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July 26th, 2009
08:43 PM ET

Is Racial Profiling Real?

A panel of experts joins CNN's Don Lemon on Saturday night to discuss the arrest of Henry "Skip" Gates, esteemed professor of African-American studies at Harvard University. He was inside his own home in Cambridge when a white police officer came to his door in response to a 911 call of a possible break-in at the residence. What happened next is not 100 percent clear, but Gates ended up in handcuffs. Disorderly conduct charges were later dropped, but immediately allegations of racial profiling surfaced. The panel explains how this incident speaks to a much deeper issue that needs to be addressed at all levels of society.

Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Kovith

    Racial Profiling maybe real, but, annoyed me was the CNN and the Republican try to MILK on the Obama's comments. Let it go!!!!

    July 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Firstly, I believe that we as African Americans have to remain conscience that we have not fully arrived in the main stream of America. I think that Professor Gates pride as a dignified black male who has as President Obama have seen some pretty rough times in their climb to the positions that they hold. President and an elite Harvard Professor is quite an accomplishment for black men in this unbalanced system. Do I think that the Officer is a bigot. From appearances he looks to be a pretty nice guy. He's humble looking. I do think that he may have panicked and for what? Professor Gates looks to be much older than he which physically the Officer had the upper had, self protection he had several weapons, a gun, mace probably, and a back up radio.

    I do feel that once Professor Gates showed his ID, that the matter should have been settled. Professor Gates doesn't look to be wanting an altercation he wanted to get into his home and he like all humans can loose, misplace a key to his door. I question if the incident had happened in a not so influential neighborhood. Would the black man be just another statistic though. I think it is degrading to seek Professor Gates handcuffed and booked like a criminal which his character and dignity has been tarnished by the photographs.

    I think that the caller that made the call should be questioned and that take played and why is that not a topic of discussion, oh I almost forgot the caller may not have been African American. Do I think that the Officer acted out of race? Initially, no. I think he was responding to a call and when he arrived the person was black and affluent. I think Professor Gates may have a large ego and felt. "I'm Professor Gates." I also think that intimidation on the part of the Police Officer because he was such an affluent black male, living in such an affluent community and teaching non-African Americans may have been a bit much for him. The inbreading whether he was conscience of it or not, the in breeding that because of his color he is Superior, and regardless of a Black Man's Achievements he is still a black man in American and all of the old rules or racism are applicable. "Know your place." After viewing some of the viedos of some of the Police Officers especially the one that did most of the talking he appears like he could be a hostile and is itching for an altercation.

    I think that African Americans have to continue to work towards excellence, in our communities, schools, universities, churches and all areas of our lives. We have to pull one another up as we succeed, we have to remeber the struggle and those who have gone before us to bring us to a place where there are Black Elite Professors, Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers; where we do not tolerate the destruction of our communities, and educational systems, we have to demonstrate cohesiveness and non-compliance to betrayal against one another. I think that one we demonstrate that we are tolerate and respect one another that racism will evaporate. A house divided against itself will fall.

    I don't feel that the President should apologise for anything that he said, his apology only gives power to racisim and anyone such as the Police Officer can make a mistake, and it was a mistake. I think Professor Gates is a very proud man, and he has every right to be. He went against the grain of racism in America and became an Affluent Black Professor and I feel he deserves an apology. Just like the police officers stand behind the Officer I stand behind Gates one – hundred percent. I contend that the caller should be questioned because if he/she is a resident in that community she has observed Gates going in and out of his house daily and instead of providing assistance the caller added controversy. Why? Presumptively because the caller don't want Blacks in the community, rich, poor, affluent, or poverty stricken, and let alone teaching at such a University as Harvard. The racism has been smoldering. That just goes to show how jealous some people are and how far they will go to bring you down. I was hurt to see Professor Gates in hand cuffs. It reminds me of those pictures I see of the slaves when they were brought to America on Slaves ships. Racism has not changed it is only camuflouge because of the laws against it.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  3. Elliott

    I'd like to hear what Officers Lashley and King have to say about the hateful signs that were placed in front of Dr. Gates home this weekend. Do they still think that race is not an issue in this case? Their unabashed support of Sgt. Crowley is perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of this whole episode for me as an African American male. I fear that they've somehow been blinded to what's really going on.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Lisa

    The most appropriate thing to do is to address the issue of Police Abuse of Power and define: What Actually is Racial Profiling?

