The woman who made the now-famous 911 call reporting on behalf of a concerned resident about a suspicious possible break-in in a nearby home spoke for the first time publicly today about what she said on the call, and insists she never said the word “black” – not on the call, nor directly to Crowley when he arrived on the scene:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Lucia Whalen, whose 911 call led to the arrest of the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home, made her first public comments Wednesday, saying at no time did she ever mention race to the responding police officer.
Ms. Whalen’s statements contradict the police report filed by Sgt. James Crowley, who said Ms. Whalen told him outside Mr. Gates’s home that she had seen “what appeared to be two black males with backpacks” on the porch of the yellow single-family house.
Ms. Whalen said that the only words she exchanged with Sergeant Crowley in person were, “I was the 911 caller.” She said that he responded, “Stay right there.”
Ms. Whalen, 40, her voice cracking and body shaking, said she was deeply hurt by the reaction to the incident on July 16 and had been the target of threats. She said she was reluctant to speak out earlier but finally decided to do so with the support of her husband, Paul, and her family.
“When I was called a racist, I was the target of scorn and ridicule because of things I never said,” she told the reporters gathered in a park here at midday. She added, “The criticism hurt me as a person but also hurt the community of Cambridge.”
On Monday, the Cambridge police released the tape of Ms. Whalen’s 911 call in which she told the dispatcher she had “no idea” if two men — who turned out to be Professor Gates and his driver — were breaking into the house, repeatedly mentioning that they might live there. She said that the two men pushed a door in with their shoulders, and that she was unsure “if they live there and just had a hard time with their key.”
Ms. Whalen did not mention the men’s race until a dispatcher asked her if they were black, white or Hispanic.
“There were two larger men,” she said in the audio released Monday. “One looked kind of Hispanic, but I’m not really sure,” she said, adding that she did not see what the second man “looked like at all.”
Ms. Whalen also told the dispatcher that she called 911 on behalf of an elderly neighbor who saw the men trying to get into the house.
On Wednesday, she said she hoped that with the tapes out, “people can see that I tried to be careful,” adding that she never thought that her words “would be analyzed by an entire nation.”
“Tried to be careful”?? I feel for this woman and the intense scrutiny she and her call have been put under by the perpetually offended race hustlers, race baiters and others, primarily on the left, who routinely and shamelessly use the issue of race for political gain. She’s being made to feel bad about something she didn’t say on the call – but there is a dispute, of course, as to whether or not she said “black people” to Sgt. Crowley once he arrived on the scene. His report says she did; she said today that she did not. Keep in mind that two days ago her lawyer said Whalen had “never” mentioned race ever, but she did on the 911 call. Her lawyer also said that Whalen told her she never spoke with Crowley in person, but today she admitted she did. There’s a lot of misinfo being spread, so I want to make sure I have my facts in order.
Back to the “black people” issue: so what if Officer Crowley is right and Whalen did mention that the two people trying to get into the house were black? They WERE black! No one should be made guilty for trying to do the right thing by giving every detail they can about the alleged crime they believe they are witnessing. But as we’ve seen all too often before with our wallowing-in-liberal-white-guilt mainstream media, any mention of the word “black” – whether it be made by a conservative Republican or a woman describing a possible criminal breaking into a house – it’s wrong, it’s “racist,” it’s “profiling,” and, in this instance, it would make what President Obama said last week about the Cambridge police “acting stupidly” sound a little less, well, stupid. Anyone who has read Coloring The News knows how the media is often loathe to describe a criminal suspect as black for fear of accusations of “negative stereotyping.” Heck, to be frank, you don’t even have to read CLN to know that.
What we have here is another fine example of what “post-racialism” in America looks like: A woman whose every word and syllable has been analyzed, scrutinized, criticized, ridiculed, etc simply because she allegedly referred to the two people who were trying to get into the house – who were black – as black. BS like this is exactly why have so much trouble moving forward in this country on the issue of race – because the victimhood mentality in which liberals deliberately stay immersed on the issue won’t let us. Everyone’s a victim, everyone’s being stereotyped and that’s wrong!
Except when you are, of course, a white, conservative Christian. But I digress.
But fear not! Obama apologist extraordinaire Andrew Sullivan is trying to help Whalen rehab her reputation with the liberal elite – and in the process trying to make his Presidential hero look better over “StupidGate” – by declaring Whalen’s story 100% factual and accurate, and furthermore suggests that this issue is more than just about race … it’s also about “freedom of speech”:
So Crowley made the assumption that they were black and treated Gates as a criminal because he was a black man in a nice house. Meanwhile, Forbes points out the core issue here: freedom of speech. Crowley thinks he can arrest you for it. I think it’s important to insist that that isn’t true. But if you come across Crowley, it’s worth remembering that if you insult him, he will arrest you. And you probably aren’t as powerful as Skip Gates.
So you see – it’s not that Crowley’s just some closet racist whose anti-black tendencies boiled to the surface when he confronted who he thought may have been a potential burglar in a neighborhood where there had been some recent break-ins, but he’s also a virulent anti-First Amendment type who, as it is implied, would just as soon burn your right to free speech as arrest an “innocent black man.” Apparently in Sullivan’s world, it’s ok to get away with creating a public disturbance and just being an all around rude jerk showing your a$$ as long as you are sticking it to “the man” – and making President Obama look better for calling the authorities “stupid” in the process.
Oh – but just to prove that Sully’s not a total Obama shill, I point you to one of his posts today on the “Birther” issue:
But why are we supposed to rely on the testimony of Dr Fukino, whom I believe entirely. It is not my job as a journalist or yours as a citizen to take public officials on trust. They are not to be trusted, whoever they are. It is our job to demand all the evidence we want or need. I know the electronic record is legit. I have no doubt that Obama has every constitutional right to be president. I think the Birthers are nuts. But there is no reason on earth that the original cannot be retrieved and shown. Jon Klein and CNN were wrong, and I retract my apology of yesterday.
Obama promised total transparency. Where is it? Or will it arrive at the moment when he tackles the deficit, and withdraws from Iraq?
I’d say it depends on whether or not Crowley – who is strongly supported and respected by whites, blacks, and Hispanics on the Cambridge police force – tries to get away with arresting both Obama AND Gates tomorrow night after drinking a few bad beers at the “reconciliation” table. After all, Crowley just can’t help himself when it comes to arresting black people for “no reason.” The state is out to get you!!!!! and all that …
Let’s hope and pray that the photos that come out of the staged “bridge building” won’t be too nauseating to look at.