BOBBY HARRISON: Exaggerated importance given to incident in Cambridge

JACKSON – America is engaged in two wars.
We have questions abound about our health care system.
We are struggling with a bad economy.
There are people who are really hurting – for various reasons.
We face countless problems and issues.
We have been facing some of these problems for years.
Yet, turn on a cable news network – pick one, it doesn’t matter – and one would think the most important thing in the whole wide world is the arrest of an African-American Harvard professor and the comments of President Barack Obama about that arrest.
A few weeks ago the most important thing in the whole wide world was what some beauty queen contestant said about gay marriage and whether business mogul Donald Trump, who as well as owning various swatches of expensive real estate also apparently owns beauty pageants, would fire her.
Eventually, I think he did, but fortunately for the cable news networks the issue dragged out for days.
But I digress from one important story to another.
Let’s get back on the issue.
Did a Harvard professor, regardless of race, show his derriere and a little I-am superior-attitude in dealing with a peace officer coming to his home for the sole purpose of protecting said professor’s property?
It appears he did.
Did a Cambridge, Mass., police officer show a lack of restraint by arresting a man for expressing his views – regardless of how insensitive those views might have been – in the man’s own home?
It appears he did – especially since less than 24 hours later the charges against the man were dropped. It has been my observation that the police are not in the habit of dropping charges against people for no good reason.
Did the president misspeak when he said the Cambridge police department acted stupidly in arresting the man who was showing his derriere in his own home?
It appears he did – by the president’s own admission. Here is a little free advice, Mr. President – using the word stupid to refer to the action of another is probably a stupid – uh, I mean unwise – thing to do unless referring to actions of your children and certain members of Congress.
And, on a personal aside, it is always OK to refer to all referees who call New Orleans Saints football games as stupid because I have scientific proof from years of observation that the stupid refs never give the Saints a fair call.
I have never had any personal dealings with police officers when they were not courteous and professional, except for a few occasions with New Orleans law enforcement officers, and they should be forgiven because they have had to endure years of bad calls from those aforementioned stupid refs.
But apparently racial profiling does occur. Statistics are fairly convincing on that issue. That is the larger point Obama was trying to make and it was a legitimate one. He never said this particular case involving the Harvard professor was an example of racial profiling.
From here in Mississippi, it looks like that case was a situation where two people rubbed each other the wrong way – for whatever reason – and neither was willing to back down. Testosterone might have been more of an issue than race.
It doesn’t make either man bad. It just happened.
Surely, we all have said things and done things we regret.
But the issue here is not the incident. It is the media – especially the cable news media.
Nobody was shot. Nobody was killed.
Nobody was falsely imprisoned – for long.
No war was declared.
Thousands of people did not lose their jobs as a result of this incident
People did not lose their homes.
In this particular case in Cambridge, three people might have overreacted. That’s all. It happens every day.
Yet, in the eyes of some, this the most important story in America.
How can that be?

Contact Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison at or at (601) 353-3119.

Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

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