    July 26, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  5. Tony

    Who is the neighbor who does not know this internationally known professor? I know my negihbors and none of them are famous. If I had a famous person on my block I would definitely know him or her, where they lived and what they looked like.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  6. charly

    Hi Don,
    You asked why whites tend to get defensive when racism is brought up - the reason is, I think, because whites have not been the victims of racism, but the instigators, so whites are much more defensive. They don't see racism the same way blacks do, because their experience is from another direction. Sgt. Crowley was obligated to investigate the possibility of a break-in but once it was established that the Professor lived there, regardless of how he overreacted, the officer should have left. For someone who supposedly teaches racial sensitivity, that officer completely failed the test. What really bothered me were the trumped up charges just to cover his behavior. Hopefully, he's not a racist and just made a poor judgment call. We all do. For the record, I'm white

    July 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  7. Erma Lee

    Racism is a cancer, decease, and an old dirty laundry that we need to address in the new America of change. As an African American woman living in a mostly white community because of the Gate & Crowly incident whites are now starting to support for my business. The Art Garden of Eden.

    This was going to happen sooner or later we need to remove this cancer
    racism once and for all. Let rid ourselves of this sickness and start the process of healing. God will help us if we are willing to help ourselves.


    July 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  8. MzMartin

    Wow. Tim Wise was on point. Thats what we need. More people to be real and sincere about their conditioned reactions when it comes to race. Please keep him I'm a black female and his words sure made me feel better. Yes, there is hope for us to get along, one day.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  9. adthought

    yes, it's real! Your panel had it right. Come on everyone please give the black officer a break. This man needs his job. First, look at the bacground of the case, he wasn't even in the house. Secondly, the police department is a fraternity and whether black or white you do not cross them and especially a black speaking against a white officer.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  10. Josh

    The liberal media and our liberal president need to let the law enforcement do their jobs. If we want to end racisim in this country cnn and barack obama need to stop this black propaganda and let all races be equal. Where are your programs on white, asian, indian, or whatever it may be life in america. Wheres my white history month. Many races have faced hardships even worse than the blacks, this &%x& needs to stop.

    July 26, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  11. David J. Smith

    I don't quite understand why it is only white people that are racists. I am glad this discussion is happening but do not believe that it will lead to a positive result until black people start to deal wityh their predudice. My ancestry is German. Immagine if you will being raised in a Northern European Jewish neighborhood immediately after WWII. That is my background. I had teachers that told me not to mention that I was German in heritage. I was told stories of German businesses being burned and their owners being hung from street lamps during the first world war, in Nebraska where I was raised. So I don't understand why black people think they are the only ones to ever be descriminated against. My Aunts, second generation German background to this day do not acknolodge theri herritage and tell me not to either. None of our family had anything to do with the NAZI but we are tainted with that stain. My family came here in the 1800's just in time to fight in the Civil War for the Union. They hadent even gotten their citizenship yet so maybe black people need to stop blaming everyone who is not black and stop profilling white people. By the way, on my fathers side we are English. My family was brought over here as endentured servants,(slaves). black people do not have an exclusive in that regard either. You want dialog, O.K. This professor was wrong in his actions. The Cop may have over reacted. As for an appology, both need to appologise but I for one am getting rather tired of every time something happens to a black person it is Racism. It is not no matter how much it has been. As to profilling, I am a male in America. All a female has to do is accuse and I am profilled. That caused me to loose my children. It took years for the authorities to figure out that my now ex-wife lied. My children in the mean time were badly abused and now won't even discuss their mother more less have anything to do with her. How's that for profilling. I have had black people accuse me of racism without even letting me speak, without even knowing me so I demand an appology.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  12. Jermaine

