In case you were wondering why Henry Louis Gates might have suspected racial animus in his treatment by a Cambridge cop, take a look at this email – sent to the Boston Globe – by a cop from neighboring Boston. The hatred of blacks and the self-righteous self-pity are both thick enough to cut with a knife. And I wouldn’t doubt that Officer Barrett is utterly sincere when he says “I didn’t mean it in a racist way.” This is the true voice of the hate talk radio listener, unfiltered.
Diagnosis: chronic testosterone poisoning, complicated by pernicious melanin deficiency.
A reader from Berkeley, commenting on Lowry Heussler’s analysis of Officer Crowley’s behavior, found the racial angle hard to believe, because he was assuming that since Cambridge and Berkeley are both university towns they must have similar police forces. Wrong! First, Cambridge “townies” hate the “Harvards.” Second, the general level of white hostility toward blacks is much higher in the Boston area than it was in, for example, Baltimore, where I grew up.
The good news: Barrett obviously misjudged some of his fellow Boston cops, who promptly turned him in after receiving his email.