Friday, July 31, 2009

Officer Uncle Tom

Truth said, when I saw the photo of Prof. Henry Louis Gates arrest and Sergeant Leon Lashley in it with his back turned, I thought he was going to claim that he saw nothing. Yes, he did stand up for his colleague and friend, Sgt. James Crowley. That's what friends are for....right? But why is it that there is a rumor that Officer Lashley was told to say what he did or else lose his job and pension? There's also that now questionable police report on the arrest. The questions being about the quoted witness, Lucia Whalen, denying that she told Sgt. Crowley about seeing black men with backpacks.
Having seen some racist incidents in Cambridge, MA in which black city employees were forced to say things they really did not want to in order to keep their jobs I can believe it. I just hope it's not true and that's not the case in this instance.

'Uncle Tom' is a term used to characterize a black person who will do anything to stay in favor with a white person. The female equivalen is , 'Aunt Jemima'. It's based on the story, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' by Harriett Beecher Stowe. Unfortunately, as soon as that photo of the esteemed Professor's arrest surfaced Sgt. Lashley was labelled, 'Uncle Tom.'

An while I am sorry for having called Ms. Whalen a bigot based on the police report...this is just another notch for the July 16th, 9-11 call made by Lucia Whalen:

1. Esteemed scholar of African American history, Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. gets an arrest record.
2. Officer with stellar record now called 'Sgt. Jim Crow'.
3. Black officer with stellar record now called 'Uncle Tom'.
4. Black President of the United States reminded that even though he is President he is still an n-word.
5. Boston Police officer, Justin Barrett about to lose job because of racism comments on the incident
6. Incident becomes major setback to race relations in the USA.
7. World shakes head at USA and it's continues race problems.

Saw this at the bottom of the BEER SUMMIT Article on

Meanwhile, a black Cambridge police sergeant on the scene the day of Gates' arrest wrote a letter to Crowley, asking him to mention to Gates and Obama that he is now known as the "black sergeant" and to some others as an "uncle Tom."

"I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and colleague, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage," Sgt. Leon Lashley wrote. "Please convey my concerns to the president that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world."

Lashley wrote in the letter he would like Gates to reflect on the incident and ask himself what responsibility he bears, what he can do to heal the rift and what he can do to mitigate the damage done to the officers' reputations.


Anonymous said...

Setback in race relations is a mild way of putting it. This situation has been horrible for race relations. The wounds ofthe past are still there. Whites still feel superior to black folks. Just look at the comments on the various boards on the net. Look at the disrespect shown President Obama. The 911 call opened an old festering wound.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Officer Lashley. When he defended his friend everyone said see the black man said the white man was right to do what he did. It was a sheer power play by Crow. Of course Lashley will be labelled Uncle Tom.

Natick Neighbor said...

Sgt. Lashley should ask Sgt. Crowley if he'd like him to be his next door neighbor in Natick. The answer would be a big NO!

Anonymous said...

It's just sad that in 2009 race is still such a serious issue in our country. I as a white person am ashamed. If you want to understand the black perspective you really need to place yourself in a blak person's shoes. No, it's not nice to be pulled over for beig black of being followed around a store, or being denied housing etc.

Anonymous said...

Sgt. Leon should have been invited to the Beer Summit.

mrjonesnson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This brought out the racismin whites and blacks. Suddenly America is black & white again.

Anonymous said...

Stay Strong Sgt. Lashley.