Nigga like me when he works for the ruling, mostly White rich?

The real "black bourgeoisie"-- black folk who can qualify as "ruling elite" in political-economic power-- is so tiny as to be virtually non-existent.

Very strong comments, Joseph. Welcome back. -RM


Too bad Skip's WHITE wife wasn't at home. She could have cleared his name immediately.

Jamel Smith

This is a typically situation of what us black folks have to go through on a daily basis; being mistaken for being involved in a negative situation because of the color of our skin. As someone pointed out, if Dr. Gates was white, the situation would have been different.


... crabs in a basket...


>>>What do you call a black millionaire with a Phd and a driving a Mercedes? "A nigger."<<<

And that's exactly how Mr. Talented Tenth "I'm Part White and My Wife is All White!" was treated.


Bourgeois or NOT, he didn't deserve to be treated like that in his own place of residence. I would have been exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior too. This is disgusting and like others have said I hope he sues them BLIND!!

I loved his PBS Special on Ancestry.

Cindy Birdsong the Good Supreme

No matter what folk think about him Gates did not deserve such treatment. That is the point. Do we only advocate for Blacks with whom we have complete agreement? Please. I live in a city right next to Cambridge and was told by a white cop to move my car from my own driveway. When the good officer was told that it was my home He responsed in front of an 11 year old male child; "I don't give a FU**! This is policing in Cambridge and Boston.

That same day I was in a Salvatore Feragamo (Am I too of the Bourgeoise?) I was being helped by a young white male who propmptly left me in the middle of a sentence to help a Japanese woman and her companions who had walked in after me. He returned apologizing saying he thought she was going to make an immediate purchase. She bought nothing. I did. Us niggas is ketching hell up here in Massa-chusetts!


[Cindy is a friend to Rod 2.0. I don't appreciate you calling her names. And fwiw, I have Ferragamo ties. -RM ]


@ Joseph

You are so right. As Jesse Jackson once remarked "We have a few high paid employees, but we don't own a thing." (Incidentally, this is why reparations will only enrich white folks-- if you do not own any capital you will not have any sustained wealth.) But Skip and his ilk are as close as we are going to get, and he is a real "striver" in terms of wanting more access to power.

Like you, I have a big problem with many of these black academics who trade in race and yet rarely truly speak truth to power. They spend more time lining their pockets and not growing a generation of thinkers (there are some exceptions). What use is power if you are not going to use it?!? As a young academic myself these folks make me want to scratch my hair out more often than not.

I'm sorry, but this story has touched a nerve for me. I have no doubt that Skip will turn this into more self-promotion (a book, a few interviews, a TV special, Oprah?) while the real issue of unequal justice will be swept under the rug. That just really bugs me, because that unequal justic is killing us, taking people out of our communties and hobbling them once they return....OK, off my soap box (for now).

Brother Philip

"Two black males with backpacks." Proof positive of a crime in progress. It never entered the caller's mind that they actually might live there. When was the last time a 58 year old broke into a house in broad daylight?


It's going to be brilliant (IN ADVANCE) to see Skip Gates furious at a system that, in some ways, I honestly believe he thought he'd never have to endure.

I am going to sit back and look for the op-ed piece that will follow.



Rod said: Skip Gates exhibited "loud and tumultuous behavior" when he was arrested for breaking and entering into his own home? Hell yeah you bet he did. I would too.

Chris said: I would have been shouting all kinds of expletives if they threatened to arrest me and then actually arrested me for entering my very own house.

I tell you, you all must have had much better experiences with cops than I have, because I learned long ago that a cop will arrest you for any reason, and especially for arguing. He has the gun, he has the power, and he has a whole system of so-called “law” that will back him up. So you better shut the h*ll up if you are interested in staying alive.

I have been close to killed by a cop too many times. They are bad, bad news.


Wow, there's a whole lotta hate out there for Skip Gates. Crabs in the barrel indeed. Skip Gates and his alleged bourgeois status is not the issue here.

I'm hardly suprised by this incident. The Boston/Cambridge area is notorious for it's racial hostility. I knew it was bad when an ex of mine, an Italian, thought it was crazy that any black folks would live there based on what he'd seen and the way white folks talked about blacks behind their backs.

Back to my first point, ever notice how middle class black folk are always put on blast for not being 'Black' enough? Notice how Whitney Houston was treated ( including being booed by a black audience) when she was America's pop princess? Once she married Bobby Brown, started smoking crack and acting like an all around hot mess, her blackness was never called into question again. Hmmm...


As an educated upper middle class black man who fought my way up from poverty to where I am now I must say that I am disappointed at the negative comments about this brilliant man.

The black race is not monolithic. Not only do we come in different shades but also in a variety presenations. Since when is 'ghetto' black. Since when are we COMPELLED to date/marry within the race. Since when does black mean uneducated and non intellectual.
We need to break this mindset.

Mr Gates was treated unfairly by those cops because of his race. Period!

He is no less deserving of our support because he has done good and succeeded in white america!


It doesn't matter if he was a Harvard prof or a janitor. Police response was not acceptable. Period

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