Here’s the real problem with police officers: Forget about being racist, they’re just so, well, parochial! The New York Times can barely contain its amazement today over Sergeant James Crowley’s narrow experience: “Even when Professor Gates produced identification in the kitchen of his home that day,” reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and Abby Goodnough write, “Sergeant Crowley had no idea who he was. Days later, the sergeant was surprised when friends explained that he was one of Harvard’s most famous professors.” Imagine that! Not knowing who Henry Louis Gates Jr. was! I’ll bet Crowley doesn’t even know who Maureen Dowd is. What do they teach these guys in the police academy, anyway?
A decade or so ago, in a desperate attempt to revive some semblance of Marxist street cred, the academic identity industry added “class” to its hallowed categories of race, gender, and sexual orientation. It now has a perfect case study: The recipient of what the Times lovingly refers to as “dozens of honorary degrees” — a “charismatic and distinctive” professor — bellowing in rage at the peon before him: “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”