‘There Are One Million Black Men in Jail in This Country and Last Thursday I Was One of Them’

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Photo: WP

Last Thursday, Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and founder of TheRoot.com, was arrested trying to get into his own house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after a neighbor called the cops and reported a black man struggling with the door. In his first interview since the arrest, Gates seems, quite understandably, livid. "There are one million black men in jail in this country and last Thursday I was one of them," he told the Post. "This is outrageous and that this is how poor black men across the country are treated everyday in the criminal justice system." The Cambridge police, meanwhile, says they regret the error: "The incident of July 16, 2009 was regrettable and unfortunate," they said in a press release. Thanks, Cambridge. Somehow we think that's not quite going to cut it. [Cambridge Police Department, WP]