    Come on now Don.....Is racial profiling for real?.....I don't understand why CNN is trying to turn one situation (which is minor compared to the real racial injustices that occurs throughout this "GREAT" country we live in) into a general debate on whether racial profiling even exists at all. Of course the black police officer is going to stick up for his partner. For one police officers are like a fraternity....that means that everything is kept "in house." You do not mention police business to outsiders just like a member of a college fraternity or street gang doesn't mention their business to non members as well. Police Officers are human just like everybody else, it is time for mainstream america and the media (I guess those who are blind to the realities of whats going on in real america(except Soleodad O'Brien)) to stop trying to make it seem as if police officers are "god-like" beings who come down to protect us and can do no wrong....I mean last I checked you can be a police officer with simply a high school diploma or GED.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  13. Erma Lee

    Racism is a cancer, decease, and an old dirty laundry that we need to address in the new America of change. As an African American woman living in a mostly white community because of the Gate & Crowly incident whites are now starting to support for my business. The Art Garden of Eden.

    This was going to happen sooner or later we need to remove this cancer
    racism once and for all. Lets rid ourselves of this sickness and start the process of healing. God will help us if we are willing to help ourselves.
    I have two sons and I fear for them living in the South were racism is a way of life here particularly with the Houston Police Department..


    July 26, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  14. Zach

    This is so rascist! Even if u r in your own home yelling at cops will never end well. Gates just wanted to play the victim

    July 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  15. PBella

    I wholeheartedly and emphatically agree with Atty. Warren Ballentine.
    Thank you, Tim Wise, for your honesty.

    Also, when will Soleded do "White in America?"

    July 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  16. Chuck in Atlanta

    Don, enjoy your news show every week. No, no, this was not a racial profile incident. The professor threw a tantrum, and cops are trained to keep a situation under control, especially a domestic situation. It is non-sense to say that a white professor would have been treated differently. If one throws a tantrum, one is getting arrested. Period. I know because I have police training in my background. More cops are killed in domestic situations than anything else. The officer did his job, and there is a segment determined to ruin him and end his career. That is wrong and unfortunate.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  17. Mark

    Yes, racial profiling is real.

    Unfortunately, the President and the media chose the wrong example. When two men with backpacks try to break into a house, color does not matter. When someone is belligerent with a police officer, color does not matter.

    People comment that the officer was the one in control of the situation and should have backed off. I can understand that reasoning if he was dealing with a young person or someone with less education than Dr. Gates. Where is Dr. Gates' responsibility? He should have set an example as well if he is the national authority on African American society.

    The real example of our current society is that other African American officers stood up for Officer Crowe. I think they are the people that set an example for a post racial society, not the professor, not the media, and unfortunately not the President in this once instance.

    As I said before, I agree racial profiling is real. The question is how do you move beyond victimization to empowerment which can lead to enlightenment on both sides?

    Thank you

    July 26, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  18. taami

    Sergeant Crowley's ascertions against Professor Gates read like a parody of the worst blaxplotation film ever. It simply defies belief. How many Black Harvard Professors go around taunting "yo mama"? Are we really to believe that a burly white cop with a gun actually feared for his life at the hands of a short 58-year old black man with a cane? Are we to pretend that the US doesn't have a dark history when it comes to Back men, lynching and the police? The deeper issue here is in America, we as citizens have a right to ask a cop for identification to insure our own safety. Our poliice are not the Gestapo or the KGB. And it's these very stereotypes, as illustrated by Crowley's report the obvious result of a vivid imagination, that make these safeguards critical.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  19. Lucius Millinder Jr.

