Henry Louis Gates, Jr. talks with CNN.
I wonder: presented with Gates' Harvard ID and driver's license, what did the police officer who went on to arrest Gates make of these items? Was he unable to see the man in front of him as a Harvard professor standing in his own house? (I think I just answered my own questions.)
I like the following passage from Gates for its suggestion that we may come to see one another as we really are:
Ours is a late-twentieth-century world profoundly fissured by nationality, ethnicity, race, class, and gender. And the only way to transcend those divisions — to forge, for once, a civic culture that respects both differences and commonalities — is through education that seeks to comprehend the diversity of human culture. Beyond the hype and the high-flown rhetoric is a pretty homely truth: There is no tolerance without respect — and no respect without knowledge. Any human being sufficiently curious and motivated can fully possess another culture, no matter how "alien" it may appear to be.
From the Introduction to Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), xv.