Gates, Hazelton, and Chappelle

Robert Cox passes on the story of Demetrius Hazelton, the 17-year-old son a New Rochelle police detective, who is suing said PD after he was arrested after using a  “white racial monotone voice” which police claim is the same voice used by Dave Chappelle “when making fun of white people.”

Bob supplies the following Chappelle video, which is decidedly R-rated:

The beginning of the monologue is especially amusing in light of yesterday’s news that Harvard African-American Studies professor Henry Louis Gates was recently arrested for breaking into his own house.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Popular Culture, Race and Politics, Standup Comedy, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ugh says:

    which police claim is the same voice used by Dave Chappelle “when making fun of white people.”

    Lies! That’s Eddie Murphy’s white person voice!

    1
  2. John Burgess says:

    Truth be told, Gates wasn’t arrested for ‘breaking into his own house’. He was arrested for disturbing the peace, aka ‘mouthing off to the cops’. Those charges have been dropped.

    I suspect, however, that there will be counter charges coming from the Gates camp of the perpetually whining.

  3. Derrick says:

    I suspect, however, that there will be counter charges coming from the Gates camp of the perpetually whining.

    Yes, we wouldn’t want anyone disturbing the delicate sensibilities of our tough law enforcement officers while doing so on your front porch. Getting mad about being arrested for frivilous reasons is surely one more step to anarchy.

  4. just me says:

    Moral to this story-don’t mouth off to cops even if they are in the wrong.

  5. Furhead says:

    Yes, citizen, do as you are told.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Moral to this story-don’t mouth off to cops even if they are in the wrong

    Well, he learned what happens when you get uppity, right?

  7. odograph says:

    That voice never fails to crack me up.

  8. Davebo says:

    He’s lucky he didn’t have a dog.

  9. Brian J. says:

    Jeez, people, read the police report. It sounds like the cop had a legitimate reason to ask Gates for ID. A neighbor saw suspicious behavior Gates having trouble at the door, so she called the police. Police arrived, asked for ID, and Gates went off on the cop. Cop should have probably just let Gates rant, threaten him with the usual “Do you know who I am?” trip, and everything else, but was that absolutely necessary on Gates’s part?

    Best line in the report is when they’re getting ready to take Gates away, and he says he cannot secure the door because of damage from a previous break in.

    No legitimate cause for concern from the neighbor or the cop. They were only acting that way because Gates was a black man.

  10. anjin-san says:

    Sure Brian, according to the police, the police acted correctly. Same thing they say when they pull over my black friends how are Ph D’s and corporate executives for no real reason. We should never question the police, should we?

    Gates probably did pop off. When you get the same shit served up to you often enough, you get sick of it.

    Many years ago, I had a room mate who was an Asian guy with a hot car, long hair and a fondness for sunglasses, even at night. Great guy, perfectly respectable, good job and all. He just did not look like he fit in in the little town I lived in.

    The first 6 weeks he lived at my place, he was getting pulled over every other night coming home. One time he got it pulling into the driveway. I went out and told the cop he was my room mate and asked why they kept pulling him over. He told me to go back inside or he would arrest me for obstruction. I went back inside, called the mayor, and asked him to get the cops off of my friend. He never got pulled over again.

    A perfectly respectable citizen, be they brown, black, yellow, red or whatever, should not have to have their white friend vouch for them simply so they can go about their lawful business.

  11. odograph says:

    Just got to the end of the video, awesome and appropriate.

  12. just me says:

    The fact that the police were called isn’t disputed. The police are obligated to answer 911 calls.

    And honestly the moral to the story is to not yell at cops-even if the cops are wrong, being respectful and cooperative is probably the best bet.

    This wasn’t a no knock raid and nobody pulled guns.

    The cop should have just left once he confirmed that the man was indeed a resident, but honestly I think the man racheted up the situation when there wasn’t any reason to. Accusing a cop answering a call of racism is probably not the best way to begin.

  13. John Burgess says:

    My point was not that Gates ‘got what was coming to him’ for being ‘uppity’. In this instance, it’s pretty clear that the cop was enforcing the not-written, but often enforced law of ‘insulting a cop on duty’. Gate, in this instance, was in the right.