    I'm a 51-year-old African American Harlem USA man, who believes the inequities and inconguities of race will never be buried to the satisfaction of my people; like the arrogance demonstrated by apparently insecure police officer who felt personally affronted when he arrested Mr Gates in hi own home, it is abundantly clear as long as whites and blacks live in separate worlds with separate rules with separate consequences for breaking the law, we can expect situations such as this. Many my age extoll the virtues of the body politic finally electing an African-American President but we know it's not likely to substantively change things socioeconomically and politically – that takes more money and politically influence than we currently wield – and though we would like explode the myhs and sterotypes that separate us – unfortunately it's what polarizes us that will win.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  20. Laura

    I'm a white woman in her late forties. My experience can be summed up pretty simply:

    When I know better, I do better. Shame me when I don't yet know better, and I only learn to to be resentful and to hide my thoughts or feelings.

    I am the mother of two; when I know better I teach my children better. When I am shamed, I teach them how to avoid being shamed - not to understand.

    I have been oblivious and ignorant in my life, which has led to racist thoughts, judgments, fears, and actions . . . but I am no racist. Someone, somewhere must find the words that separate the two things so that we may all be teachable. Shaming moments are not teaching moments.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  21. RacialVictim

    Why can african americans claim racism and immediately get press while a white kid with a written letter stating he can not go to classes and can only use the nurse's restroom is ignored?
    What did this child do? He reported, for over two years, of being racially targeted for threats and assualts in a public school in Delaware.
    If any press is interested, I have names, dates and the letter of what I consider segregation.

    July 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm |
  22. Mrs. Eileen Currás widow to Hernández (WWII)

    I simply think that everybody is feeding on the Media and they are losing a grip on the topic. If we want to drive the Health Care Topic we need to move on. This has become a major topic which the media has not contribute to it positively. These individuals will meet whenever their schedule will allow them. We need to exercise caution with things like these sings incidents. We need to the grip of the issue and do not turn it into a demonizing thing.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:37 am |
  23. cam

    15 lines down from the top on page 2 of the report is where it should have ended! "Surprise and confusion" on the part of Crowley is not grounds for arrest. I am 65 and I remember who was holding the dogs and the hoses just a few years ago. Gates did not know anyone had been called. I am sure the cop did not knock and just quietly entered the house. Was he in uniform? Did he have his weapon drawn? If the situation was so dangerous why was the neighbor lady left standing on the sidewalk in front of the house. Was backup called? Why wasn't his name visible? Is he the regular beat cop? Who was on the phone and did they hear the whole thing? Whites have a sense of entitlement so deep they think its normal. Can someone tell me what 'we' as a group have done to them as a group to deserve such hatred? I remember getting of the bus in Richmond, Va and seeing "White Cafeteria" and "colored cafe" signs. I can cook your food but could not sit beside you to eat it. Sounds crazy to me.

    July 27, 2009 at 2:50 am |
  24. Lalita

    Yes, racial profiling is real. It happens everyday. My children have been stopped several times in our own neighborhood! We live in a upper middle class community. I remember D.L.Hughley talking about how he has to teach his son/child how to talk to police if he's pulled over because he realizes that just because he don't want his son to end up dead or almost beat to death by some racist cop.

    July 27, 2009 at 4:16 am |
  25. Jack Medley

    Of course it's real, it happens every day. Stereotypes are what drive it.

    It will take many decades to clean this out of our system, and it's already slowly pushing it's way through and it doesn't help when the media plants the seeds. But glorifying negative stereotypes in videos, music, movies... what do you think will happen? Media blames parents, the parents blame the media. It's both, and it seems like only a few of us get it. Greed of money and power, pushes in more negative ways than what we think of as typical problems associated with racial profiling.

    This won't fix itself, until we take away the power of those in control, allowing this to happen.

    July 27, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  26. Michael Reynolds

    The black people of this country will always feel as though they have been treated differently because of their race as long as they refuse to assimilate into the white culture. In other words, stop acting like the stereotype, and you will not be treated that way.

    July 27, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  27. A. Osbourne

    Racism in America is alive and well, and a high level of racism can be found in Government institutions, such as Police Department, Schools, Prisons, Civil Service Department to name a few.

