African-Americans Must Get Angry About Racial Profiling

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2009 11:35 AM CDT
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the director of Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, is arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Demotix Images, B. Carter)
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(Newser) – Henry Louis Gates and Barack Obama have been “very publicly slapped down for speaking up and speaking out about police misbehavior,” but African-Americans “need to roar out their anger at such treatment,” Bob Herbert writes in the New York Times. Gates, not the officer who arrested him, is in the right, and we need to “focus a spotlight on such outrages and the urgent need to stop them.”

The NYPD stops more than a half-million people every year, and the vast majority are black or Latino—and completely innocent. Meanwhile, blacks are incarcerated at absurdly disproportionate rates. “We’re never going to have a serious national conversation about race,” Herbert writes, so blacks themselves must “do whatever is necessary to stop a continuing and deeply racist criminal justice outrage.”