    Rather in the ‘karmic’ sense than the legal sense, Gates did get what was coming to him. His crying wolf at hearing the yip of a Chihuahua came back to bite him on the ankles.

    Legal arguments are all in his favor: he will collecting something from the municipality if not the individual cop. Karmically, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!

  14. anjin-san says:

    the not-written, but often enforced law of ‘insulting a cop on duty’

    Well, I operate from the rather old-fashioned perspective that police exist to serve the public, not to prove that that don’t take crap from anyone. A quaint and outdated notion, I know…

  15. An Interested Party says:

    Oh my goodness! Obviously, Professor Gates doesn’t know his place…how dare he have the unmitigated gall to be offended…I mean, really, who does he think he is, Greg Mankiw or Alan Dershowitz? As for the “perpetually whining”…that condition seems to exist among many conservatives when the president is named, say, Clinton or Obama…

    No legitimate cause for concern from the neighbor or the cop. They were only acting that way because Gates was a black man.

    Indeed…

  16. tom p says:

    No legitimate cause for concern from the neighbor…

    What, the neighbor never noticed she lived next door to a black man????????????? Last time My neighbor had trouble getting into his house, I didn’t call the cops, I helped him break in.

    Just me, I understand where you are coming from (“You have the right to do what I tell you!”) but every now and again, a free black man gets tired of being told what to do.

  17. Franklin says:

    What I find is that some people in this thread have picked sides without knowing what actually happened.

    If you read the police report and then read Gates’ lawyer’s report, they differ in important ways. So far as I am concerned, neither are the gospel and the truth might be somewhere in between.

    I would *guess* that Gates did mouth off at least a little bit; even as a white guy I would be irritated if the neighbors called the cops on me while I tried to fix my front door. The question is whether the cop gave him additional ammunition in some form. You guys don’t know and neither do I. But if he did, it sure as hell isn’t going to be in the sacred police report. The only thing I know is that the charges were dropped remarkably quickly.

  18. just me says:

    What, the neighbor never noticed she lived next door to a black man????????????? Last time My neighbor had trouble getting into his house, I didn’t call the cops, I helped him break in.

    Well-from the police report the neighbor saw two men on the porch and they were trying to break in the door (although their reason was a legitimate one). The other man was the driver. It is possible she didn’t see either man’s face clearly, or clearly enough to feel safe enough to approach them depending on how large the porch was and the position of the men (I would assume at least one or both had their backs to her).

    Now to be honest-if I saw two people on my neighbor’s porch that I couldn’t immediately identify but whose actions appeared to be that of people breaking into a home, I may not approach them just in case my safety were to be jeopardized, I would rather the cops check things out.

    Now I will give you that the neighbor may have very likely have seen “black” and jumped to conclusions, and there isn’t an indication of just how close a neighbor she was (I would know by face the neighbors around me, but 6 houses up the road not so sure). However he call still obligated the cops to answer the call. Around here any 911 call requires the police to do a stop at the house.

    Either way-I am pretty certain that the cop was probably pushing himself around, but i am not swallowing that Gates was all sweetness and nice either. I predict if no lawsuit is filed that the truth was indeed somewhere in the middle.

    I do think the arrest was ridiculous and once the cop knew Gates was the resident of the home he should have left and let Gates rant all he wanted. Easiest way to difuse that situation IMO would have been to walk away.

  19. just me says:

    The question is whether the cop gave him additional ammunition in some form. You guys don’t know and neither do I. But if he did, it sure as hell isn’t going to be in the sacred police report. The only thing I know is that the charges were dropped remarkably quickly.

    Oh I am sure the police report leave stuff out, but I am also pretty certain that the statement released by Gates’ attorney isn’t the whole truth either. Both men have a vested interest in painting themselves into the “good man being harrassed by the other” corner.

    As for the charges being dropped-the arrest was ridiculous, and honestly there is no way the district attorney could have continued with the prosecution with the attention it received.

  20. An Interested Party says:

    So much for pathetic little theories being peddled around here that Gates “got what was coming to him”…