    I just witnessed, an incident of police brutality and for the first time (as an ex-law enforcement) I can say without a doubt that race was a factor. What people needs to understand is that police are regular people, they have emotions, they have biases and other idiosyncrasies that makes us human. The problem is however, the failure to the head of institutions such as the police department to address issues of rogue officers; instead they interpret a complaint against one officer as an attack on the entire department. The only time they seek to address or distance themselves from the issue of race or bias, is when an incident is on tape, and there is no way of denying the actions as they unfolds.

    As it is in the entire America, there is no pinpointing the face of a criminal, they are our sons and daughters, they are those that you never expected. So are police officers, some of them are criminals, they only hide behind the badge. Ask me I have been a victim of such actions by officer, and yes I too was an officer.

    A. Osbourne

    July 27, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  28. RantsRaven

    I mostly hate this story most because it wasn't the definitive racist moment that many minorities can recall in vivid detail from their experiences. It wasn't Ricky Ricardo's "you got some 'splainin to do," slathered on Sotomayor by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn; it wasn't former RNC chair Chip Saltsman's 2008 Christmas song "Barack the Magic Negro," delivered to fellow Republicans; and it certainly wasn't last month's Huntington Valley Pennsylvania Pool Club ban of 65 mostly black and Hispanic youth because they would "change the complexion...and atmosphere of the club".

    Instead, it was the key moment when conservative columnist George Will decided (on national television) that "we talk about race too much," and it's timing and murkiness gave him a disgraceful, but valid argument.

    The nuances of this incident made it the typical Rorschach's Test of prejudice: tilt your head to the left – it was racism; tilt to the right – it was a hypersensitive black man. But as people debate if this is "too much" of a "teachable moment," compared to Sotomayor, an Obama Presidency or Black kids banned from a pool, some things should be seriously considered as one decides which way their head will tilt:

    First, the charges were dropped (whether they should have been or not, they were). Also, Lucia Whalen, the 911 caller, worked up the street and wasn't a resident of the neighborhood to know that Gates might have lived there. Neighbors didn't make calls about Gates, it was an area employee passing by. She couldn't "ask somebody" and discover that famous Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates (known within the pages of the Harvard alumni magazine where she worked) lived there?

    This will always be a head-tilting incident. But sadly, it will also be a discordant touchstone for many Americans who decide to finally engage in "a conversation about race." With so many better, major and very recent episodes to pull from, all of us should swallow some shame for choosing THIS as the reason to have a National Dialogue About Race.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  29. michael armstrong sr.

    Yes racial profiling is real but not in this case this is another case of racial abuse for vengence.

    July 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  30. MacMoses

    I'm African not African-American though. I listened to this program from beginning to finish. I think Tim made a very compelling arguments and we need such a person to be invited again anytime an issue about race comes up. He's the most learned and educated on the issue. The following are my takeaway from the discussion: (1) Blacks and whites are socially conditioned differently leading to experience and expectation gap about race; (2) The implicit behavioral attitude and reaction to race is different for blacks and whites; (3) Whites are conditioned structurally to have those attitude that are racial and the reaction therefrom - that is why a white will react racially but wont acknowledge it except those who are bigots.

    As a result, whites tend to have privilege of obliviousness so that when they're acting racially they don't see it. That's why majority of blacks saw the police action as racist while while saw it as not racist. Tim even said although he has been working and researching on racism, he almost acted racially until he acknowledge it when he saw that the 2 pilots were all blacks.

    Also, I think either the policeman acted racially or stupidly. Prez Obama chose the latter. Others blacks think the officer acted racist. I understand where Prez Obama was coming from.

