Wednesday 22 july
Boris Kodjoe, the german-ghanain actor best known best known for starring in
Showtime’s ‘Soul Food., steps in and takes on Professor Gates' arrest.Boris Kodjoe owns a mansion in Atlanta. But when he goes to answer his door, the black actor knows what it’s like to be an
"When I’m opening the door of my own house, someone will ask me where the man
of the house is, implying that I’m staff,’ said Kodjoe, best known for starring in Showtime’s ‘Soul Food."
Gates granted an interview to his daughter Elizabeth in the Daily Beast (which—between contributors Meghan McCain and Luke Parker Bowles—is rapidly becoming the outlet of choice for the blood kin
of the contemporary aristocracy).
Gates granted an interview to his daughter Elizabeth in the Daily Beast (which—between contributors Meghan McCain and Luke Parker Bowles—is rapidly becoming the
outlet of choice for the blood kin of the contemporary aristocracy).
His take on his own tour through the criminal justice system is tempered by his role as an educator, which makes him laudably reasonable about something that
justifiably pissed him of royally. While some observers—well, OK, this observer—were quick to accuse the white Harvard employee who called the cops after seeing Gates and his driver trying to
enter his home of racism, Gates disagrees:
We depend on the police-I'm glad that this lady called 911. I hope right now if someone is breaking into my house she's calling 911 and the police will come! I just
don't want to be arrested for being black at home! I think this was a bit of an extreme reaction.
And he doesn't even accuse the cop who hauled him off to jail of being a racist so much as an angry and vindictive man who looked viewed the incident through a
If I had been white this incident never would have happened. He would have asked at the door, "Excuse me, are you okay? Because there are two black men around here
try'na rob you [laughter] and I think he also violated the rules by not giving his name and badge number, and I think he would have given that to one of my white colleagues or one of my white
neighbors. So race definitely played a role. Whether he's an individual racist? I don't know-I don't know him. But I think he stereotyped me.
And since Harvard academics already narrate their lives to themselves as an ongoing PBS documentary, Gates figures he might as well turn his arrest into a real one.
He told the Root, of which he is the founder:
As a college professor, I want to make this a teaching experience. I am going to devote my considerable resources, intellectual and otherwise, to making sure this
doesn't happen again. I'm thinking about making a documentary film about racial profiling, and I'm in talks with PBS about that.
By Idriss Kane
Posted in: OPINIONS