Friday, July 24, 2009

Racism, Presidential Misstep or Misunderstanding in Cambridge

Black Professor wrongly arrested. Check.
Al Sharpton gets involved. Check.
President Obama says the officer acted "stupidly." Check.
Union reps weigh in on the officer's conduct. Check.
President Obama calls the officer to express regret. Check.

So, was it racism in Cambridge? "Reverse racism" from the White House? Or just a big misunderstanding? I'm willing to bet that we're not quite through with this.

Depending on what you choose to filter through your television at any given moment, The Media has blamed everyone above for racism. No really, everyone! All it takes for 48 hours of maniacal coverage on one topic is a splash of ambiguity. I'd love to give a lecture about racial profiling, and how realistically, the NEIGHBOR is (at least somewhat) at fault for calling the cops in her froofy neighborhood when she saw two black men. I'd like to do that, but I won't. Instead, I'll share a story from one of my first days of solitude in a city I like to call Baltimore. Cambridge, Baltimore could beat you up.

I wrote the following faux-news article in November 2008, after an eventful day, indeed.

White, 20-Something Liberal Bridges Racial Gap at Shoe City

BALTIMORE – Greenmount Avenue got a splash of a new color this morning: white. Having lost her luggage on a flight from Northern Michigan, Michelle O'Brien, a 20-something white liberal, Mapquested her way to a clothing store within a one-mile radius of John Hopkins University.

Walking into Shoe City, Ms. O'Brien was aware that she was the only white person in the store, and, waving the flag of white guilt, she asked for help.

“They were all so nice, once they found out that I had lost all my clothes and needed a whole new wardrobe,” O'Brien claimed, once safely back in her Charles Village apartment, sitting cross-legged on one of her two IKEA sofas. “I felt like we really, like, connected.”

Representatives from Shoe City were unavailable to comment.

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