    July 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  31. suhail khan

    something to fall back on create loop hole in judicial system give guide lines to circumnavigate when the situation arises try tossing it out of the window no can.........reckon just live with it

    July 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  32. ron

    Looks to me like the officer was investigating a possible crime in progress, it is the professor’s responsibility to cooperate with the officer, It looks like it became a race issue when the professor asked is it because I am black.
    Does this statement allow him not to cooperate with the officer, does he deserve special treatment by saying this, and I think his statement is out of line, I believe this type of statement is intended to put the officer and other people on the defensive, distracting from the issues at hand.
    Now, it is going to the white house? Really, is this where this type of issue should be settled? If I have a complaint with a police officer or police department can I seek an audience with the president? IF I can not, would it be because I am White?

    July 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  33. A. Osbourne

    I think we tend not to look on the human side of things. The president did not volunteer to comment on the professor's arrest. He was asked a question by someone in the media, at an inappropriate time (and everyone with a political agenda took his response and ran with it, they tailored it to suit their need). I made an earlier comment about racism as it pertains to Police Officers, again “racism is alive and well”, and we are all guilty of it, Black and White (maybe if we stop looking on people that they are from different races, rather than seeing everyone as human, and belongs to the human race, we then would not have these kinds of problem). That's if we are honest enough to admit it. The underlying issue about the professor's arrest is not necessarily race, but the issue that because police officers have a badge and the ability to temporarily impede a person's freedom, police officers, therefore, they think they are above everyone else. This was more an issue of Male ego, on both sides, the professor may have being feisty and that was his only crime.

    Often times people get arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting without violence and charges of this sort; not because they committed the an actual crime as defined by law. In the eyes of the police officer the professor committed a crime against him, and that is by talking down to him and the only way to get back at the professor is to arrest him. That officer knew that the DA would not prosecute, because there was no valid probable cause for an arrest, but he got his revenge, the professor did spend some time in jail. Don't forget officers are taught that when they write a report that it should be detailed enough to CYA . As a result many officers lie in their report to make a charge stick.

    There are many good officers out there, they put their lives in the line to protect us and our communities everyday. Then there are others who are just common criminal who hide behind the badge, and its just a matter of time, before their actions catches up with them.

    I don't think this officer is a bad cop, but I do think he let his ego get the best of him, and made a bad choice to arrest the professor. The issue that the department needs to address is "officers allowing their personal feeling affecting their judgment" when they need only execute the law as stated in the written law and by clear elements or cause of a crime. in the written law by clear elements or cause of a crime.

    A. Osbourne

    July 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  34. Jasmine

    I'm finding it hard to believe that President Obama, making an off the cuff remark, is going to have Gates and Crowley meet at the White House. It's like kids having a he said/she said (certainly with greater consequences) and now the taxpayers are going to have to pay for them to get together; have lunch, and tell each other how they should play well together. C'mon, save us the time, money, and photos.

    July 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  35. Betty Phillips

    Wake up all of your empty headers!! The only person showing racism was OBama, listen to the 911 calls, and you will see he is the only one that made a black and white issue out of this. Oh yes!! Gates is now going to play the "pitiful role", he got exactly what he deserved, he should have been willing to clear up the B&E suspicion, or was he not that smart? I am proud of Our Police department, and all Police departments, but, the only thing that went wrong here was that Obama could not keep his mouth shut. I find Obama a man full of anger, and untrusting. I guess this is what 20 years of listening to Rev. Wright will do for you. Obama needs to be the leader that we all thought we were getting!!!!! Surprise! Surprise! we were just plain duped.......Betty

    July 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  36. ron

    it was not race that got him arrested, it was his conduct towards the officers. ranting and raving being all around disorderly, creating a public disturbance.

    July 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  37. Bob

    There is racial profiling but not anywhere to the degree blacks like to think. If a high majority of a certain crime such as, for example, robbery are documented as being committed in a certain area by black suspects then a high number of blacks would and should be stopped when a robbery occurs. This is not called racial profiling this is called Criminal Profiling. Come on most cops are not stupid and go around stopping blacks for no reason when they all know the press with go crazy for rating for weeks and weeks just like the Gated done-boggle. Of course there are cops who are bad, as there are scholars, plumbers, and oh yea politicans. These numbers are low and a lot are the result of lowering highing standards so that more people can pass the testing. You reap what you sew.

