“They Call Me Professor Gates!”

Commenting on yesterday’s beery press conference about Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a friend emailed me to say that he found the police officer, James Crowley, to be calm, intelligent, and completely impressive. This friend compares Gates’s outburst on that fateful day to a seminal moment in American cinema, from “In The Heat of the Night,” when Sidney Poitier, feeling he’s been accorded insufficient respect by Rod Steiger, shouts, “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” A brilliant comparison, I must say.

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