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What Constitutes Racial Profiling?

Paul Proctor


Harvard Scholar, Henry Louis Gates, was arrested on his front porch on July 16, 2009 by police responding to a call from witnesses reporting a possible break-in at a residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It seems Mr. Gates and another man had to use force to gain entry through a jammed door – be it his own.

Apparently, he would not have been arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct” had he simply cooperated with police and shown some identification – something an officer must have upon arrival at a potential crime scene in order to make sure the parties involved are indeed who they claim to be. For an officer to simply assume someone at a potential crime scene is not the perpetrator would be careless, irresponsible and dangerous for everyone involved. Verifiable identities must first be established.

Gates not only refused to cooperate with officers investigating, but also became belligerent in his objections to their request for identification, reportedly getting “loud” and “tumultuous” with police – calling their demands “racial profiling.” Mr. Gates, you see, is an African-American and the arresting officer is not.

The fact that Barack Obama commented on the incident at a Wednesday news conference, saying that police “acted stupidly,” seemed rather odd to me, bringing to mind another controversial identity issue in the news: Obama’s own refusal to provide a copy of his original long-form, hospital-generated, birth certificate to prove his American citizenship – something every candidate for president must do to satisfy the Constitutional requirement of being a “natural born citizen.”

To simply assume that he is, just because he claims to be, would also be careless, irresponsible and dangerous for everyone involved. If it is eventually discovered that he is not a natural born citizen, then everything he has signed into law, every Executive Order he has given and every appointment he made as the President of the United States of America would instantly become invalid and we would have a national crisis on our hands.

You see, Obama’s “Certificate Of Live Birth,” which is posted online, is not the same thing as an original long-form birth certificate – something every American citizen must provide a copy of to get, among other things, a driver’s license, passport or handgun carry permit. Not only has Obama refused to provide a copy of his original birth certificate, he has also reportedly spent millions of dollars in legal fees trying to prevent its release to the public – that is, assuming he has one.

This reminded me of the African-American woman I wrote about in January who refused to pay her rent, telling the landlord, “We have a new president now and some things are going to change” – and political activist, Donna Brazile, also an African-American, who, when playfully questioned on live television by ABC News anchor, Charles Gibson about whether or not her stealing the fleece blanket from Obama’s chair at his swearing-in ceremony was a felony or misdemeanor, responded: “We have a black president – it’s neither.”

So, I’m left to wonder: Is it because “we have a black president now” that Mr. Obama doesn’t have to provide Americans a copy of his original birth certificate? Legally, it would appear that we don’t really have one until he does – or would that Constitutional requirement also be considered “racial profiling?”

Paul Proctor is a veteran of the country music industry. He retired in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events.


Volume 13, 2009




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