    July 27, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  38. joyce


    July 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  39. Pam

    Today we learn that the person who called the police did not use the phrase "two black men." The tapes also show that Officer Crowley did not use the phrase. My question is, where did the media get that info? I think the media needs to accept their part in this mess. Every anchor and network wants to be FIRST with the stories but it seems nobody cares about being RIGHT. What happened to check and double check your sources. Oh, Uncle Walter where are you when we need you.

    July 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  40. Michael Iaun

    With all that's on our table as a nation, we need to get along and stop acting like little kids. After hearing the 911 tapes and the officers on the scene it was just another arrest. Get over it and next time a cop questions you cooperate or be arrested. It’s called live and learn.

    July 28, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  41. Michael Reynolds

    I would like to respond to what Tony said,

    "Who is the neighbor who does not know this internationally known professor? I know my negihbors and none of them are famous. If I had a famous person on my block I would definitely know him or her, where they lived and what they looked like."

    Well, I don't know any of my neighbors and I have lived in the same residence for many years.
    These days it really isn't a safe thing to get aquainted with your neighbors, if you have a disagreement with one of them they just might call the police one day if you have forgotten your key, and have to break into your own house!

    July 28, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  42. MacMoses

    I don't thinking people who blog here really listened to the program. People are still spewing racial remarks here. I don't think people can stop being xenophobic or paranoia. I understand why whites still have privilege of obliviousness. Most whites have racist thoughts, judgments, fears, and actions . . . eventhough they might not be racist. It's the way whites were socially conditioned to think about blacks. I've met Asians who I think are more racist than even whites. It's all about social conditioning.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  43. Pat

    Thank you Mr Lemon. You have renewed at least a very small part of my faith in the media as a whole. Sadly, many of your colleagues jumped right on the Obama bandwagon with about as much information as Obama had when he made his very callous and admittedly biased remark.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  44. Terrence Gore

    I was a victim of racial profiling back in December 1993. I was traveling from New Orleans to Dallas along the Louisiana/Texas border outside of Beaumont. It was night and as I traveled down the highway, I passed a police car coming the opposite direction. The police car turned around and pulled me over. The highway trooper questioned me, asked where I was going, where I was coming from, whose car, etc. I was very compliant with the trooper. The trooper then asked could he look in the truck. At that point, I became defensive, not for something being wrong, but for the fact he ran the license plate and my DL and everything was fine. He told me that I had a right to refuse. I recalled a TV report about in which it was warned that giving consent to search, allows officials to dismantle a vehicle, so I refused. This was not my car (rental vehicle). I told the trooper it was my constitutional right. At that point he took me into custody, called for a K-9 unit. The dog searched the vehicle and nothing. I was taken back to the highway patrol station and further question as my refusal. The trooper continued to ask and I continued to refuse. The trooper took the rental agreement and called the called the rental car company; and told them I was arrest for suspected of transporting drugs. The company immediately canceled my contract and gave the trooper permission to search the vehicle, again nothing. They released me after the search, I asked for the key and the car,; they refused stating the rental car company revoked the contract and was sending someone to retrieve the car. I had to call someone to come a get me some 400 miles away. The office told me that the reason I was stop is that I fit the profile of individuals suspected of transporting drugs along that portion of the highway. I filled a complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Nothing came of it. Racial Profiling was not a term then.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  45. JF

    The fact that in this year of 2009, we use the word " Race " answer
    that question. Who would have thought.

    July 28, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  46. Toni Addison

    And while we're at it the caucasian woman that says that President Obama is not a US citizen. Can we take a look into her background and see when her family landed on the Mayflower? Most of my white friends who are 50 years or older are the first generation American.

    July 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  47. dan abrams

    IS SGT CROWLY MOTHER TO BLAME FOR RACIAL TENSIONS RAISED ? I do not know SGT Crowly mother, nor do I know how
    she raised him; but comes down to two little words.. HOME TRAINING!
    My mother raised me to respect my elders. My mother raised me to
    show respect to people of all races. My mother taught me to be

    July 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  48. Pat

    dan abrams, sadly, and I know you will not understand this, you comment is the reason what the president did was so wrong and why he needs to stand up in front of the American people and apologize to this policeman who was only doing his job. If I stood out on my front door step screeming obscenities at a police officer after he showed up at my house to help me cause he thought there was a problem and I might have an intruder, I would expect to be arrested. In fact, Don, as you stated my Mother brought me up better than to behave in that manner to start with!

    July 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm |
  49. Dr. Thaddeus Kobylarz

    What troubles me most about the new health care plan is the direction that the plan's payment is heading. Originally, surcharges and Medicare/Medicaid cuts were each to contribute about $500 billion. Lesser amounts were to be paid by a variety of sources. The surcharges were to come from families earning over $350K/year. Pelosi doesn't like this and proposed an increase to $1M/year. I've recently listened to a newscast where a congressman in Obama's own party indicated that surcharges were to be collected only as a last resort!!! My problem is that the $500 billion omitted from surcharges will be mostly taken from Medicare/Medicaid. A trillion dollars paid by Medicare/Medicaid cuts will certainly erode the quality of health care for Medicare/Medicaid patients. Our president needs to stay the course on the original surcharge thresholds.

    July 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  50. sharon

    thank you for the reporting that you do. You are very polite and respectful.
    This is a very real issue. Native Americans continue to live in this world......and always expect negative/racial/mascot slurs, every day.

    This is one reason why when we meet someone for the first time, we a very quiet. We listen and watch how this person lives.Not just what they say. Then after a long time.......there may be a "friendship.Not just someone we know by face or name.

    We try to alwyas be respectful......but if pushed to far , by the uncareing people who still think we are either dead/or not important......our first reaction is to walk away and NEVER deal with that person again.
    If this is not an option........then the whole village will protect the person who's rights are being trampled on. We will not give in.
    Our men are our warriors.
    Our women are our councilors.
    With both the men and women together in council....the village or our society will NOT be broken.
    This is still "Turtle Island".
    Our purpose to be here still, is that the Creator put us here to take care of the Earth.
    I talk to people "outside" of our known race to help educate.
    I hope this helps.

    July 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  51. Lisha Monroe

    I do feel that racial profiling is still prevalent to this day. My son is an
    officer, yet on his off duty days, he was pulled over by an on-duty cop.

    I also do believe that profiling is going on in other cities and or states.

    I want to digress and say that Don Lemon is so handsome. Is he
    married or single?

    August 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  52. Claudia

    Hi Don, first of all I would like to say that "race" is a four-letter word with no meaning to me. The question is not, "What is racial profiling? or Is it real or imagined?" It exists unfortunely. The question is "What can we do to avoid this situation of racial profiling in general?" I am Hispanic, and it makes me sick every time I read history books that talks about the begginings of this ridiculous situation. It also makes me sick to listen that segregation stills exists. This is plain ignorance that has been passed from generation to generation, and we all need to be educated on the fact that we are created equal. Until we don't understand that we are all part of the same system, we are never going to progress. We are all equal, the only thing that makes us diferent from one another is our beliefs and background period.

    August 2, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  53. ron

    with all the facts out in the open. what have we learned from this?
    1. Pres Obama prematurely concluded it was a white on black racial issue. where the opposite has actually occured. 2. Gates verbally attacked a white officer. 3. There is a race issue here,
    BET Black Entertainment Television. If there was a WET White Entertainment Television, would it be considered racial?
    united negro collage fund, if there was a united white collage fund, would it be racial?

    criminal profiling, statistical profiling there is a reason these tools are used.

    Do you have to segragate yourselves by saying your African American?
    cant you just be an American? blacks in london dont refer to themselves as African Britians, or African Irish, or African Russian.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  54. Vanity Star

    Is racial profiling real?!?

    I that a trick question? Of course its real. I hate when people ask dumb question.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:04 am |

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